Nicki Minaj is never subtle. It’s her weakness and her strength. She comes in hot and makes no apologies. And that’s very clear in her new music video for “No Frauds,” which features Drake and Lil Wayne.
There is a lot of loud heel-clacking. There are a lot of really chic, extra outfits. (My favorite is either the red latex dress in the club scenes or the sparkly getup complete with a jeweled Cleopatra wig in the scenes where she sits on a bridge). And to top it off, it all takes place in different parts of London, giving off a pretty royal vibe.
The song starts out with Minaj saying, “I am the generous queen,” which is a little reductive, if you ask me. She’s been known to throw quite a bit of shade and to be relentless with her wrath. If she were to take one of those click-bait “Which queen from history are you?” quizzes, I’m guessing she would fall somewhere between Bloody Mary and Marie Antoinette — which is to say, ruthless queen is a more befitting nickname.
That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. And she should feel OK owning it, especially after her widely publicized beef with Remy Ma, which escalated to Minaj releasing a (kind of petty, if you ask me) dis track, and Remy Ma responding with a seven-minute song entirely devoted to railing on Minaj.
It doesn’t seem like Minaj is letting up either. In the song and video, she snickers as she raps, “What type a bum bitch shoot her friend over a rack / What type of mother leave her one son over a stack / Lil Boogie down basic bitch thinkin’ she’s back / back the back/ oh you mean back the wack / ‘back the back’ me and Drizzy laughed at that.” And those are some of the nicer lyrics.
The weirdest part is probably the Ellen DeGeneres references. In the aforementioned beginning monologue, after referencing herself as the generous queen, she dead pans, “Ask Ms. Ellen,” and repeats that in the song. I love a cultural reference, but to drag one of America’s nicest people into your hot take feels a little unnecessary/probably not cleared with DeGeneres herself.
Regardless, the video is pretty and cool. She makes Pap smear jokes, which I’m here for, because we all have to get them, so why not make something of it? And even though she can be mean AF, she’s still a queen.