Late Saturday night, Nicki Minaj and Nas dropped “Sorry,” a song that was cut at the last minute from Minaj’s fourth album, which was surprise-released amid considerable drama on Friday — and “Sorry” was a piece of that puzzle.
In the weeks before the album’s scheduled Aug. 10 release, Minaj tweeted that legal complications over a sample by folk-rock singer Tracy Chapman was holding up the album’s release. “So there’s a record on #Queen that features 1of the greatest rappers of all time,” she wrote in a series of tweets that have since been deleted. “Had no clue it sampled the legend #TracyChapman — do I keep my date & lose the record? Or do I lose the record & keep my date? Do we push #Queen back 1week? Ugh! I’m torn, y’all help. Tracy Chapman, can you please hit me. omg for the love of #Queen.”
Apparently she got her answer, because later, in another since-deleted tweet, Minaj wrote, “Sis said no,” with a shrug emoji.
While Minaj did indeed say that the album’s release would be pushed back a week to Aug. 17th, but instead surprise-dropped the album on the 10th after all — which seems to have ended up amplifying the buzz around it even more.
And less than two days later, via Funkmaster Flex, here is “Sorry,” a Caribbean-flavored, melodic track that would have been one of “Queen’s” strongest tracks — although at 19 tracks, that album is arguably long enough (and then some) as it is. It incorporates Shelly Thunder’s song “Sorry,” which itself interpolates Chapman’s “Baby Can I Hold You” — and features Nas. Check it out below, and read Variety’s review of “Queen” right here.