When Nicki Minaj took to Twitter this week to announce a new album, titled Pick My Fruit Out and featuring tracks like “Fruit Loops” and “Bananas (Harambe Interlude),” one could quickly deduce that she was clowning around. Pick My Fruit was a joke, but it called attention to the fact that it’s been nearly two years since she released The Pinkprint, her finest album to date, and that her fans are rightfully ready for new music. Apparently, the wait won’t be much longer—Minaj’s new Marie Claire cover story promises that she has a new album on the way.

Which leaves us to speculate: what will the album sound like? With Minaj, it’s always hard to say.  As a member of #TeamMinaj, I have some hopes (and fears) for what Minaj’s fourth release will have to offer. This is, of course, very Laptop Label Head of me, but it’s all said with love, beloveds.

Trim the tracklist.

The Pinkprint is Minaj’s best complete body of work because she finally managed to deftly bridge her rap songs with tracks catering to her pop leanings. That said, there are still a smooth six songs that could have been left out.

I love Cash Money, but their model of album-making is stuck in the CD era. Their modus operandi is to give you at least 20 tracks. That was cool ten years ago, because it truly gave fans their money’s worth for an album. In the age of streaming, though, it just comes across as too much. Yes, there are those who call the album a relic and continue to argue we live in a singles world, but when I think of a rapper as iconic as Minaj, what separates her from rappers of yore is an undeniable classic record. Being more selective about tracklisting and sequencing will get her there.

Think of it as a meal. We all have our greedy moments, but in this instance, it’s like you’re getting fried fish, ox tails, chicken wings, turkey legs, and then it’s like 19 sides awaiting you after that. You don’t need it all.

Less pop, more rap. No shade.

In August, London On Da Track told Complex that he was in the studio with Nicki Minaj, but noted that the songs were more on the pop side than rap. Please reconsider this, or, at the very least, can we place a small cap on the number of pop songs on NM4? Yes, “Super Bass” was a huge hit, and helped Minaj reach fans who might’ve otherwise taken far longer to access her (if they ever were going to), but please, oh please, Nicki, not too many of those.

I would love an album of Nicki Minaj just straight rapping throughout. Hell, give me Beam Me Up Scotty, squared. No “Starships” please. Please. I said please. Please. I said it again.


Less singing, too.

Nicki Minaj giving you a little something-something singer wise “Favorite,” “Save Me,” and the like is cool, but can we bypass ballads like “Grand Piano?”

Call Beyoncé.

In a perfect world, Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj would make a collaborative album. Unfortunately, we live in an age in which Donald Trump is a major political party’s presidential nominee so evidently, we can’t have nice things. Nonetheless, Beyoncé and Minaj have amazing chemistry and we deserve more songs of them together.

Work with another female rapper.

I’m old enough to remember women rappers working together on tracks being the norm. Nicki Minaj alone virtually restored a prominent female presence in mainstream rap and now, years into her hugely successful career, there are so many new, young female rappers out there. Maybe work with one of them, Nick? Or better yet, how about doing a track with another New York rapper like Remy Ma?

In 2014, Minaj told Hot 97: “I told you guys before Remy even came home, I said I would love to. I was a fan of hers before she went to jail and nothing has changed. I’ve always felt like she was at the top of her game and in relation to all the emcees in the game. I always felt like she was sitting there at the top. So, we’ll see. I’m not closing that off. I feel like we’ll get the right thing and we’ll do it for the people. It’s open up in the air.”


At this point, we’re just desperate for new music. Please, make it happen already.