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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Nicki Minaj pushes the release of her new album to—well, now

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Music writers everywhere are clearing their calendars, as Nicki Minaj, as has become customary for many hip-hop and pop artists in the post-iTunes era, surprised the world today by releasing her new album Queen a week early. (Whether it’s truly unexpected if you expect something to happen remains an open question.)

Minaj previously said Queen would come out next Friday, August 17, delayed from its original release date over an issue with clearing a Tracy Chapman sample on the album. That’s apparently been cleared up, and Minaj debuted Queen on Beats 1 Radio this morning with commentary on each track. A lot is riding on the record’s reception for the New York rapper, who’s been burning through the good will established by early singles “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz” in recent months with a controversial collaboration with Brooklyn’s 6ix9ine (who’s currently facing charges of assault as well as use of a child in a sexual performance) and an interview with Elle magazine in which Minaj—whose own image is highly sexualized—criticizes young women as “modern-day prostitutes.”


Queen is now available on all your major (and minor—hello, Urban Outfitters) digital music services, which you can find linked here. “Barbie Dreams”—a followup to Notorious B.I.G.’s 1994 song “Just Playing (Dreams),” and its sequel, Lil Kim’s 1996 track “Dreams”—is already attracting attention with a raunchy series of verses talking shit about popular rappers, like this little gem: “I had to cancel DJ Khaled, we ain’t speaking / Ain’t no fat nigga telling me what he ain’t eating.” A track listing for the album is below.

1. Ganja Burns
2. Majesty ft. Eminem & Labrinth
3. Barbie Dreams
4. Rich Sex ft. Lil Wayne
5. Hard White
6. Bed ft. Ariana Grande
7. Thought I Knew You ft. The Weeknd
8. Run & Hide
9. Chun Swae ft. Swae Lee
10. Chun-Li
11. LLC
12. Good Form
13. Nip Tuck
14. 2 Lit 2 Late Interlude
15. Come See About Me
16. Sir ft. Future
17. Miami
18. Coco Chanel ft. Foxy Brown
19. Inspirations Outro