Nicki Minaj has never been one for subtlety, but the title cards for her latest video “Ganja Burns” from her just-released album Queen are undoubtedly going to send the rap internet into a speculative tizzy. Detailing a thinly-veiled narrative of betrayal, the story she relates at the introduction of the Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott-directed video could apply to any number of once-close collaborators and friends and will more than likely get attributed to Cardi B at some point as well.
As for the video itself, it doesn’t so much retread the tale of woe from the beginning of the video as it loosely ties in. Nicki, in full desert queen regalia, rises from her sandy slumber to dance around with some muscular men as flames blaze around them. It’s a striking visual, but that title sequence just raises too juicy a mystery to accept some stunningly-shot mythological imagery.
“Ganja Burns” acts as the intro for Queen, paying homage to Nicki’s West Indian roots with its dancehall-inflected rhythm. It finds Nicki reminiscing regretfully about a lost love anytime she partakes of the eponymous plant life. Intriguingly enough for a song with a video already shot and waiting for release, Nicki expressed regret about how it turned out on Twitter, writing, “Just listened to #GangaBurns after a long day & realized that I hate how low I made the hook. Gotta get it swapped out. That’s like my fave song & I can’t let it go out like that. Plus I was so sleep deprived I wrote burns instead of burn when they were stressing me 4 tracklist.”
Regardless of how the song turned out, it looks like Nicki will have to get used to it now, as it’s sure to be everywhere soon. Hopefully she can find some peace with the song and the traitor from the video’s storyline, but most importantly, some time to get some sleep.
Queen is out now via Young Money. Get it here.