Nicki Minaj Explains Why Her ‘New Body’ Collab With Kanye West Never Got An Official Release

Of all the projects Kanye West hyped over the past several years, perhaps none was more heavily anticipated than “New Body,” a track featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla Sign that was planned to feature on Ye’s ninth album, Yandhi. When a demo version of the song was leaked in October 2018, it instantly became something of a fan favorite, but despite this, it was scrapped along with the rest of the album after Kanye decided to release Jesus Is King, his first big swing at a gospel album, instead.

Perhaps no one was more disappointed than Nicki Minaj, who allegedly had to re-write her verse multiple times as a result of Kanye’s evolving, spirituality-based insistence on toning down explicit content and language ahead of Yandhi‘s non-release. Nicki, who’s been on a promo/media damage control tour ahead of the release of her new single with Lil Baby, “Do We Have A Problem?” explained just why the original version of “New Body” was never released and how she felt about it.

“The public adored ‘New Body,'” Nicki recalled. “‘New Body’ is the biggest hit record that never came out. So what I thought was interesting was that Kanye made me write my ‘New Body’ verse four times over in order to fit into where he was creatively and spiritually in his life. … I missed it by a year, I guess. Had ‘New Body’ been out when he was not in his gospel era, then it would’ve seen the light of day. But, it didn’t, so it wasn’t meant to be. Everybody knows that’s the hit that got away … I think the ship has sailed for ‘New Body,’ everybody has come to love the original way they heard it.”

The leak of the song actually went viral on TikTok in 2020, prompting Nicki to tell her fans to “pester” Kim Kardashian to get the full version, but considering how things are turning out on that front, perhaps the song will simply have to live on in those memes and memories.

You can watch Nicki’s full interview above.