LAME OR FLAMES…
Nicki Minaj first announced her album Queen at the 2018 Met Gala and confirmed it would be released June 15. It then got delayed until August 10 and then she pushed back the date again to August 17th because of a sample clearing. Luckily Queen was eventually released on August 11, and fans didn’t have to wait for another week.
Nicki said the following about this album:
“I know it’s going to be my best body of work. That’s next on my bucket list – to deliver my fourth album and make sure that it’s a classic hip-hop album that people will never forget.”
So did the album live up to the hype? Yes, it did! Here’s my list from least flames to most flames (excluding interludes). Song info provided by Genius.
Discover the best-ranked songs on other hip-hop albums on our featured article page.
NO. 17 – “Miami”
NO. 16 – “Sir” (Feat. Future)
Future and Nicki are set to go on tour together later this year so it’s only fitting she’d feature him on the album.
NO. 15 – “Coco Chanel” (Feat. Foxy Brown)
Both Nicki and Foxy Brown have fought hard in the male-dominated hip-hop scene. They’re both Trinidadian-Americans from New York, and for the first time ever they’ve teamed up on a song.
NO. 14 – “Majesty”
On Nicki’s “Queen Radio Show” the morning of the albums release she said, “Eminem delivered what will be considered the greatest rap verse of all time” and he spit bars.
NO. 13 – “Chun Swae” (Feat. Swae Lee)
Nicki and Swae Lee take turns asserting their wealth and power. “Chun Swae” takes part of its name from Swae Lee and the other part from Chun-Li, a character from the video game series Street Fighter.
NO. 12 – “Good Form”
A week before Nicki released “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz” she appeared in a Mercedes-Benz commercial, and the hip-hop instrumental used in the commercial was later revealed to be this song.
NO. 11 – “Hard White”
Leaked in April 2018 under the title, “Half Back,” the track was mysteriously made available on a Russian streaming service. The song was renamed and remastered to be featured on the album.
During an interview with Zane Lowe, Nicki was asked about the track, and she stated that it was recorded early 2017 (late February – early March) during Paris Fashion Week, the same time “No Frauds” was recorded debunking the controversy that the song was targeted toward Cardi B.
NO. 10 – “Thought I Knew You” (Feat. The Weeknd)
NO. 9 – “Run & Hide”
Nicki relocates her own relationship struggles, and its hardest habits.
NO. 8 – “LLC”
Nicki plays up with her signature alter ego Roman Zolanski on this track, rapping about the standard she’s set for female rap and her accolades. Referencing Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do”and other popular artists such as Britney Spears, Ariana Grande, and Katy Perry.
NO. 7 – “Nip Tuck”
NO. 6 – “Bed” (Feat. Ariana Grande)
The second single released features longtime friend Ariana Grande, and enters their growing list of collaborations which includes “Bang Bang”, “Get on Your Knees”, “Side to Side” and “The Light Is Coming”, from Ariana’s upcoming album Sweetener.
Thematically, “Bed” is a request for companionship in the narrator’s bed, with lyrics alluding to increasing the sexual intimacy between two people.
NO. 5 – “Rich Sex” (Feat. Lil Wayne)
As Jay-Z put it, “Ain’t no such thing as an ugly billionaire, I’m cute.” The theme of the song insinuates that only wealthy men are good-looking and deserving of sex, relationships, or both with worthy women, and if a woman has sex with a man who’s not making “bands” (thousands of dollars), she’ll be made fun of. This can go both ways, implying that if you’re wealthy, you can’t be ugly.
NO. 4 – “Ganja Burn”
Nicki calls out the competition. She reminds them that they’re nothing. They can never top her successful, long-lasting career. Fans have speculated that much of the lyrics are aimed at Cardi B,
NO. 3 – “Come See About Me”
Nicki opens up about the challenges of preserving a personal life while living in the limelight. She shares the notion that everyone needs to find their own path to success while reflecting on her own dissatisfaction she’s faced at times in her career. Vulnerable, but self-assured, the song is a ballad that sets itself apart from Nicki’s other songs on the album.
NO. 2 – “Chun-Li”
Named after the first female character in the video game series Street Fighter, Nicki Minaj released “Chun-Li” alongside “Barbie Tingz” on April 12, 2018, returning from a 4-month hiatus from social media.
Throughout the song, Nicki compares herself to Chun-Li, a martial artist who seeks revenge for the death of her father, by saying she’s one of the first female rappers to dominate the rap game and still dominates it despite her rivals’ efforts to put her down.
NO. 1 – “Barbie Dreams”
Nicki pays homage to The Notorious B.I.G. delivering her take on the song “Just Playing (Dreams).”
Unlike Biggie, who rapped about his attraction to popular female R&B singers, Nicki decides to roast prominent male artists and athletes. It’s all in good fun, though, as most of the rappers Nicki puts down are friends and collaborators. A few of them are even featured on the album.
The song is not a diss track. Everybody that was mentioned on the song has a dear place in Nicki’s heart.
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