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

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.