The word “retirement” has never really held the same weight in the music industry as it does with the rest of the world. If an artist claims to be stepping out of the spotlight, that can mean anything from multiple farewell tours to an extended break; rarely does it mean they are leaving the gig forever. When Nicki Minaj tweeted back in September that she would be retiring in order to start a family with fiance Kenneth “Zoo” Petty, she didn’t intend for anyone to go all Merriam-Webster on her ass and actually assume that she was giving up music.
“When I posted that retirement tweet, I knew that I still had music that I already had recorded that was still going to come out,” Minaj explained in an interview with The Shade Room. “So the retirement was kind of talking about my album, meaning like, ‘Do I want to go back and record my fifth album?’”
The tweet in question, which has now been deleted, stated the following: “I’ve decided to retire & have my family. I know you guys are happy now. To my fans, keep reppin me, do it til da death of me, X in the box- cuz ain’t nobody checkin me. Love you for LIFE.” Fans expressed a maelstrom of emotions, including (but not limited to) despair, concern, confusion, and disbelief, as the announced seemed to have come out of nowhere. But the “Megatron” artist clarified that she only meant that she would be taking a break, which would likely affect the next album. “It was really about the fifth album,” Minaj said. “Where do I stand with it now? I didn’t know my fans would act like that with the tweet. It hurt my feelings because I feel like the way I did it was maybe insensitive to my fans. But I didn’t think people were going to take it — I didn’t know it was going to be that big of a deal, so that’s why I deleted it.”
There’s still no clarification as to if/when she’ll continue to work on the fifth album, but she did confirm a recent collaboration with Kanye West ahead of the Jesus Is King release. Considering that he has been treading the gospel path pretty heavily as of late, there’s no telling whether or not the song—rumored to be titled “New Body—”will actually make it onto the album, should the album every actually show up.