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Nicki Minaj Chun Li

How Nicki Minaj Blamed Travis Scott and Spotify for Queen Album Sales and Got Harriet Tubman Trending

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Industry | August 20, 2018 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Industry | August 20, 2018 |

Nicki Minaj Chun Li

Nicki Minaj released her new album, Queen, to decent reviews. Some called it a return to her peak and it’s currently sitting at 70 on Metacritic. Minaj has sold 20 million singles as a lead artist, 60 million singles as a featured artist, and over five million albums worldwide. She is an undisputed success. So, why the hell is she doing crap like this?! The whole point in getting famous is that you don’t have to sink to this level of petty. Has Beyoncé taught us nothing?!

On Sunday, Minaj went full conspiracy theorist in her attempt to explain why Queen debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 2. The top spot was held by Astroworld, the latest album by Travis Scott that’s garnering amazing reviews and talk of it being the album of the year. Minaj claimed that Scott had swindled her out of the number 1 spot by having his album bundled in with concert ticket deals. Keep in mind that Minaj did the same thing.

She also claimed Scott unfairly benefitted from the social media promotion his partner, Kylie Jenner, offered. Said promotion mostly seems to be her wishing Scott well and being excited to go on tour with him and their baby daughter. Oh, and that’s also something Minaj claimed was part of the swindle. The Kardashian-Jenners are calculating, but not ‘offer up-close access to my baby daughter by buying concert tickets’ calculating. Besides, I’m not sure Scott’s fans care all that much about seeing an admittedly adorable baby.

Minaj also claimed that Spotify were punishing her for doing work with Apple Music over them.

Minaj also claimed this was all just sarcasm.

And then there’s this.


Oh yeah, then she brings Harriet Tubman into this.

I’m not sure where to even begin, so let’s just deal with the obvious part: Nicki Minaj doesn’t like criticism and it makes her a bit conspiratorial. It’s astounding that any artist can sell close to 200k albums in a week these days given the proliferation of streaming and Minaj has consistently been a big seller despite that. Indeed, her sales are her biggest defence when it comes to beef. When Remy Ma went after her in a glorious diss track, she made a point of telling Minaj that she couldn’t hide behind big sales when she had little else to back them up with. So, if you sell yourself on your indomitable might as a number 1 artist and you don’t get number 1 in that opening week, I can see why that would upset you.

But Minaj also has a history of, frankly, going after people on social media and encouraging harassment of them. We saw that in July when she went after a fan whose criticism was so ridiculously mild. Her very zealous fan base quickly jumped on this woman who hadn’t done anything wrong. Nicki Minaj doesn’t need to pull crap like this. She can’t keep accusing people of using the same tactics she does, including using merchandise bundles to sell sales and adding a collaboration with 6ix9ine onto Queen after it debuted because sales were strong. Oh yeah, and 6ix9ine pleaded guilty to use of a child in a sexual performance in 2015.

Variety reported that a Spotify spokesperson responded to Minaj’s claims:

‘Spotify supported Nicki Minaj with a Times Square billboard, a host of the largest playlists, New Music Friday and the new music release shelf. Her song ‘Bed’ actually saw an increase based on the promotions put behind the campaign. The company continues to be big fans of Nicki.’

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Kayleigh is a features writer for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to her podcast, The Hollywood Read.

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