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Nicki Minaj’s new album, Queen, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard charts, and she is beyond pissed about it. That’s because Travis Scott’s Astroworld came in at No. 1 for the second-straight week—which means he’s in the top spot, and she’s not.
Minaj knows exactly who to blame: Scott and his girlfriend, Kylie Jenner. According to Minaj, Jenner is promoting Scott’s tour/album package on Instagram, and thus, his increased album sales should be shown with an asterisk. In her mind, Scott’s decision to sell tickets to his tour that also include the Astroworld album (and perhaps a peek at the child he has with Jenner) gave him an unfair boost in his sales numbers—a boost Minaj did not get to experience.
I put my blood sweat & tears in writing a dope album only for Travis Scott to have Kylie Jenner post a tour pass telling ppl to come see her & Stormi. lol. Im actually laughing. #Queen broke the record of being number 1 in 86 countries. Thank Jesus & thank you to my fans.— QUEEN (@NICKIMINAJ) August 19, 2018
(For the record, it doesn’t sound like she’s laughing.)
Travis sold over 50K of these. With no requirement of redeeming the album! With no dates for a tour, etc. I spoke to him. He knows he doesn’t have the #1 album this week. I love my fans for the #1 album in AMERICA! I’ll explain on #QueenRadio 4 albums in, #1 in 86 countries ♥️ pic.twitter.com/CiYEuczgm3— QUEEN (@NICKIMINAJ) August 19, 2018
That’s the package that has made Minaj so upset, especially since Jenner promoted it to her 113 million Instagram followers.
Minaj also blamed Spotify for punishing her because she played Queen too early on her Apple Music-affiliated radio show. She wrote on Twitter that Spotify “told me they’d have to teach me a lesson for playing my music 10 mins early on #QueenRadio.” In effect, she said Spotify is punishing her.
Spotify put drake’s face on every playlist but told me they’d have to teach me a lesson for playing my music 10 mins early on #QueenRadio. Even tho they’ve been giving away my music for free for years & I am one of the top Spotify artists of all time.— QUEEN (@NICKIMINAJ) August 19, 2018
Spotify had to teach me a lesson but rewarded the man who has had an Apple radio show the longest; inadvertently helping the Apple platform the most. Oh I can’t wait for #QueenRadio on Tuesday. They took away my promotion they had promised for the 1st cpl days b/c of this. #Queen— QUEEN (@NICKIMINAJ) August 19, 2018
My music went up on Apple so I played it. I assumed it was on Spotify & Tidal at the same time. Spotify said that Apple tweeted fans advising #Queen was up & therefore they had to teach me a lesson. But PRAISE BE TO GOD!!!!!!— QUEEN (@NICKIMINAJ) August 19, 2018
My label didn’t want to defend me for fear of Spotify trying to teach Ariana a “lesson” too! https://t.co/1dAdbcbWVd— QUEEN (@NICKIMINAJ) August 19, 2018
Do you know how many women get systematically blackballed out of their positions in an office building & can’t fight back?????— QUEEN (@NICKIMINAJ) August 19, 2018
Two hours after that last tweet, though, Minaj said she was joking.
People are calling me thinking I’m huffing & puffing. Omg y’all this is sarcasm/dry humor. Yikes. I’m having the most iconNIC time. Come let me kiss you. 😩😘😘😘 Who’s coming to the secret show? When people call me & hear me crackin up laughing they seem so puzzled. Loosen up 😅— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) August 19, 2018
There’s little doubt, though, that Minaj’s online life has been filled with drama. She’s feuded with her longtime ex, rapper Safaree Samuels, accusing him of stealing her credit card and inflicting emotional and physical abuse on her. She’s feuded with Cardi B and Remy Ma, and she’s not taken kindly to media members who use their platforms to critique her work.
She’s one of the most controversial figures in hip-hop today, and to be frank, that kind of neverending media churn almost assuredly helped boost her own album sales as well.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.