Nicki Minaj, the world’s best-selling female rapper, released her fourth studio album, Queen, in early August, and if you’ve been a Nicki Minaj fan since her mixtape days, you’ll be happy to hear, She’s focused man. Minaj’s signature heavy bar spitting sound has returned! Minaj’s innovative and energetic sound and word play, as well as her vocal abilities infused with her Caribbean influenced culture, are showcased on this nineteen-track album. The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Future, Lil Wayne, Swae Lee, Eminem, and the 90s Brooklyn Don Diva herself, Ms. Foxy Brown, all appear on this daring and creatively free record. Minaj also teamed up with some of the industry’s best producers, like Mike Will Made It, Boi-1da, Supa Dups, J. Reid, and others, to create one of her best albums yet.
Prior to the release of Queen, Minaj released two singles in early April, dubbed “Barbie Tingz” and “Chun-Li,” to let her fans know she was working on new music since her last album, “The Pinkprint,” was published in 2014. “Barbie Tingz” is a bonus track on the album, while “Chun-Li” is the lead single, reaching number ten on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number six on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart.
The album begins with “Ganja Burn,” a reggae-inspired vocal pop song that sets the tone for pop and R&B, making it an atypical beginning for a conventional rap album. She then changed things up with the album’s second single, “Majesty,” which featured unusual vocals from British singer and producer Labrinth as well as a memorable rap feature from Eminem, the rap God himself. Minaj then added some levity to the album with the third track, “Barbie Dreams,” which samples the 1994 hit song “Just Playing (Dreams)” by another New York rapper, the late great Notorious B.I.G.
On her rendition of “Barbie Dreams,” Minaj adds her own twist and perspective, sexually mocking male musicians in the industry, whereas B.I.G’s version rapped about his sexual aspirations for the leading ladies of the moment. Despite the fact that many of Minaj’s jokes appeared to be cruel, she said that it was all in good fun and not to be taken seriously.
The album continues with a steady stream of top-charting hip hop, reggae, pop, and R&B beats backed by her lyrical hard-hitting raps. “You’re in the middle of Queen right now, thinkin’ / I understand why she called this sh*t Queen / This b*tch is actually the f*cking Queen,” Minaj says midway through the album, and my response is, yep, Nicki. How did you figure that out?
Nicki Minaj has received a lot of criticism for her album. Many bloggers believe there is a fine line between boldly showcasing your utmost rap rhyme talent potential and rhyming for attention out of desperation, and Minaj seems to have passed it.
As if you don’t already have to spend so much time and effort convincing everyone that you are the queen. Overall, Queen made it sound as if Minaj was on a mission to prove something, yet she has already cemented her place in the rap game. However, this does not rule out the possibility of more than one Queen in the sector.