Nicki Minaj says “Needle” with Drake was originally For All The Dogs.
In her new interview with Ebro on Apple Music 1, Nicki Minaj discussed the making of her record-breaking album and shared how her song “Needle” went from a Nicki feature on Drizzy’s For All The Dogs to a Drake feature on Pink Friday 2.
Both albums, which were released exactly two months apart, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. “Needle” landed a Top-40 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 34 on its debut. During her conversation with Ebro, Nicki explained that the song was the Nicki feature Drake teased a few months back for his own album, but it remained in the vault when For All The Dogsdropped in October.
“He told the fans at his tour that I was going to be on his album. And actually, the song he was talking about was ‘Needle.’ But he ended up feeling like sonically it didn’t match For All The Dogs. And I, from day one felt like it matched Pink Friday 2,” Nicki explained.
Ebro and Nicki Minaj / Apple Music
“But even before that, so long ago, I remember joking with Juice and my homeboys, I was like, ‘Yo, maybe, you know what? You never know. Maybe something happens and it’ll get on my album.’ And this was probably almost a year ago.”
Nicki went on to explain that she had wanted the song for her own album since the first time she heard it. As for the events that led to her getting her wish, it was nothing short of kismet. When Drake decided that the track didn’t fit with the other songs on his album, he immediately asked Nicki if she wanted it for her own, and in the blink of an eye, the Queens rapper went from featured artist to lead artist.
She continued: “I first heard that song in Trinidad when I was in Trinidad for Carnival, so that was in February. Everybody loved it and I wanted it for my album. So it was just God’s timing. [Drake] asked me, ‘Did I want it for my album?’ I was like, ‘Absolutely.’ So the fans were mad thinking that — ’cause he didn’t tell them that there was a change.”
“And I didn’t either,” the rapper added. “But yeah, I mean, you know what? It worked out for the best. He did also send me another song, but I wanted our next song to be just Dricki—me and him. And that is what ‘Needle’ is. And it just makes sense; ‘Needle’ is just the perfect Drake and Nicki song.”
Nicki first talked about the serendipitous landing of “Needle” when she appeared on famous streamer Kai Cenat’s live stream right after her album dropped. The Prink Friday 2 rapper had asked the streamer if he liked the song before explaining how it ended up on her record. “Originally it was for Drake’s album. And right when I got it the first time I was like ‘I hope something happens and it end up being on my album ’cause I like it.”
She went on to explain that when Drake was about to turn in For All The Dogs, he told her he wasn’t using the song for the album because “it doesn’t fit the sonic vibe” and she exclaimed “F**k yes!!” when it was offered to her. Nicki told Kai that the song reminds her of “all of her Dricky nostalgia,” referring to her and Drizzy as a duo.
She added, “The song is so Drake. Only Drake can do it. And it reminds me for the first time of when we collabed on ‘Moment For Life’ which was on Pink Friday 1.”
“Needle” eventually got the shine it deserved when it finally arrived on Pink Friday 2 in December after getting snubbed from For All The Dogs two months prior. The track, which also features a voicemail cameo from SZA, is among the 17 songs from Nicki’s album that debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, making PF2 the female rap album with the highest number of songs to enter that chart.