Nicki Minaj makes her highly anticipated return with the release of her fourth album Queen.
The 19 track album from the Trinidadian-American rapper is hip-hop focused and signals a determination from the artist to maintain her reign as a leading voice in female rap.
Nicki opens the album in her usual style with an emotional and honest track that reveals the trials and tribulations she has experienced since her last release. “Ganja Burns” is a slow song with both vocals and rap verses from the MC who reveals her state of mind over the past four years and details the reasoning behind her recent social media hiatus.
The project continues with tracks that showcase the artist’s ability to ride a variety of beats and experiment with different genres. Nicki avoids pop and dance tracks for the first time on this album and instead switches between Hip-Hop and R&B throughout the project. Songs like “Good Form” and “LLC” are punchline and bar focused whilst “Run and Hide” and “Come See About Me” are vocal lead ballads.
Queen houses guest appearances from Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Future, Swae Lee and Foxy Brown. Nicki and Foxy embrace their Caribbean heritage on the track “Coco Chanel” that samples old-school dancehall riddims and offers braggadocious verses from both rappers. “Majesty” features UK singer and producer Labrinth as well as hip-hop legend Eminem. Nicki and Eminem aim to outdo each other with their fiery verses on this track whilst Labrinth offers a short chorus.
Nicki premiered the album on her new Apple Music Beats 1 Radio show, Queen Radio and “Barbie Dreams” was a clear fan favourite. Nicki samples The Notorious B.I.G’s classic track “Dreams (Just Playing)” and adds her own contemporary twist by playfully calling out a few of her male hip-hop counterparts including 50 Cent, Lil Uzi Vert, DJ Khaled, Drake, Young Thug and her ex-boyfriend Meek Mill. OG Nicki fans will be reminded of her track “Dreams ‘07” off her first mixtape Playtime is Over released in 2007 where she remixed the iconic track.
The release of Queen comes after a series of release date pushbacks and follows her 2014 album, The Pinkprint which showed a vulnerable side of the artist and explored her recent relationship breakup.
Listen to Nicki’s fourth album Queen on Spotify and Apple Music below.