Editors’ Notes “You were a queen before him. You’ll be a queen after him,” Nicki Minaj tweeted a few months ahead of her fourth studio album, QUEEN. Throughout her meteoric rise and even more impressive reign as one of the most formidable voices in hip-hop, female empowerment remains a constant in Nicki’s messaging. It was a motivating factor in the making of this album, which includes “Barbie Dreams,” a toothy and hilarious flip of The Notorious B.I.G. classic “Just Playing (Dreams),” wherein Nicki upends the concept of predatory masculinity, lining up a gang of her rap contemporaries as potential conquests. Elsewhere, Nicki raises a lighter to her Caribbean roots with “Ganja Burns,” which could work just as well as a dancehall riddim; goes bar for fiery bar—again—with Eminem on “Majesty”; and provides a simple solution for the Barbz dealing with unappreciative partners on “Nip Tuck.” “I think my role is putting out music that makes women feel like they can go from a poor neighborhood to doing records with the greats and being hailed as someone that shifted the culture,” Nicki told Beats 1 host Zane Lowe. “There are songs on the album that I feel women really need right now.”

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