The New Columns

The Return of the Queen

%27Queen%27+Album+Cover%0ANicki+Minaj%0ACR%3A+Cash+Money%0Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FQueen-Nicki-Minaj%2Fdp%2FB07DQ3ZX2L
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The Return of the Queen

'Queen' Album Cover
Nicki Minaj
CR: Cash Money
https://www.amazon.com/Queen-Nicki-Minaj/dp/B07DQ3ZX2L

'Queen' Album Cover Nicki Minaj CR: Cash Money https://www.amazon.com/Queen-Nicki-Minaj/dp/B07DQ3ZX2L

'Queen' Album Cover Nicki Minaj CR: Cash Money https://www.amazon.com/Queen-Nicki-Minaj/dp/B07DQ3ZX2L

'Queen' Album Cover Nicki Minaj CR: Cash Money https://www.amazon.com/Queen-Nicki-Minaj/dp/B07DQ3ZX2L

Dominic Garofalo, Editor

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The wait is over. As promised in my article titled “Queen of Rap” form our May, 2018 edition, I am back to give my full review of Nicki Minaj’s fourth studio album Queen released on August 10, 2018. In my previous article, I spoke about two promotional singles that were released and one song that was leaked: “Chun-Li,” “Barbie Tingz” and “Half Back” (renamed “Hard White”). I previously said that I did not like “Chun-Li” or “Barbie Tingz,” but both have since grown on me. The same goes for the rest of the album: I was not completely impressed in my first few listens, but I grew to love and appreciate the album’s innovation and authenticity. What had originally put me off of the album was complicated, dramatic, and frankly messy release. Pushed back release dates, a complicated first episode of Queen Radio (the highest-listened-to show on Beats-1 Radio) and arguments with Travis $cott over who deserved the number one spot on Billboard created a dramatic environment for the album to be released into.

Disregarding the drama surrounding the album, I believe that Nicki Minaj took many creative risks to compile a true work of art. Songs like “Ganja Burn,” “Thought I Knew You,” “Nip Tuck,” and “Come See About Me” all showed Minaj’s vulnerable side through her emotional vocals,creating songs perfect for a breakup or a good cry. Her pop-oriented songs: “Hard White,” “Bed,” “2 Lit 2 Late Interlude” and “Good Form,” are all great songs to listen if you’re looking for fun music to to listen to. “Hard White” and “Good Form” are more high-energy pop songs which are perfect dance songs, whereas “Bed” is a more relaxing song that is perfect for a relaxing or homework playlist. “2 Lit 2 Late Interlude” is only 55 seconds long, but it is one of my favorite songs from the album and I wish that there was a full version of it released. The song has such a happy beat that is sure to put you in a good mood.

The last ten songs from the album, including features from Eminem, Lil Wayne, Swae Lee (from Rae Sremmurd), Future, and Foxy Brown are all Hip-Hop and Rap oriented songs. Instead of just listing every single song, I will give you the highlights of the must-listen-to’s and the totally-can-skip’s. First off, “Barbie Dreams” is a must listen to. Sampling Notorious B.I.G’s “Just Playing (Dreams),” Nicki Minaj takes the beat and absolutely (jokingly) roasts every rapper she mentions on it. She mentioned many artists, including 50 Cent, Young Thug, Meek Mill (her ex-boyfriend), Drake, Quavo, Lil Uzi, and others. I appreciate Nicki’s loyalty to Hip-Hop and rap rather than converting to trap music which is arguably more popular in this generation. I also love her fast rap at the end of “Barbie Dreams,” as it really displays her versatility, lyricism, and devotion to the craft. This is definitely one song most people know off of the album, yet it still deserves more listens. A song that is way underappreciated is “LLC.” This song has a really interesting beat to it and Minaj is able to keep the listener interested through her multiple flows and perfected lyricism. Even if you are not a fan of Nicki Minaj, it is hard not to appreciate her lyricism and her ease at competing with some of the most dominant men in the genre. “Coco Chanel” featuring Foxy Brown is also an amazing song and oddly the least listened to song on the album. Here, Minaj has taken an eccentric beat and worked her magic on the song. Also, her collaboration with Foxy Brown has continued to disprove the narrative that Minaj does not like to work with any female rappers. One song that I can do without is “Chun Swae” featuring Swae Lee. This song is too long and the lyrics are not as strong as I know they could have been. This may be due to the fact that Minaj actually forgot to write her verses until around fifteen minutes before she had to send in her album to the record label. This song had so much potential and was a huge let-down. Lastly, “Sir” featuring Future was a boring song. It’s hard to get through a full listen of this song and it is just way less interesting than Nicki and Future can be, especially together.

Overall, I believe that this album was a great example of an authentic rapper and it is applaudable that she is still persistent on writing her own raps in a generation of ghostwriters. From the entirety of her discography, this is my second favorite album. The Pinkprint, released back in December of 2014, still reigns as her most perfect and iconic body of work to date. Minaj is set to release a promotional single for her fifth studio album in the late spring, with her fifth studio album soon to follow. Unfortunately, my time at The New Columns is close to an end so I will not be able to keep the readers up to date. Just know that Nicki Minaj is a rap powerhouse and I will always respect her craft to the fullest extent.

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The Return of the Queen