Nicki Minaj broke her Twitter silence on Tuesday when she announced the release of two new singles, “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz.” The songs, which dropped today, are ostensibly culled from Minaj’s long-awaited fourth album, her first since 2014’s The Pinkprint.
The title for the catchy “Chun-Li” is a reference to the first female fighter in the Street Fighter video-game series. Minaj, who dons hair buns on the single’s cover similar to the martial arts character, is no stranger to using alter egos in her music: From Harajuku Barbie to Roman Zolanski, she’s adopted more than a dozen rap aliases over the years. The track itself finds Minaj boasting in usual form over a midtempo beat and catchy synth loop before concluding with a melodic hook. “Barbie Tingz” is a more explicit, if less immediate, diss track aimed at Minaj’s female competition accompanied by a succession of old-school beats: “When it come to stealing flows these birds is fluent/But they stutter when get asked ’bout the queen’s influence.”
Hip-hop’s reigning queen released three singles on the same day more than a year ago, but no album materialized and it’s unclear if those tracks will appear on Minaj’s forthcoming release. Scuttlebutt has it that Minaj postponed the release of “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tings” to avoid stepping on Bronx rapper Cardi B’s coming-out party, but with the rap neophyte’s Invasion of Privacy poised to debut at #1 next week, it’s unlikely she’ll want to leave her throne vacated for much longer.
Watch the music video for “Chun-Li” here:
Watch the video for “Barbie Tingz” here:
As if that weren’t enough new Nicki for one day, the rapper is featured on Young Thug’s new track, “Anybody,” also out today.