In case you haven’t noticed by now, Nicki Minaj has a flair for the dramatic and isn’t shy about showing off. Her bouts of teasing her fans with both content reveals and her revealing Instagram photos are a part of her appeal for them, as she involves them in conspiratorial, secret club-like shenanigans and usually rewards their loyalty with big announcements and flamboyant posts. Her latest revelation is the ostentatiously sexy cover for Queen, her upcoming and long-awaited fourth studio album.
The cover, shot and designed by fashion photographers Mert Alaş and Marcus Piggott, casts Nicki as ancient Egyptian queen Cleopatra, shot against a red, backlight background and sitting on a tree branch to evoke a lounging lioness. As in many of her more recent posts to Instagram, Nicki is scantily-clad in only a headdress and a loincloth, with a rhinestone arrangement covering her bare chest.
The buildup to the album has involved social media takeovers, double single releases, video game characters, and revealing interviews, all as Nicki has embraced a “bad guy” persona to shield herself from probable detractors and possible competition. Whether this latest revelation will increase anticipation or put a damper on her buzz remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: Queen‘s August 10 release date can’t arrive soon enough.