Nicki Minaj has been relatively quiet for 2018. She hadn't tweeted since December of last year, causing her Barbz to speculate she was taking time off to hit the studio. This week, her legion of fans noticed the Pinkprint rapper tweeting and deleting a mysterious countdown, which proved to be a cryptic marketing tactic for her new singles "Barbie Tingz" and "Chun-Li." Minaj is back and her new work is a sign that she doesn't plan on slowing up.
Nicki premiered "Barbie Tingz" and "Chun-Li" in an interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1. In her first interview for the year, Minaj opens up on the process for writing her upcoming album. "It put my focus back on what it needed to be on—the music," she said after addressing her disappearance from social media. She even opened up about being caught in the middle of Meek Mill and Drake's beef. "At the time I did love both of them. I couldn't erase the love I had for my team, but I also couldn't speak out, I couldn't say much." Breaking her silence since Meek's incarceration, she was hesitant to speak on what knew about the case. "The judge in question did everything I asked of her. I can't badmouth her because I met her personally," she said.
She was very brief on the details on the album and secret documentary, but let the public know she began working on the upcoming album since December with some songs dating back as far as a year and half ago.
Listen to the "Barbie Tingz" and "Chun-Li" below.
To be honest, it's a good moment to be a woman in music, but more specifically a woman in hip-hop. With a traditional business model that focuses on one woman at a time, 2018 is proof that as consumers we've outgrown that antiquated system. Minaj's last album, Pinkprint was released in 2014 and the world has changed since then. We're sitting in the midst of an administration where women are constantly rallying for civil liberties and speaking up against the abuse of power in male dominated industries. Music's reckoning is happening considerably slower than the one in Hollywood, but being present and visible is activism in itself. Whether you're a Barb, Bardi Gang member, both, or neither, it's a sign that we can coexist in ways men don't even have to think twice about.
Kristin Corry is a staff writer at Noisey. Follow her on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on Noisey US.