The road to Nicki Minaj’s Queen has been bumpy, but the album finally exists in public as a finished product.
It’s been almost four years since Minaj’s last LP, The Pinkprint, despite frequent indications from Minaj that a new album would be coming soon. When she finally launched the rollout in earnest back in April with the new tracks “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz,” she sounded like she’d lost a step, plus she caught some flack for her use of Asian stereotypes in the “Chun-Li” video and on Saturday Night Live. Neither track exactly took the world by storm, nor did subsequent singles “Bed” with Ariana Grande and “Rich Sex” with Lil Wayne.
Then there was the matter of the release date. Originally Queen was supposed to drop in June, but Minaj pushed it back to August for reasons we can only speculate. Was it the lack of buzz? Was she still adding songs to the tracklist, looking to punch the album up a bit? Or maybe it had something to do with the sample clearance issues that temporarily got the album pushed back yet again? Last week Minaj was publicly trying to get a hold of Tracy Chapman to approve a sample on the album; later the same day she announced she was bumping back the release yet again, from 8/10 to 8/17.
So it was a bit surprising when Minaj announced she’d be doing a Queen Radio broadcast on Apple’s Beats 1 last night, a full week before the new drop date — even more so when she revealed Queen would be out today after all. Instead of the usual midnight release, it would arrive at 12PM ET.
Well, it’s not quite noon, but Queen is here anyway. Besides the aforementioned Ariana Grande and Lil Wayne, the album features Eminem, the Weeknd, Future, Swae Lee, Labrinth, and Foxy Brown. Dig into it below and let us know what you think.
The album’s third track, “Barbie Dreams,” features disses and references to Drake (“Drake worth a hundred milli, always buying me shit/ But I don’t know if the pussy wet or if he crying and shit”), Young Thug (“Used to fuck with Young Thug, I ain’t addressin’ this shit/ Caught him in my dressing room, stealin’ dresses and shit”), DJ Khaled (“Had to cancel DJ Khaled, boy, we ain’t speaking/ Ain’t no fat nigga telling me what he ain’t eating“), 50 Cent (“I tried to fuck 50 for a powerful hour/ But all that nigga wanna do is talk Power for hours”), Special Ed and Desiigner (“I remember when I used to have a crush on Special Ed/ Shoutout Desiigner, ’cause he made it out of special ed”), Odell Beckham Jr. (“And I would’ve had Odell Beckham banging the cake/ Till I saw him hoppin’ out of cars dancing to Drake”), and more.
Queen is out now on Young Money/Cash Money/Republic.