Nicki Minaj is surprise releasing her new album today, a week before it was scheduled

Nicki Minaj

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Nicki Minaj
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  • Nicki Minaj announced on Thursday that she is releasing her new album, “Queen,” today at noon EST, a week before it was scheduled for release on August 17.
  • Minaj’s album faced several delays this year.

Nicki Minaj announced on Apple Music’s Beats 1 Radio on Thursday that she is surprise releasing her new album, “Queen,” today at noon EST (9 a.m PST), a week before it was scheduled for release on August 17.

The album has faced several delays this year. Most recently, it was pushed back a week from August 10 to August 17 over a sample clearance for a Tracy Chapman song.

Earlier this month, Minaj wrote in a since-deleted tweet directed at Chapman, “Tracy Chapman, can you please hit me,” regarding the sample’s clearance.

“So there’s a record on #Queen that features 1of the greatest rappers of all time. Had no clue it sampled the legend #TracyChapman – do I keep my date & lose the record? Or do I lose the record & keep my date? ‍do we push #Queen back 1week? Ugh! I’m torn, y’all help,” Minaj wrote on August 1, in another deleted tweet.

Minaj also asked her fans to vote in a Twitter poll whether to lose the song that sampled Chapman or to push the album back one week, to August 17, and keep the song. It is unclear if the Chapman-sampled song will appear on the LP now that it drops August 10.

When Minaj took to her Beats 1 Radio show, “Queen Radio,” on Thursday night to announce that she had moved up the release of “Queen,” she said, according to Pitchfork, “I was gonna play the album right now but someone f—ed up. It’s a lot of corporate drama in here.”

Minaj’s “surprise” release date follows a years-long trend of artists trying to catch listeners off-guard with the release of their albums, a shift from the previous model of set release dates anticipated by a string of single releases.

In June, Beyoncé and Jay-Z dropped their joint album, “Everything Is Love,” as a true surprise release without any promotional singles, following in the path of Beyoncé’s surprise releasing of her solo albums “Beyoncé” in 2013 and “Lemonade” in 2016.

Minaj’s “Queen,” her fourth studio album and first release since 2014’s “The Pinkprint,” has been preceeded by two singles, “Chun-Li” and “Bed,” featuring Ariana Grande.