Barbs, we have some bad news.
With only 10 days left on the road to Young Money rap royalty Nicki Minaj’s dangerously anticipated Queen album, a sudden roadblock might unfortunately detour its release: a sample clearance.
As most music fans—particularly hip-hop heads—already recognize, legally obtaining permission from an original artist behind a sample doesn’t always happen overnight. Copyrights, record company sign-offs and the like come into play and have the power to delay the release of a musical work for God knows how long. Unfortunately, the effects of this reality trickled down onto Nicki’s upcoming and already-rescheduled fourth studio album, she revealed to fans via Twitter, due to a sample from a Tracy Chapman record she’s working to get cleared.
Regrettably for anxious fans, this places Nicki in a tough position since she may not have this taken care of this in time for Queen’s due date, and she’s being faced with an even tougher ultimatum that’s causing a major divide within the Barbs Army.
The Queen record in question features “one of the greatest rappers of all time.” But Nicki wasn’t aware that the song sampled the “Fast Car” legend, and thus, will have to make a decision, and fast: “Do I keep my date & lose the record? Or do I lose the record & keep my date?” she asked fans. “Do we push #Queen back 1 week? Ugh! I’m torn y’all help.”
“Vote,” she encouraged fans. Nicki has always been hands-on with her fans, so it’s no wonder that she reminded them of how much their voices count with a Twitter poll to help her choose the best option for Queen’s rollout.
The rest of the Barbs are breaking down into a full-on internet meltdown. One vigilante fan even took matters into his own hands and messaged Tracy herself with rather aggressive (and dramatic) means of solving that sample clearance issue once and for all.
“She needs you to hit her up so she can clear the a record she sampled you in so that it can officially go on the album cause if she DON’T and she pushes this album back you will be held accountable for me slapping the good dawg sh** out of her and I would hate to kill my b**ch before this amazing world tour she has planned."
The fan went on to ask Tracy to hit Nicki up ASAP for the clearance. The impatient fan slid in Tracy’s DMs for a second time after no response, this time with a hilariously different tone and incentive.
“Hey girl it’s me again so perhaps Nicki release the song…how much would you exactly sue her for?” the fan wrote. “Would a million be good? She can even do 2 million. Just let us know and we’ll make sure she gives you the money after August 10th luv.”
We’re going to need an intervention with the Barbs. And soon.
(Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs)