Nicki Minaj: Not A Queen Anymore

Mystika Allison-Barnes, Opinion Editor

You can’t argue against it.  Nicki Minaj has been the undisputed queen of hip hop since the release of her debut studio album “Pink Friday”.  With her aggressive, witty, clever and sometimes relatable bars, completely over the top outfits and hairstyles and a larger than life personality and ego, we’ve all found something to love about Nicki.  Unfortunately, at least for me, the love is gone.

“Queen” was highly anticipated, as it came at a time when hip hop seemed to be filled with talented, new female emcees.  The hip hop community was anxious to hear how Nicki would react to all the new competition.  The pressure proved too much for her to handle, as this album is the worst project she’s ever released.  And she had the nerve to title it “Queen”.

Let’s start at the beginning.  “Ganja Burn” has a nice vibe but it’s uneventful.  “Majesty” just doesn’t work.  Nicki’s verses were okay but the chorus, sung by Labrinth, didn’t match the rest of the song at all and even the “Rap God” himself, Eminem, struggled to hold it together with the beginning and end of his verse.  Now there was a shining light with the celebrity roast session that was “Barbie Dreams”.  It was her fun yet ingenious lyricism that made me laugh and nod with respect at the same time.

The album flatlines with the next five songs.  Either they were bad songs or they were decent songs that got completely ruined by their excessive length.  She ends the actual songs and then kills time by adding random noise.  At the end of “Rich Sex”, she “laughs “, sounding like a toddler having a tantrum while simultaneously being strangled.  But that was nothing compared to the abomination of a song “Chun Swae”.  Swae Lee’s whole contribution sounds like that infamously bad part in Future’s “King’s Dead” verse, not to mention Nicki’s annoying voice and cadence.   It just might be the worst song I’ve ever heard.  I’d rather listen to “Gucci Gang” for an hour than listen to that again.

However, when you hit rock bottom, the only way you can go is up.  “Chun Li” was a definite crowd pleaser, “LLC” had some good punchlines, “Good Form” displayed Nicki’s wordplay, and even though it would’ve better fit an actual R&B artist like Beyoncé or Rihanna, “Nip Tuck” was still decent.

The remaining songs should’ve never seen the light of day.  I was excited for the collaboration on “Coco Chanel”. We’d have old school Foxy Brown meeting new school Nicki Minaj, playing off of each other’s strengths while showcasing their chemistry from their shared backgrounds and stories. I was extremely wrong.  Instead of hip hop gold, Nicki gave us basic bars and boring flow.  With all due respect for the trailblazer she was for women in hip hop, Foxy Brown’s verse made it perfectly clear why we haven’t missed her music at all and proved that she has absolutely no place in today’s rap scene.

This album was overall trash.  Now I know that might seem harsh, but you have to understand, when somebody constantly says they’re the best in the game and then names their album “Queen”, they have to expect listeners to hold them to those claims.  This album was not “queen” status.

If the sound wasn’t enough of a turn off, it was the lyrics.  She didn’t try hard enough.  I don’t care how big of a “Barb” you are, you have to acknowledge the fact that Nicki recycles her bars way too much.  If I hear her call herself Chun Li one more time or that women are copying her hairstyles or that she’s a “Barbie”, I’m going to scream.

I’m being completely honest when I tell you that my favorite part of this album was when it ended.  Nicki got too comfortable at the top spot because there was nobody to challenge her.  But as stated before, there’s been a change in the hip hop climate.   With all these other female powerhouses taking over the game, Queen Nicki has officially been dethroned.