Nicki Minaj has been publicly thirsty for a #1 debut with her new album Queen, engaging in chicanery such as adding the 6ix9ine collab “Fefe” to the tracklist late to juice streaming figures and selling the album at a bargain-basement price to increase her sales numbers. It still didn’t work: Queen debuted at #2 while Travis Scott’s Astroworld held onto #1 for a second week.
Minaj did not take the news well. In fact, she claimed her album is actually #1 because Scott and Spotify screwed her over. Scott, she argued, bundled Astroworld tour tickets with copies of the album — a scheme Minaj herself and many other popular artists employ these days — but didn’t actually announce tour dates yet, which Minaj considered an artificial inflation of his numbers. (She also took issue with Scott’s girlfriend Kylie Jenner hyping the album-ticket bundles on her Instagram.) As for Spotify, Minaj said a rep from service informed her they would be punishing her for sharing new music early on her #QueenRadio show on Apple Music: “They took away my promotion they had promised for the 1st cpl days b/c of this.”
Now a rep for Spotify has responded to Minaj’s claim, telling Variety, “Spotify supported Nicki Minaj with a Times Square billboard, a host of the largest playlists, New Music Friday and the new music release shelf. Her song ‘Bed’ actually saw an increase based on the promotions put behind the campaign. The company continues to be big fans of Nicki.”
As for Minaj’s conflict with Scott, it appears to be spilling over into tonight’s MTV Video Music Awards. Scott and Jenner were supposed to be sitting just behind Minaj and her pal Ariana Grande at the show, but TMZ reports that Scott and Jenner have asked to be seated on the other side of Radio City Music Hall. Reportedly Scott is not worried about a fight breaking out with Minaj; rather, he doesn’t think the artist with the #1 album should have to sit behind the artist at #2. Too bad — the cutaway shots tonight could have been pretty good!