Nicki Minaj surprised fans today by announcing, seemingly out of the blue, that she is retiring. Taking to Twitter, the rapper announced, “I’ve decided to retire & have my family,” following it up with a snappy rap verse: “I know you guys are happy now. To my fans, keep reppin me, do it til da death of me, in the box—cuz ain’t nobody checkin me. Love you for LIFE.” (The last part of the statement is actually Minaj quoting some of her own lyrics, lines she performed on a remix of Alicia Keys’s “Girl on Fire.”
It didn’t take long for the “Barbz”—Minaj’s army of online fans—to react to the retirement news in shock. A barrage of replies, many of which included GIFs of Minaj crying, featured statements such as, “Wait….what” and “nicki stop this ain’t funny I’m not prepared for this.” Others doubted the validity of her statement: One fan replied with a video clip of a person peeling themselves off the ground, with the caption “nicki coming back in 3 months with an album.”
So, is Minaj really retiring? Let’s investigate. In the tweet, the rapper claims she is retiring to “have my family”; she’s currently dating Kenneth Petty, and has even claimed they will be married sometime very soon, so beginning a family could certainly be a possibility.
But Minaj’s recent music seems to steer us otherwise. Her most recent work is her album Queen, released on August last year; in June, she also released the party track “Megatron,” and just this week, she appeared in a new music video for Megan Thee Stallion’s “Hot Girl Summer.” Would she really build all of this momentum with fresh material to then suddenly call it quits?
Then again, other recent moves suggest the rapper is ready to slow things down: Last year, Minaj canceled a North American tour and explained it would resume in May 2019, but it didn’t. Only time—or perhaps a follow-up tweet—will tell if the retirement is for real.
Originally Appeared on Vogue