It’s been more than three years since Nicki Minaj released a full-length album. Since dropping 2014’s The Pinkprint, a lot of female rappers have sought to claim the throne that Minaj's ample backside comfortably sat in with no challengers in sight: Rapsody, Cardi B and her arch nemesis Remy Ma are among the names that have stepped up to stake their claim as the best in the game during Minaj’s absence. But on June 15, Minaj will make her much-anticipated return to take back the crown.
After taking some time off to do a little acting (2014’s The Other Woman and 2016’s Barbershop: The Next Cut), a little touring (2015’s The Pinkprint Tour), a little loving (relationships with Safaree and Meek Mill) and a little feuding (her much-publicized drama with Remy Ma and a brief rift with Miley Cyrus), Onika Tanya Maraj is ready to reclaim what she believes that she never lost -- with an appropriately titled LP, Queen.
Minaj announced her forthcoming album and its June 15th release date while walking the red carpet at this year's Met Gala, a few weeks after buzzing her competition on April 12th by dropping a pair of braggadocious singles with “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz.” But what should we expect from her latest outing? We'll find out next month, but for now here’s what we’d like to hear when Queen finally drops.
Look, there’s nothing wrong with singing and Minaj actually fares quite well when she puts her vocal chops to work. However, with so many rappers gunning for her crown, the Young Money artist needs to put her best foot forward when it comes to spitting rhymes. She’s demonstrated on numerous occasions that her lyrical prowess is to be respected and now is not the time for her to ease off the gas and allow her competition to pass her up.
Calling Out Names
Nicki Minaj has been tied to beefs that the world is well aware of (Remy Ma) and beefs that people are assuming she’s embroiled in (Cardi B). One way or another, Nicki needs to tackle these feuds head-on. There’s no need for her to throw subliminal jabs at Remy Ma when Remy made it clear who she was taking aim at. If there’s no beef with Cardi B, let’s put it to rest. Remy Ma’s “Shether” still stings so it would be appropriate for Minaj to fire back something that has a little more lyrical blunt force trauma than “No Frauds.” But, let’s be clear, this doesn’t need to be an all-out assault on every woman in Hip-Hop, which leads us to the next things we’d like to see…
A Song With Cardi B, Rapsody and Young M.A.
Yeah, we know this is a long shot, but wouldn’t it be dope to get a little U.N.I.T.Y. on a song? The media is quick to put all female rappers against one another, and it’s pretty unfair. Of course, the Remy Ma beef is real, but why not bring together some of the top rapper chicks together for a song just to prove that Nicki is above the nonsense?
The Obligatory Song With Drake & Lil Wayne
You can’t have a Nicki Minaj album without a song featuring her brothers at Young Money, can you? The Pinkprint gave us "Truffle Butter" and "Only," which were both certified bangers. It only makes sense for this trio to reunite and deliver yet another wicked collaboration. “No Frauds” was cool, but we’ve come to expect greatness from these three.
A Song With Lauryn Hill
Back in 2016, Nicki Minaj met Lauryn Hill backstage at JAY-Z & Beyonce's Tidal X charity concert. Minaj immediately hit her knees and shed a few tears upon meeting the woman who took the world by storm with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill nearly two decades ago. As mentioned earlier, Minaj certainly needs to draw the line in the sand with Remy Ma, but should also be at the forefront of bringing women in hip-hop together. L-Boogie is a name that can’t be shared with other people, and it would be great to see the rap game’s current reigning queen alongside one who paved the way for her nearly 20 years to the date that Ms. Hill dropped her now-iconic solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. We don’t know what the hell it would sound like, but with two of hip-hops strongest forces coming together, it'd surely be a collaboration for the history books.