The Unraveling of Nicki Minaj

Image courtesy of Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Nicki Minaj has become undone. For what was shaping up to be a moment of redemption and clarity for one artist, has quickly become one of the worst album rollouts post-Kanye West’s Make America Great Again album campaign from a few months back.

“As history has shown us time and time again, a monarch’s reign only last but so long.”

For Nicki Minaj, her forth album, Queen was intended to be a watershed moment for one of the most successful artist in recent memory. There was a period in time where Nicki was dominating a landscape where competition was futile. With no worthy challengers to succeed her throne, Nicki Minaj basically stood alone atop of Mount Olympus, enjoying her spoils. There is nothing to discredit Minaj of her victories. She is deserving of it all. It’s not her fault she came in the game where the last inklings of a noteworthy female emcee (insert Missy Elliot) had since but dried up. The playing field was not just even, it was basically child’s play.

Image via BT

As history has shown us time and time again, a monarch’s reign only last but so long. There is only a handful of rappers that can transition and keep up with the times (i.e. JAY-Z), but their dominance would never duplicate, or reach their zenith as it did during their peak era. It’s hard for some artist to come to grips with the people that once championed you, don’t reciprocate the same energy that put you in the position that you’re in now. That’s what Nicki is having a hard time with. She’s trying to rule over a kingdom that is shrinking by the minute. Case in point, she goes to cringe-worthy efforts to remind people of her accomplishments. When she appeared on VH1’s Black Ink Crew: Chicago, she let it be known that her appearance generated the show’s most views since its inception–like, who the hell cares? That aforementioned playing field is no longer wieldy, it’s become apparent that others have invaded her kingdom to dethrone the self-proclaimed Queen.

“There is nothing to discredit Minaj of her victories. She is deserving of it all.”

At the top of the year, Nicki Minaj went on a self-imposed exile. She was no longer on social media, and barely made public appearances. Her presence was still felt through music. Minaj enjoyed a good run hopping on songs from the likes of ASAP Ferg, Yo Gotti, and The Migos. Her exile proved to be the best thing for her during a time when she was engaged in high-profile beefs with Remy Ma and Cardi B. Her songs–even with the assist of her Young Money bredren Lil Wayne and Drake,  could not help her resurgence, if anything, it hindered her. So it was back to the drawing board.

Image via RAZER HARRISON/GETTY IMAGES

“Barbie Tings” and “Chun-Li” was her official return to rap music, it was also what spearheaded her new album rollout. Then came the setbacks. The singles failed to make any impact as previous songs have done for her prior. Queen was originally scheduled for a June 15th release, but was pushed back. Another single, the Lil Wayne- featured “Rich Sex” didn’t even create a dent on the charts. Then it was talk that the new date August 10th, would be pushed back another week due to sample clearances. A day before the new date, it would be announced that Queen would indeed make the August 10th date.

“She’s too big of a star to go on these social media tirades with people that will never see the fraction of money or success she’s had.”

What made Nicki’s exile so great was the fact it made the general public speculate what was next for her? For once in a long time, people were interested in Nicki Minaj the artist again. Then all that went away once Nicki Minaj made an appearance on the Funkmaster Flex. That interview you could see Nicki Minaj self-destruct before our eyes. Her erratic behavior was on full display. During that interview she lashed out on ex-boyfriend Safaree (and his hairline), took to social media to belittle DJ Self, got defensive when talks of ghostwriting was mentioned, and other irrelevant shit. Not before long, her album became an afterthought. The only song trending was “Barbie Dreams”, her remake of Notorious BIG’s “Just Playing (Dreams)”, and that was only because of the rappers mentioned throughout the song. In all fairness, Queen is a solid body of work, but her antics have overshadowed everything she’s built up until this point. In the past two weeks alone, Nicki has compared herself to Harriet Tubman, blamed a 6-month-year old for her album failing to reach #1 on the Billboard 200 charts (Queen reached No. 2 behind Travis Scott’s ASTROWORLD), shaded her own label mate in Drake, pointed the finger at streaming services like Spotify, because she feels they were trying to blackball her.

“What made Nicki’s exile so great was the fact it made the general public speculate what was next for her? For once in a long time, people were interested in Nicki Minaj the artist again.”

At the end of the day, Nicki has to come to terms with what stage her career is in now. It’s becoming a proven fact that Nicki isn’t built for the pressure when she’s tested. Her insecurities, and dare I say, jealousy, has gotten the best of her. She’s too big of a star to go on these social media tirades with people that will never see the fraction of money or success she’s had. It should always be about the music. That’s the way artist bounce back from the bullshit. Take a look at Kanye West during his own self-imposed exile during that Taylor Swift debacle almost 10 years ago. ‘Ye bounced back with one of the greatest albums in hip hop history, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Nicki Minaj is Kanye without the Make America Great Again hat on. This bizarre behavior could prove to be her undoing. She’s an artist desperately trying to reclaim past glory, instead of staying with the tide and let her work be the only valid points she needs to make. Nicki need to get out of her own head. The last couple of weeks has been a PR nightmare. Stop trying to convince people of your greatness, just make music. Once Nicki Minaj figures that out, the end results could read a lot different.
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Curt Williams
Curt Williams

Curt Williams is the creator of Supreme CX Magazine. He is a former Senior Music Editor for SooDetroit Magazine. He hails from Detroit, MI.

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