Now that some time has passed since Nicki Minaj unexpectedly dropped her new album Queen, we thought we’d share some of our favorite verses. Though it was a bumpy ride to the release of the Queens MC’s fourth studio album, Nicki did more than deliver. She owned it, asserting herself once again as one of the most skilled wordsmiths of her time. Now, here are 11 Essential Verses from Nicki Minaj’s Queen.
“Ganja Burns”: I could wage war or I come in peace like Gandhi
All my powers back now I’m scary to zombies
Bring the heat to her, sizzle ’em, ain’t talking Kalonji
On “Ganja Burns”, Nicki calls out the competition, while paying homage to her Caribbean influences and contemporaries, such as reggae musician Sizzla Kalonji.
“Majesty”: Bitches tune switchin’ up
We take ’em to Jiffy now
I’m thicker than peanut butter
He nuttin’ like Skippy now
He want me to be his wife
His misses like sippi now, uh
This is classic Nicki, her wordplay both playful and seductive, you can imagine her spitting this verse and punctuating it with a wink. Not to mention the rapid word fire Eminem uses to follow-up Nicki’s verse, it’s truly exciting to hear two masters at work in “Majesty”.
“Barbie Dreams”: Somebody go and make sure Karrueche okay though
I heard she think I’m tryna give the coochie to Quavo
They always wanna beat it up, goon up the pussy
Man, maybe I should let him autotune up the pussy
I used to give this nigga with a lisp tests and shit
How you want the pu-thy? Can’t say your S’s and shit
Em, cop the Barbie Dreamhouse, then you can play the part
I-I ain’t tryna bust it open in the trailer park
Here, Nicki aims her tongue-in-cheek attitude towards airing out the game’s dirty laundry, all to the backdrop of Biggie’s “Just Playing (Dreams)”. What’s so funny about this track, which has (in our opinion) three of Nicki’s best punch lines from Queen? Some of it feels true. Nicki’s comedy often involves playing with fire, and we are here for it.
“Hard White”: These hoes is on the ‘Gram, Nicki pitchin’ a ki’
‘Bout to cop Neverland, Michael up in the tree
You got bars and still broke? You might as well took a plea, uh
Be in the bando or would you rather move weight, Don Pablo? Uh
Queen of the double entendre, Nicki deals this verse to her Instagram followers who consider her the “key” to their account appeal, in addition to her squandering competition, who deals in grams while she throws kilos. “Hard White” is aggressive and calls on powerful figures such as Pablo Escobar, but Nicki remains on top and in command of them.
“Chun-Li”: How many of them coulda did it with finesse?
Now everybody like, “She really is the best”
You play checkers, couldn’t beat me playin’ chess
Now I’m about to turn around and beat my chest
Though Nicki asserts there isn’t any beef with Cardi B, it’s easy to think otherwise, with so many references laid into Queen. Whether or not this verse is aimed at the “Finesse” rapper, the lines are still powerful, and we can almost imagine Nicki’s renown stank face while saying them.
“LLC”: Pink Friday had Eminem, spit hard but I’m feminine
Iconic trio on Monster, Goblins and Gremlins
What’s left that I didn’t do? You bit the forbidden fruit
You thought you’d get my spot? Who the fuck was kiddin’ you?
You know Nicki gon’ eat, Bon Appétit
Used to get real hype off a half a mil’
Used to get real high off a half a pill
We don’t pay niggas to front like they like my shit
We don’t pay niggas to come in and write my shit (uh)
The tone throughout most of Queen hinges upon paying respect to her worthy contemporaries, while asserting her right to be amongst them. Nicki also wants to make it clear: she is the premier female rapper, she has earned the right to be cast with those she reveres (Em, Jay Z, Kanye), and you were foolish to believe otherwise.
“Sir” feat. Future: He said, “You bad, Nicki,” I said, “Thanks, sir.”
Stay in some fresh prints, Ashley Banks, sir
Call me A.I., sir, I’m The Answer
I’m in the playoffs, sir, I advance, sir
These niggas broke, they ain’t got no plans, sir
I call ’em Sway, they ain’t got the answer
Kanye did it first, referencing his own antics in his latest project, Ye. But coming from Nicki, a career-long friend, the punch is sharp and full of wit. Not to mention the delicious reference to Fresh Prince’s Ashley Banks and her fresh prints, bold and commandeering like the Queen herself.
“FEFE”: He-he tryna 69 like Tekashi, call him papi, word to A$AP
Keep me Rocky, I’m from New York, so I’m cocky
Say he fuckin’ with my posse, copped me Khloé like Kardashi’
Keep this pussy in Versace, said I’m pretty like Tinashe
To wrap up an album filled with swinging fists, Nicki decides to throw some love to a few in her circle, including Tinashe who opened up for The Pinkprint Tour. “FEFE”, added to Queen a little after the fact, lends a soft-ish side of Nicki, but make no mistake: “(she) don’t really want no friends”.