In the midnight hour of Friday (February 1), Nicki Minaj fans finally got their hands on the first piece of Barbs treasure for 2019 in the form of an ominously regal visual for a Queen favorite, “Hard White.”
Keeping the rap royalty momentum strong, the Mike Ho-directed music video makes a darker, more menacing statement of her hip-hop reign. The Young Money First Lady dons an imperial headpiece of a gothic nature in the video’s occult scenery, featuring other menacing imagery such as hysterically tearful nuns with bloodied faces and a troupe of ghoulish phantoms hypnotized bar-for-bar by her “Hard White” lyrics. Of all the “Hard White” abstract illusions, fans couldn’t help but catch one of the grimmer, less-subtle symbolisms in the visual that might hit close to Nicki’s Young Money home, however: a scene showing a black scorpion, which is then ripped into dismemberment in a split second. As the diehard fandom of Drake—Nicki’s Young Money counterpart—would know, the scorpion is the signature symbol and title of his fifth studio album of 2018. The case could very well be that the arachnid creature simply fit the theme of Ms. Minaj’s macabre vision for the video. But according to the Barbs and Team Drizzy, the mutilated critter is more symbolic of the state of Nicki and Drake’s relationship right now.
See how they pieced their theories together from the imagery and watch the “Hard White” music video for yourself below.
(Photos from left: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TNT, Prince Williams/Wireimage)