Nicki Minaj has postponed her upcoming North American tour, which she was set to co-headline with rapper Future, days after she went on a Twitter rant against rapper Travis Scott.
Concert promoter Live Nation said in a statement that “Minaj has decided to re-evaluate elements of production on the NickiHndrxx Tour,” and that “scheduling conflicts” would prevent Future from joining her on the new North American tour, expected to begin in May 2019.
The tour was originally scheduled to start Sept. 21 in Baltimore. Minaj and Future will still co-headline a European leg of the tour, set to kick off February in Munich. In a Snapchat video, Minaj blamed the postponed tour dates on the two-month delay of her fourth album, “Queen,” which made its much-awaited debut on Aug. 10.
“I just finished writing and recording literally hours before the album came out, so now I just simply don’t have the time to rehearse and be on the road in time to give you guys the level of a show I need to give,” she told fans.
The rearranged schedule follows a Page Six report that warned Minaj’s tour was in danger of being canceled because of “disappointing” ticket sales.
But the tour postponement wasn’t the first sign of trouble for Minaj. Over the weekend, she lashed out about her album’s debut in the No. 2 spot on the Billboard 200 chart. In a series of tweets, the rapper implied her album was second to Scott’s “Astroworld” only because his girlfriend — reality star-turned-beauty mogul Kylie Jenner — promoted special packages for his upcoming multicity tour in an Instagram post, and teased that she and their 6-month-old daughter, Stormi, were “ready for tour.”
“I put my blood sweat & tears in writing a dope album only for Travis Scott to have Kylie Jenner post a tour pass telling ppl to come see her & Stormi. lol. Im actually laughing,” Minaj tweeted Saturday.
As Vulture recently explained, part of Minaj’s beef is with the metrics behind Billboard’s chart ranking, which factors in packages that bundle an artist’s branded merchandise with their album. But in announcing Scott’s second week atop the chart, Billboard noted that ” ‘Queen,’ like ‘Astroworld,’ saw its sales bolstered by an array of merchandise/album bundles sold via Minaj’s official website.” Billboard also reported that Minaj’s album sales were boosted from concert-album package offers for her own tour.
Minaj’s Twitter rant also took swipes at streaming services Apple Music and Spotify. She said Spotify sought to “teach her a lesson” after she inadvertently played her album on Apple Music ahead of its release on Spotify.
On Monday, Spotify disputed Minaj’s claims. “Spotify supported Nicki Minaj with a Times Square billboard, a host of the largest playlists, New Music Friday and the new music release shelf,” a rep for the streaming service said in a statement to Variety. “Her song ‘Bed’ actually saw an increase based on the promotions put behind the campaign. The company continues to be big fans of Nicki.”
Minaj’s tweetstorm went unaddressed at the MTV Video Music Awards on Monday night, but it certainly was not forgotten since Minaj, Scott and Jenner were all in attendance. TMZ reported that the couple was originally slated to sit behind Minaj at the awards show, but the seating arrangements were changed before the event.
Minaj addressed the controversy Tuesday on her Beats 1 show “Queen Radio,” available on Apple Music. Minaj awarded Scott a crudely titled honor, and said “he out here selling . . . clothes got y’all thinking he selling . . . music.” She also jokingly referenced her tweet about his infant daughter, saying “Me against baby Stormi. We have this rivalry now.”
Minaj also used “Queen Radio” to discuss another controversial string of tweets, in which she compared herself to famed abolitionist and Underground Railroad leader Harriet Tubman. She not only doubled down on her comments but also invoked civil rights icon Rosa Parks. “Rosa Parks probably had the worst day of her life when she said, ‘No, enough is enough,’ ” Minaj said. “And y’all might laugh and say, ‘She’s comparing herself to Harriet Tubman’ . . . I am going to compare myself to strong, black queens.”