BERGEN COUNTY, N.J.- A Nicki Minaj post is on a professional sports website. Why? I’ve been saying it for years– Nicki Minaj must be huge sports fan: she includes a sports reference in almost every song and every verse she records. Queen, released at midnight, does not disappoint the sports fan. Minaj does not discriminate: in 13 of the 19 tracks, her lyrics allude to competition and mention a variety of sports (basketball, football, baseball, NASCAR, boxing, and even fencing).
Onika Maraj, Minaj’s real name, is listed as a writer of every track on the album. In all but one, hers is the first name listed. Minaj fans were pleasantly surprised at midnight last night: after an initial delay, the album was not supposed to be released until August 17 (due to clearance issues over a sample of a Tracy Chapman song). Queen is Minaj’s follow up album to 2014’s The Pinkprint.
I hope, one day, I’ll be able to sit with Minaj and talk sports! Someone, help me make that happen! Until then, I’ve listened to her brand-new entire album (while taking notes) and, below, you’ll find all of Minaj’s sports references on Queen.
“Put my blood, sweat, and tears in perfecting my craft. Still every team’s number one pick in the draft. You could bring anybody, weatherman, pick a day: Kobe, KD, Kyrie! Pick a K”
– Track One: “Ganja Burns”
“G-game over, locker room, hit them showers now. I got the trophies and the catalogue”
“Homes runnin’ like Griffey now”
“You ain’t dealin’ with a f*****’ featherweight”
– Track Two: “Majesty” feat. Labrinth & Eminem
“And I would’ve had Odell Beckham banging the cake il I saw him hoppin’ out of cars dancing to Drake”
– Track Three: “Barbie Dreams”
“He say, ‘Baby, everyday we ballin’, I say, ‘Swish, swish'”
– Track Four: “Rich Sex” feat. Lil Wayne
“I run the point, you b****** just go cheer”
“I ain’t ever have to s**** to get the pole position”
– Track Five: “Hard White”
“Yo, he in my startin’ five … I like his hang time, he said his head right”
-Track Six: “Bed”
“Hanging on my necklace, this ain’t no ski resort”
“Running with the marksmen, everything on point like, “En garde!”
“Yeah, it’s the sweep, I ain’t talkin’ when the dust fall. My winnin’ streak still hasn’t peaked, you little dust ball.”
“E-everytime I score she gon’ hear them swishes, ah. Tell that b**** I’m in the league, she still play for Wichita. I p*** hits b****, call me the Swish God. The swish, swish God? Yup, the Swish God”
– Track Nine: “Chun Swae”
“Ayo, look like I’m goin’ for a swim. Dunk on ’em, now I’m swingin’ off the rim. B**** ain’t comin’ off the bench. While I’m comin’ off the court fully drenched. Here, get some haterade, get ya thirst quenched.”
“How many championships? What? Six rings on”
“I’m always in the top s***, box seats, b****, f*** the gossip”
– Track Ten: “Chun Li”
“Put the trophies in my crib like a athlete”
“Now carry on, now carry on. Swish, swish, I’m just gettin’ my Curry on”
“I’m New York Nick, I’m ballin’ with Carmelo (ok ‘Melo)”
“How the f*** you got Ferraris when you never went sport? All that hoopin’ and hollerin’ still ain’t scorin’ on the court (rrah)”
– Track Eleven: “LLC”
“I’m prolly with my jeweler playin’ freeze tag”
– Track Twelve: “Good Form”
“And I ain’t tryna work it out, but I’m at the gym on a mat doin’ sits ups on ’em.”
– Track Thirteen: “Nip Tuck”
“Call me A.I., sir, I’m The Answer (Answer). I’m in the playoffs, sir, I advance, sir (advance, sir)”
“Tarzan, sir, I drive fast, sir (drive faster), Jeff Gordan sir, NASCAR, sir”
– Track Sixteen: “Sir” (feat. Future)
“Fast little b******, but of course I’m the quickest. Mortal Kombat, ninja Nicki, who ya pick is?”
“Don’t get cute and ruin it, all my skill, I hone it. I pity opponents, it look easy don’t it”
– Track Seventeen: “Miami”
If you thought that Queen was the only outlet in which Minaj has expressed her interest in sports, you have not been listening carefully enough. From now on: pay attention. Almost every, single one of her verses has a sports reference. My guess is that basketball is probably Minaj’s favorite sport. It seems as though basketball vernacular and players’ names are mentioned in her lyrics more frequently than all other sports. Hell, she even has a song called “Swish, Swish” with pop superstar Katy Perry (above).
Furthermore, one can surmise that Minaj, who lived on 147th Street in Queens for many years since she was five years old, is a New York Mets fan. In DJ Khaled’s “Do you Mind?”, Minaj raps: “hittin’ them home runs, I be like ‘go Mets’!”. The Mets were a terrible team, and definitely not chic or sexy to rap about in 2016, when this track was released (exact line is queued above).
Then again, Minaj has mentioned Derek Jeter in a song (exact line is queued above). Maybe she is a New York Yankees fan? A$AP Ferg’s “Plain Jane” remix, in which Minaj’s line occurs, was released in 2017, well after Jeter’s retirement, though, Therefore, she might just appreciate him, his first-ballot Hall of Fame-worthy career, and his contributions to the game.
Typically in the tri-state area, Mets fans are also New York Jets fans. Based on her lyrics, Minaj seems to buck the trend as a New York Giants fan. I mean, even casual Giants fans probably could not name the (now former) punter! After a Yao Ming shoutout, Minaj mentioned Wing’s name in a verse on international DJ Calvin Harris’ beach jam “Skrt On Me” (exact line is queued above).
I asked Zak DeOssie, a New York Giants Super Bowl champion (and Wing’s longsnapper) about Wing’s mention in the song not long after it was released last summer. The exact line, in case DeOssie needed it, was: “and I’m playin’ the field, Brad Wing on the punt”. With a smile, DeOssie told me that he “immediately… called [Wing] up when [he] saw it [to tell Wing]: ‘I’m not surprised, why not?'” DeOssie mentioned youthful Wing’s Australian accent and level of “cool” as reasons why he was not surprised Minaj would shout him out on the track.
— Brad Wing (@bwing38) June 30, 2017
Wing and Odell Beckham, Jr. (mentioned in Queen‘s “Barbie Dreams”) also guest-starred in “Bed”, a track on Queen that Minaj shares with pop superstar Ariana Grande. As Wing told me, he and OBJ were roommates at LSU.