Queen is Nicki Minaj’s fourth studio album after a 4 year long hiatus from its predecessor The Pinkprint. The rapper has had to prove herself in the wake of the rise of female hip hop in 2018
Nicki has been running the monopoly on female MC’s for nearly a decade as the reigning MC’s Eve, Lil Kim, Foxy, Missy Elliot, Lauryn Hill had all taken a step back from the spotlight. For the longest time, she has had no competition
Things started to shift when rap talents came up, from Rapsody’s debut that gained critical acclaim for its lyricism to the Cardi B’s buoyant chart-topping Invasion of Privacy. Nicki’s mean girl persona also did not in the least help and Remy’s Shether definitely left a scorch.
Queen might be Nicki’s last shot to maintain relevancy in a changing hip-hop landscape. Unfortunately, her big master plan seems to be DO WHAT I ALWAYS DO ON EVERY ALBUM. I already know to expect her cringe-worthy singing that nobody ever asks for, something about her sons and writing her own shit, a dash of kindergarten rhyming, wordplay with swish, barbie and her pussy.
Queen comprises a bloated 19 tracks peppered with appearances from Eminem, Labrinth, Lil Wayne, Ariana Grande, Swae Lee, The Weekend, Future and Foxy Brown. The production is almost all stellar though.
Thankfully, all the mediocre songs she released in 2017 (No Frauds, Changed it, Regret In Your Tears, She For Keeps) and recently Barbie Tingz & Fefe did not make the album. Although bloated, the project has some strong points.
Barbie Dreams is the project’s winner. Biting off Notorious B.I.G & Lil Kim (and she still will not acknowledge Lil Kim as an influence), Nicki flexes her nutty wordplay and calls out a couple of rappers; Had to cancel DJ Khaled, boy, we ain’t speaking/Ain’t no fat nigga telling me what he ain’t eatin
Nicki and Foxy go bar to bar in Coco Chanel, punctuating with some Spanish and classic New York gruff style, automatically making it one of the hardest tracks on the album.
Majesty is a decent listen with Eminem taking over and carrying the song (I wish he kept that same energy on his album). Despite Nicki’s cringe-worthy bars that reek of homophobia; They switching like sissies now/You n—-s is iffy now. It is reminiscent of a Twenty One Pilots ripoff..
We all would have been better off without her interlude midway the Chun Swae track; You’re in the middle of Queen right now, thinking, ‘I see why she call this shit Queen’, Minaj boasts at the end of the six-minute track. A better question is: Who green-lit this self-indulgent mess?
Some other stuff we would have done without were all the damn fillers, too many skippable tracks. Had this been cut down to 10 tracks then it would lived up to the hype that she created around this era deeming it a classic.
Oh well, better luck next time…
Notable favorites; Barbie Dreams, Rich Sex, Thought I Knew You, Coco Chanel
Overall Rating; 6.5/10