The weekly Nicki Minaj release is upon us, folks. Today, we got the Benny Boom-directed video for “No Frauds” featuring Drake and Lil Wayne. A little late in my opinion–this feud is kind of old news by now–but better late than never!
If you follow Ms. Minaj on social media, you’ve already seen the looks she’s serving in this Euro-centric video. She’s giving us exaggerated accessories and headpieces in London, long weave (“inches”) in the club, and royal imagery in the forms of a throne, a crown, and a sword. I could spend a long time analyzing what it all could mean, but I’m sure anyone who’s followed this whole Nicki/Remy saga can guess and get it right. There’s only one queen, and Nicki is it. She also makes a point to name-check Ellen DeGeneres in the opening credits, as if the seven-time Ellen guest is worried that the reference (“I am the generous queen [DeGeneres queen] / Ask miss Ellen“) will somehow be lost on us. Don’t worry, Nic. We got it.
There’s not much in the way of storyline here: just a party scene with Drake, some sneerin’ and slinkin’, and a variety of sound effects and stylized visuals. If there’s one thing remotely scandalous about the video, it’s that Remy‘s former friend Rah Ali (“Rah took you to her doc / But you don’t look like Rah / Left the operatin’ table / Still look like ‘nah’“) officially picked her side with a cameo appearance midway through the visual despite telling TMZ that this wasn’t her way of picking a side. Hmmm… Okay.
Nicki did a Twitter Q&A regarding the video earlier this week and let fans in on some new info. Some tidbits that came out of the Q&A include that “No Frauds” is in fact an official single and video from the new album, that the reason Wayne’s scenes were shot in LA is because he was denied entry to London (he’s facing some legal troubles right now), and that this is her favorite video she’s ever done. She also told a fan that she plans to release a behind the scenes video in the coming weeks.