Nicki Minaj's bars, Barbz and beefs; plus, why 2023 was the year of the cowboy : It's Been a Minute Nicki Minaj just released her first album in half a decade, Pink Friday 2. The self-proclaimed 'Queen of Rap' has an unparalleled career, but the rap game - and women's position within it - has changed dramatically during her hiatus. While Nicki helped shape rap today, the artist has also faced a slew of controversies and an erratic album rollout that all have us asking: is Nicki still the verified 'Queen of Rap'? Host Brittany Luse sits down with NPR Music Editor and Louder Than A Riot host Sidney Madden to discuss.

Then, we're breaking down one of the most powerful symbols in America: the cowboy. Brittany is joined by New York Times culture critic J Wortham, and Museum of Contemporary Art Denver director Nora Burnett Abrams to unpack the history of the symbol and explain why it continues to lasso Americans.

Nicki Minaj's bars, Barbz and beefs; plus, why 2023 was the year of the cowboy

Nicki Minaj's bars, Barbz and beefs; plus, why 2023 was the year of the cowboy

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the Great Australian Cattle Drive, and Nicki Minaj Quinn Rooney/Getty Images, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images hide caption

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Quinn Rooney/Getty Images, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

the Great Australian Cattle Drive, and Nicki Minaj

Quinn Rooney/Getty Images, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Nicki Minaj just released her first album in half a decade, Pink Friday 2. The self-proclaimed 'Queen of Rap' has an unparalleled career, but the rap game - and women's position within it - has changed dramatically during her hiatus. While Nicki helped shape rap today, the artist has also faced a slew of controversies and an erratic album rollout that all have us asking: is Nicki still the verified 'Queen of Rap'? Host Brittany Luse sits down with NPR Music Editor and Louder Than A Riot host Sidney Madden to discuss.

Then, we're breaking down one of the most powerful symbols in America: the cowboy. Brittany is joined by New York Times culture critic J Wortham, and Museum of Contemporary Art Denver director Nora Burnett Abrams to unpack the history of the symbol and explain why it continues to lasso Americans.

This episode was produced by Corey Antonio Rose and Liam McBain. It was edited by Jessica Placzek. Additional support came from Barton Girdwood and Alexis Williams. Engineering support came from Phil Edfors. Our executive producer is Veralyn Williams. Our VP of programming is Yolanda Sangweni and our senior VP of programming is Anya Grundmann.