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Kylie Jenner has had an eventful 2018 so far. Between running a makeup empire that’s worth close to a billion dollars, the arrival of her baby girl Stormi Webster with Travis Scott in February and maintaining her very lucrative social media presence; Jenner also managed to thwart Nicki Minaj from getting a #1 album in Billboard. I know what you’re probably thinking, how could a person with no known singing ability (Kris Jenner would’ve let us know by now) or album of her own currently on the charts stop the “Chun Li” rapper from breaking records with her fourth album Queen? Well Minaj took to Twitter to vent her frustrations on Jenner’s social media tactics to keep her bae Travis’s album at the number one spot for a second week in a row:

“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. I’m actually laughing. #Queen broke the record of being number 1 in 86 countries. Thank Jesus & thank you to my fans.” Scott has been selling tour and merch bundles with his latest album Astroworld and while Nicki has been using the same strategy, she pointed out that selling tactic was one of the reasons why she didn’t land that coveted U.S. spot. Travis has consistently dropped commercially and critically acclaimed albums over the past three years. In 2015 his debut album Rodeo took the #3 spot on the Billboard 200 charts with 85,000 equivalent album units (70,000 in pure album sales). The “Stop Trying To Be God” rapper earned his first number one album with his sophomore effort Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight and his latest album Astroworld has reached insane heights. Within this streaming climate 80k-150k is respectable album sales; so when Travis made the second largest debut of 2018 with 537,000 equivalent album units (270,000 in pure album sales) credit has to be given to the artist and his very devoted fan base. Astroworld established Travis Scott status as a mainstream artist and Billboard contender which means Minaj has some real competition.

It’s been a strange time being a Nicki fan because there’s so much division on the opinions of the Queen of Rap. It seems like people are either warrior barbz, fighting any soul that says anything slightly bad about Minaj or an exhausted casual listener that’s over hearing about an artist that always seems to be on defense mode. In Minaj’s defense I can understand wanting respect for continuing to break records and be an exciting voice in this often doppelganger music world but the “Barbie Dreams” mogul can never let the music or accolades speak for themself. Queen has received generally positive reviews and despite a messy Apple Music rollout, the album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 charts with 185,000 album equivalent sales. While those opening sales are slightly lower than the 244,000 units her third album The Pinkprint received; blaming other artists, streaming services and the gatekeepers of the industry doesn’t do anything but make the general public question why isone of the biggest selling artists in the world tight about a Billboard spot? Minaj’s album went #1 in 86 countries. The debut of her Beats 1 show Queen Radio was the most streamed show in Apple Music history. Even though rap is the biggest genre in the world, people truly in the culture know that Billboard charts don’t always illustrate what’s actually relevant within in the genre or in the streets.

Nicki Minaj has so much to celebrate and while it’s important to stand up for your work and remind people of the years of sacrifice and hard work it took to make it to the top; after you reach a certain pinnacle of success what’s known doesn’t need to be explained. Beyonce didn’t have to call herself the Queen to gain that title. Her years in the industry gaining success and topping her own achievements and artistry with every new album gave her that title and she humbly accepted it. Queens and Kings can’t reign forever and sooner or later Minaj will have to bestow her crown onto the head of another woman who looked at the blueprint Minaj helped create and watch a new queen thrive and that process will continue until the end of time. Nicki’s reign is far from over but I think it’s time for the Queen to switch up her strategy and let the music speak for itself. The legacy has already been written but time will tell how Minaj ends her time on top.

Article By: Marcel “The Messenger” Jeremiah

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