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Nicki Minaj Calls Beenie Man The Inspiration Behind New Song

Superstar rapper Nicki Minaj is hailing Dancehall veteran Beenie Man as the inspiration behind her new song Just the Memories.

The track is the outro on her freshly-released Pink Friday 2 album, which has debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with 228,000 equivalent album units recorded in the U.S. in the week ending Dec. 14, according to Luminate.

Just the Memories chronicles the highs and lows of Minaj’s life and music career. Binding the experiences are the interpolated lyrics, “Memories don’t live like people do; they’ll always ‘member you”, taken from Beenie’s 1995 hit Memories (Stop Live In A De Pass). The chorus from the latter draws lyrics from American soul singer Jerry Butler’s 1973 single Memories Don’t Leave Like People Do.

In a recent Twitch session with popular streamer Kai Cenat, Minaj said Beenie’s song was on her mind while she was creating Just the Memories in 2020.

“Shout out to Beenie Man; obviously that was the inspo for saying, ‘Memories don’t live like people do’,” the rapper shared. “I think I was pregnant at the time, actually, and I said that on the mic, so, that thing that y’all hear is just the first thing that I (said).”

In a subsequent studio session, she listened to the first recording and liked how effortless it sounded, leading to its placement on the final track.

“You hear how muffly it sounds and it’s like I’m not even really singing? Because I liked the vibe of when I first did it, so, I kept it. I changed other stuff but I kept that first line.”

She continued, “But shout out to Beenie Man, the King Beenie, because that was, you know, one of my favourites for a long time – still is to this day – and he’s the inspiration behind (Just the) Memories.

The song has garnered more than two million Spotify streams and passed the half-a-million mark on YouTube.

Stop Live In A De Pass was previously sampled by rapper Kanye West on Send It Up in 2013.

Minaj’s Barb fanbase first got an inkling of her track when she tweeted Memories in June 2020, followed by another tweet tooting “PF2”.

Minaj’s reverence for Beenie is longstanding, with the pair collaborating on Gun Shot in 2012 for her Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded album, which had also debuted at No. 1.

The Super Bass artist has also played his music in numerous livestreams and shouted him out during award shows, the most recent being the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards show.

“All my Caribbean people, but Beenie Man, thank you for everything and all of Jamaica,” she said in part while accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.

Minaj also pays homage to dancehall and Jamaican culture on Pink Friday 2 with songs like Forward From Trini with Skillibeng and Skeng, the previously-released Red Ruby Da Sleeze (built on Steven ‘Lenky’ Marsden’s iconic Diwali riddim), Needle featuring Drake and Beep Beep.

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