When Nicki Minaj's highly anticipated third studio album, The Pinkprint, dropped on Monday, I immediately pitched the idea of writing a definitive list of all the times the queen of the Barbz uses similes in the opus. I attentively listened to the entire record twice, pausing and rewinding to make sure that I caught every nuanced phrase. To my dismay, Nicki had dropped the word “like” from many of her most powerful quips. But are they still similes?

Universal Republic

Since The Pinkprint was produced by Young Money, home of Li’l Wayne and his egregious use of similes (real Gs move in silence like lasagna), I thought this list would be a cakewalk. Perplexed and in search of clarification, I Googled “What is a simile?” and was validated in reading that a simile is, in fact, a figurative comparison between two things typically using the words “like” or “as.” Turns out Nicki has appended the grammatical tool, increasing her usage of what I like to call “verbal hashtags.”

A perfect example of verbal hashtag usage exists in Childish Gambino’s “Bonfire,” when he raps:

Made the beat then murdered it / Casey Anthony

One could easily insert the word “like” or an actual # where that pause comes in, but it could quickly become formulaic and redundant. Li'l Wayne's insistence on simile use resulted in  80 instances of them on his album,  I Am Not a Human Being II — inspiring the highly amusing #RapLikeLilWayne trending topic on Twitter. No surprise, then, that Wayne’s collab on "Only" has the most similes (6) out of any single on The Pinkprint. Let's take a look at all of them.


Here is the definitive list of every simile AND every verbal hashtag on The Pinkprint (Deluxe):

Young Money Entertainment

"All Things Go" - Similes:

"All Things Go" – Verbal #:

"I Lied" – Similes:

"I Lied" – Verbal #:
1.But fuck you though / Orgasmic


Young Money Entertainment

"The Crying Game" - Similes:

"The Crying Game" – Verbal #:

"Get On Your Knees" - Similes:
2. You just act like a peasant
3. And it’s ready come and get it, it’s takin off like a missile
4. Make me way smarter like you’s a magician
5. Good head like a beautician


"Get on Your Knees" – Verbal #:
6. Yeah I bagged him I / Birkin’d it
7. Got me seeing them fireworks/I’m on my Kate Perry

Republic Records 

"Feeling Myself" – Similes :
8. I curve that n*gga like a bad toss
9. Gimme brain like NYU
10. Cooking up the base, looking like a kilo
11. Hits like a laser


"Feeling Myself" – Verbal #:
12. I-I do balls / Dal Mavericks
13. I’m feeling myself / Jack rabbit
14. I’m feeling myself/ Jack off
15. National Anthem / Hats off

"Only" - Similes:
16. Let em eat my ass like a cupcake
17. Let it soak in like seasoning
18. Sparks in the air like the 4th of July
19. She act like she needs dick in her life
20. I piss greatness like gold is yellow
21. Now you see me now you don’t / Like Jaime Foxx acting like Ray Charles


"Only" – Verbal #:
22. These girls are my sons/ John and Kate Plus 8
23. Tell them bitches blow me / Lance Stephenson

"Want Some More" - Similes:
24. That’s why I’m throwing shade like it’s sunny.

"Want Some More" – Verbal #:


20th Century Fox

"Four Door Aventador" - Similes:
25. I’mma fuck around and have em lookin like spaghetti
26. I’m in the V like a widow’s peak

"Four Door Aventador" – Verbal #:
27. I make them change their name to Diddy / Retire the puff


"Favorite" - Similes:

"Favorite" – Verbal #:


Young Money Entertainment

"Buy a Heart" - Similes:

"Buy a Heart" – Verbal #:

"Trini Dem Girls" - Similes:
28. He said he want a piece like a Metta World
29. He tryna kick it like a ninja
30. He tryna stick it like syringes


"Trini Dem Girls" – Verbal #:

Young Money Entertainment

"Anaconda" - Similes:
31. He toss my salad like his name romaine

"Anaconda" – Verbal #:

"The Night is Still Young" - Similes:
32. We ain’t going nowhere like tank is on E


"The Night is Still Young" - Verbal #:
33. Roll that spaceship / We about to get lifted

Young Money Entertainment

"Pills n Potions" - Similes:

"Pills n Potions" – Verbal #:

"Bed of Lies" - Similes:

"Bed of Lies" – Verbal # :
34. This ain’t How to Be a Player / You ain’t Bill Bellamy


Young Money Entertainment

"Grand Piano" – Similes:
35. You have been playing my heart like a grand piano

"Grand Piano" – Verbal #:

"Big Daddy" – Similes:
36. They shoot at your head like the rim just to see if the net work
37. Spur of the moment I ball like Ginobli
38. You watch your mouth or my n*ggas will shoot up the club like what Shyne did


"Big Daddy" – Verbal #:
39. I went the Hardaway / Boy had a penny first

"Shanghai" – Similes:
40. Tied up like my shoe string
41. All sixes like school’s out
42. You could get it in the wintertime or that Mayweather like Floy’d out

"Shanghai" – Verbal #:
43. All these bitches in pocket / I’m bout to make a deposit


And there you have it: The Pinkprint clocks in at 43 similes/verbal hashtags. It should be noted that this new album lacks the braggadocio of albums past. Presumably comfortable at the top of the rap game, Nicki penned much more personal, often sad lyrics this go-round, rendering an excess of wordplay unnecessary. Baring her heart more than her claws makes this album feel like one for her longtime fans more than critics. Still, she definitely has some one-liners we're sure to be quoting for years to come.

Akilah Hughes is a comedian, YouTuber, and staff writer and producer for Fusion's culture section. You can almost always find her waxing poetic about memes and using too many emojis. 🍕