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Nicki Minaj Delays Queen Release to August

In an Instagram livestream this afternoon, Nicki Minaj announced that her forthcoming record Queen will be released August 10, rather than June 15 as she first announced at the Met Gala. A tour is scheduled to begin in September, Minaj said, and will go forward as planned. She also teased the album’s second single (date TBA), a previously announced Apple Music documentary about the album’s creation, and tonight’s release of a new song featuring herself, YG2 Chainz, and Big Sean, which reportedly comes from YG’s upcoming album Stay Dangerous.

“The label wanted me to put my album since 10,000 years ago, of course,” Minaj said. “I love my label, but I’m happy that I’ve always been blessed to have the freedom and creativity to do what I want, how I want it, when I want.” She promised “three surprises happening between June 11 and June 15,” including the reveal of the album cover, shot by fashion photographers Mert and Marcus.

“Trust me, it’s the better choice,” Minaj said of the date adjustment. “I can’t give y’all half-ass shit, I just refuse to.” The delay, she said, resulted from her “perfectionism,” as well as “some other stuff [that] happened with some beats.”

Minaj began the video stream by apologizing for a canceling a Tuesday Ellen taping where she’d originally planned to make announcements, saying she was suffering flu-like symptoms. She also announced plans for a repeat of last year’s graduation-season giveaway, when she offered money for college tuition and student loans to fans via Twitter.

Striking a downcast note about the pressures of fame, Minaj said, “I miss the times where I used to go on Ustream and we would wild out and we would just have fun and it wouldn’t become a news story. It’s hard to have that connection now.”