The American-Trinidadian rapper better known as Nicki Minaj, real name Onika Maraj, has just dropped her latest lyrical bombshell on the music world in the form of her latest album entitled Queen according to Pitchfork. The album went live earlier today and has been setting the internet alight with reviews and track commentary from fans to fellow performers within the industry.
The cover art for the new release is as provocative as the rapper herself, featuring Nicki Minaj set against a sunburst orange and yellow background wearing very little indeed. An ancient Egyptian-inspired head-dress made from what appears to be brass blends with intricate beadwork adorns her head as she looks off into the distance pensively with eyes wide open. Deep purple and azure eyeshadow with stark black eyeliner accentuates the smoky look, as does her luxurious and alluring pose, most of her body unadorned by even the slightest scrap of clothing. Rings, an anklet, and a metal belt complete the ensemble, with the album title Queen taking on the upper right corner, stylized in shiny gold lettering.
Minaj posted the debut news on her Instagram profile to great acclaim while going through the album one track at a time, live, on Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio stream according to CNN. The hit singles that have previously been released and have taken over the traditional airwaves in addition to Spotify and iTunes playlists such as “Chun-Li” and “Bed” — the latter a collaboration with the very talented and very popular Ariana Grande — are joined by new tracks.
“Barbie Dreams” may be the most contentious amongst the hitherto unheard singles, paying a distant homage to Notorious B.I.G’s “Just Playing (Dreams)” and also acting as a retuning of an earlier song by simpler name “Dreams” released a decade ago by Nicki Minaj herself. On the track, she disses other music industry icons such as ex-boyfriend Meek Mill, “Hotline Bling” superstar Drake, Young Thug, and even DJ Khaled. The disses may go hard, but Minaj was quick to point out that they were all in good fun as she hosted the Beats 1 livestream of her album.
“You guys know that’s not a diss, right. I love them. I said things about people who can take a joke and not be emotional about it.”
Producers named as having contributed to Queen include Mike Will Made It, Metro Boomin, Murda Beatz, Zaytoven, Boi1da amongst others. It is anticipated that Minaj’s newest recording will do very well given the cache and star power of her name alone, alongside the fact that her last album was released in 2014 — not too soon to sour fans, not too late to lose audience attraction.
Nicki Minaj’s previous album, entitled The Pinkprint went double platinum according to the RIAA and was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 58th Grammy Awards held in 2016.