Nicki Minaj’s Queen is being held up over a clearance sample.
According to the rapper, the track features “1 of the greatest rappers of all time,” but she was unaware that it also contains a Tracy Chapman sample. Chapman has yet to clear the song, causing a potential one-week delay in the album’s release.
“So there’s a record on #Queen that features 1of the greatest rappers of all time,” wrote Nicki in a since-deleted tweet. “Had no clue it sampled the legend #TracyChapman – do I keep my date & lose the record? Or do I lose the record & keep my date? 🤦🏽♀️ do we push #Queen back 1week? Ugh! I’m torn, y’all help.”
She also publicly pleaded with Chapman to contact her. “Tracy Chapman, can you please hit me. omg for the love of #Queen,” she asked.
A torn Nicki conducted a poll, asking fans whether she should “Keep date/lose record” or “Keep record/push date1 wk.” “You guys can only imagine how much this means to me,” she said. “It’s such a perfect body of work 🎈love you. Long time.”
Since I may have asked it wrong. 🤭🦄 vote. You guys can only imagine how much this means to me. It’s such a perfect body of work 🎈love you. Long time.
— Chun-Li (@NICKIMINAJ) August 1, 2018
In more deleted tweets, Nicki revealed that the song is very personal. “Y’all gon get mad tea on that song too,” she added. “I’m high key lookin out for y’all chile. It’s sum GOODT TEA TOO. I’d be willing to sacrifice one more week for this tea! But I haven’t decided. Ugh. Love you.”
As of press time, the poll was almost evenly split, with 49 percent voting to keep the Aug. 10 date and 51 percent in favor of pushing it back one week to Aug. 17 in order to keep the Chapman-sampled track.
“This album is so fucking incredible and it’s because I can’t give ya’ll half-ass,” she said at the time. “I refuse to.”
UPDATE: Nicki has officially pushed back her fourth studio album Queen to Aug. 17. She confirmed the new date via her Apple Music Essentials playlist.
“Can’t wait for you guys to hear my 4th album QUEEN ON AUGUST 17!!!!!!!” she wrote, while also hinting at a surprise. “My darlings!!! I have a huge surprise that I can’t share until the day before #Queen drops.”