Nicki Minaj is back, bitches.
With her usual flair, Minaj proved without a doubt that she is still the undisputed queen of #TheKingdom by dropping the much-anticipated visuals for two 2018 singles, “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz.” A far cry from the formulaic, warehouse-style visual for “Only,” Minaj dipped back into her “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” era of slick, colorful wigs and references to remind fans that she still is the OG “Black Barbie.”
As much as I loved her departure from voice distortions, alter ego cameos, and over-the-top deliveries within the 16 tracks of “The Pinkprint,” I’m relieved that Minaj now feels confident enough with her discography to return to her roots. Criticized for not being “real” enough in her raps, Minaj hanging up the wigs and adding heartfelt bars while still spitting venom was a symbolic and necessary change that the #Barbz needed back in 2016. With her untouchable status as the undisputed princess of Cash Money Records, Minaj used the visuals for “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz” to prove that she can put on ANY persona and still deliver the same icy flow.
— Chun-Li (@NICKIMINAJ) May 4, 2018
Nicki Minaj’s “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz” music videos are fire
The futuristic, Steven Klein-directed video for “Chun-Li” is unlike anything Minaj has put out before. Aside from the haunting opening in which the rapper puts copycats on blast for trying to snag her “strategically planned architecture that only SHE has the pinkprint to,” the visual is too fast-paced to digest in one watch. From striking down enemies while speeding through a neon-backlit city to flexing in diamonds, there’s no question about who is still at the top of the game when the video fades to black.
In “Barbie Tingz,” Minaj gives herself the freedom to be much more playful, spitting venom on her haters while dressed in brightly colored latex and a matching wig. Directed by Giovanni Bianco, the visual is entertaining if a bit reliant on the tried-and-true tropes of hip-hop music videos, such as a team of backup dancers present in almost every frame to back up Minaj’s bars.
Watch the videos for “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz” below to see Minaj’s triumphant return for yourself. Even though the veteran rapper took a break from both the spotlight and social media, it’s clear that she’s not giving up her throne anytime soon.