Nicki Minaj sat down with Elliott Wilson Tuesday night for TIDAL’s interview series CRWN, to talk about her fourth album, Queen. The event was live streamed for exclusively for TIDAL subscribers, while lucky NYC-residing fans were able to be in the Queen’s presence and watch the interview go down on the spot. She shared insight about the album, relationships, industry friends and rap beefs. We were among the attendees at last night’s interview, and rounded up 15 things we learned through out the revealing night.
1. Nicki feels this is her BEST album
After taking a break for four years to put out Queen, Nicki feels she embodied her best work for this project. She explained during the interview, how, lyrically, Queen is her best album because she paid more attention and made every lyric, bar and punchline count. “It feels like I gave birth to a baby,” Nicki described passionately while talking with Elliott. She said she feels relieved, and has been in such a better mood since the album dropped.
2. She laid four reference tracks in one day
Nicki had already made it more than clear that she writes her own raps, despite any speculation. When asked about how NYC influences her rhymes, Nicki pointed out that she laid down four reference tracks in one day after returning from Miami. “All of a sudden, I started not having a vibe in Miami. So I came to New York and in one day I laid not the final lyrics but the reference tracks to four songs as soon as I stepped foot in New York.” “Good Form,” “Coco Chanel,” “Miami,” and “Regular Degular” (a song not initially on Queen), are the four songs in question.
3. There will be more songs added to Queen
We’re always ready for more Nicki songs and she assures us that there will be another song added to the Target version of Queen, as well as two of our other favorites. “Regular Degular,” “Barbie Tingz,” and “FEFE” feat. 6ix9ine, are expected to be the three bonus tracks on the album. In fact, “FEFE” was added to the Spotify version of the album earlier today.
4. Nicki wants to update her “Chun Swae” verse across streaming services
With the power of streaming, we’ve been witness to albums rolling out and receiving updates in real time. Nicki revealed last night that she’d like to edit a verse on one of her songs. She engaged with her fans in the crowd to ask if they would allow her to edit her verse on “Chun Swae” featuring Swae Lee. Nicki says the first verse was done in about 15 minutes and she’d like to go back and do it over. “I want to change the verses personally because if you go back and listen to any other record on the album, “Good Form,” “LLC,”, I’m riding that beat crazy. Am I going to get yall blessings to update the verses on ‘Chun Swae’?” We’re looking forward to it!
5. Nicki sets the record straight on Remy Ma beef
When Elliott Wilson asked about the NY MC’s past rap beef with fellow New Yorker Remy Ma, Nicki quickly turned over to say she never engaged in any beef. “I didn’t engage,” as the fans joined along to rap her verse to “Make Love” featuring Gucci Mane.
6. The story behind Nas-featuring “Sorry” record
As fans know, Nicki left off a track with rapper and once-rumoured boyfriend (or else ex-boyfriend) called “Sorry.” Due to the fact that the track had a sample that did not get cleared by Tracy Chapman, Nicki made the decision to leave it off the album as opposed to pushing it back. Nicki discussed the record with Elliott, her choice to leave it off and how her collaboration with Nas came about. “I felt bad because Nas really liked that record too. We just were told that Tracy Chapman doesn’t clear samples like that and no one could really reach her. No one wanted me to push the album back so, I just went ahead without it. I knew that one record would not make or break the project.” She talked about taking his direction when it came to the song concept, and she made it clear that their verses were indeed about each other. “One day he hit me and he was like, ‘I feel like our verses should be about each other,’ and I was like, ‘Duh. Of course’.”
7. Nicki shares details of her Met Gala talk with Cardi B
After alleged tension between Nicki and Cardi was put to rest when a picture surfaced the internet of the two engaged in conversation at the 2018 Met Gala, fans were curious about the interaction. Nicki cleared the air by saying that the two are on good terms. “At the Met Gala, we had a great talk and we promised each other that we weren’t going to feed into bullshit anymore,” she said. Nicki explained that she gave Cardi advice on doing interviews and to be careful. She then explained she hit Cardi later on to let her know she handled a recent interview “like a Queen.”
8. Nicki reveals Jay-Z gave her a compliment on THIS verse
There’s no doubt that Nicki came extremely hard with the bars and punchlines on the entire album. However, she believes her best verse on the album is the second verse on “LLC,” because a special person complimented her on it. Jay-Z listened to “LLC” and gave positive feedback when it came to the second verse of the song specifically– so Nicki actually rewrote the first verse because Jay didn’t comment on that one at all. She said she took that as his way of telling her to come harder.
9. Nicki is talking about one person in particular on two of her more sentimental songs
“Come See About Me” definitely takes the crown for the most emotional song on this album and “Ganja Burn”also has an affectionate twist when it comes to the hook. Fans wondered, though, who Nicki could be talking about in her lyrics. When asked who “Come See About Me” was about, she never revealed the name, but she did indeed confirm the lyrics were meaningful to her, and that they referenced the same person on both mentioned tracks. “I was thinking about the same person when I wrote the hook on ‘Ganja Burn’,” she revealed. She then went in to depth about her thought process during writing, “What I was feeling was like damn, I cut this person out of my life completely but I wonder does he think about me? Would he ever check on me?” Hmmm. Who is she talking about?
10. “Barbie Dreams” could have very well been left off the album
As Nicki continued to elaborate on past relationships, she talked about the head-turning song “Barbie Dreams.” Social media was up in flames when the song first started to circulate, as Nicki referenced and made jokes about numerous male rappers including Meek Mill, Drake, Young Thug and DJ Khaled. Fans loved the song and its controversial lyrics. Nicki however, explained how the song wouldn’t have made the album, had she still been in a relationship. She says she wrote the song while she was indeed taken and had asked her then-rapper boyfriend (the name of whom was not revealed) how he felt about the song at the time. “He gave me two answers. A boyfriend answer and a rapper answer. Because of that, if me and him didn’t break up, we wouldn’t have had “Barbie Dreams” on Queen because I had that much respect for the man I was with.” She then explained though, that she’s very happy she did include it as it is her art and her tribute to rap culture.
11. The NICKIHNDRXX tour was a result of genuine friendship
Nicki is going on tour with Future, as she announced before Queen dropped. During CRWN, she dropped some gems about Future and how the tour came about. “When I sit down in a room with him, he and I can talk for hours. He talks to me how he would talk to a guy. When some things didn’t work out how I wanted it to with the tour, I thought about Future.” She said Future was immediately on board, and happy, to do the tour. “He treated me the same way. He never switched up on me.”
12. Nicki says she is judged the most
With her raunchy lyrics and outfits, Nicki never fails to be the talk of the state of women in the media. She is open with her lyrics and her sometimes provocative outfits. With that, she is fully aware of what people say about her and she doesn’t care. “Don’t forget I get held to a higher standard because God forbid I say ‘pussy.’ Only Nicki Minaj talks about sex,” Nicki said last night, in a highly sarcastic voice. This double standard, or rather, higher standard, she said, was confirmed additionally to her by Funk Flex and Jay-Z. “Everyone gets judged less than me.”
13. Nicki explains why “Chun-Li” was chosen as the first single
Continuing to talk about being held to a higher standard, Nicki explained why “Chun-Li” was the first song released off the album. Elliott asked Nicki about the negative opinions surrounding “Chun-Li,” and her decision to release that song instead of “Barbie Dreams” as the first single, which would have elicited a different type of reaction and engagement ahead of the album. “I purposely did it that way. ‘Chun-Li’ set the tone. I don’t think that in an era called ‘Queen’, I need to drop my first record talking about fucking and sucking. I believe that when you can digest the entire body of work and you can hear things like, ‘Ganja Burn’ and ‘Nip-Tuck’, then you can hear ‘Barbie Dreams’.” She continued, “I felt it was my responsibility to not put something that was that raunchy out first.”
14. Nicki explains Foxy Brown collaboration origins
“Coco Chanel” features Foxy Brown, who has been an idol to Nicki since day one. She revealed last night that she attempted to get Foxy on The Pink Print, but knowing that really, it was meant to be on Queen. “She was meant to be on Queen and ‘Coco Chanel’ was meant to be the record that she got on.” She expressed their genuine love for each other. “We fight like sisters. That’s how I know the love is real. I think it’s full circle to finally have her on the album.”
15. Nicki would love to work with Lauryn Hill
When asked by a fan who Nicki hasn’t worked with that she would love to, she said it was Lauryn Hill, without a doubt. “I would do anything to work with her,” Nicki gushed. She told her fans she was too scared to send her any records, however. “I’ve been too scared. I just don’t push things. We’ll know when the time is right.” We’re looking forward to that timing.
Nicki ended the interview with Elliott by embracing her fans and signing autographs, ensuring that all the Barbz left the venue extremely happy.