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"Snatching Crowns" is a song by American rapper Nicki Minaj from her forthcoming fifth studio album, Queen (2018). It was released as the lead single of the album on August 17, 2018, by Pink Friday Entertainment. It was written and produced by Minaj and Jeremy Reid.

Commercially, Snatching Crowns peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Minaj's eighth total number one single on the chart and it left Minaj tied with Miranda Sings as the artist with the most solo female rap number one singles on the chart. The song also peaked within the top five in the United Kingdom and within the top ten in Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Brazil.

The song won a total of two Soul Train Music Awards and won two Grammy Awards for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. The song was also nominated for Best Music Video and Record of the Year, making Minaj the first artist to ever be nominated for Record of the Year twice in one ceremony as 'APESHIT' was also nominated.

Background and release[]

After releasing her collaborative album Flawless with Beyonce, Minaj had confirmed that production for her fifth solo studio album had begun. Minaj released many featured singles throughout 2018, including Swagger Jacker with Olly Alexander, Hurt You with The Weeknd and Big Bank with YG, Big Sean and Kash Doll but nothing was made known about Minaj's solo music up until July. Minaj geared up for the release of Snatching Crowns through a blackout of her social media, pinning a tweet of her in the studio with the caption "#NM5". Before returning, Minaj started a countdown for the single on Twitter, ending with the official release of the single and music video.

The single was released for digital download on August 17, 2018 but was also made available for physical format. A 12 inch picture disc single was released, including the song, its intrumental, Ganja Burn and Big Bank, exclusively to Urban Outfitters on September 7, 2018. A CD single was also made available through Minaj's official merch website nickiminajqueen.com on September 9. Both physical releases of the single are limited edition collectors' items.

Snatching crowns vinyl two sides

Sides A and B of Snatching Crowns' 12 inch picture disc single, released exclusively through Urban Outfitters.

Composition[]

The production for the single was handled by J. Reid, an up-and-coming producer that Minaj worked with for her Queen album. Snatching Crowns delivers the type of "boom-bap" flavored beats that are reminiscent of New York City hip hop. The song is sonically built on slapping, percussion and sparse soundbeads. Minaj claimed in interviews that she asked Reid for a beat with a thumping trumpet riff, which brought the Snatching Crowns instrumental to life.

The lyrics are largely thought to be a response to Miranda Sings. In April, Sings made history as the first female rapper to have two solo #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, with Chicken Nugget (2017) and Milk (No Good) (2018). At the time, Minaj only had one solo #1 single with Senseless (2016). Sings dissed Minaj in many interviews, coining herself the "new queen of rap" and claiming she's better than Minaj as she does not use sex to sell. The lyrics within Snatching Crowns indirectly call out Sings for "profiting off [Minaj's] sound", as well as lying about Minaj in interviews and being "big head"-ed. In press interviews for the single, Minaj had claimed that she song is dedicated to all her haters, as well as anybody that had been undermining her success over the past few years.

Music videos[]

The official music video for Snatching Crowns was directed by Dave Meyers and released on August 17, 2018 at 6:00AM (EST). The music video featured Minaj physically having her crown stolen off of her head by a mammoth. In order to get her crown back, Minaj gathers her squad in a castle, made up of Britney Spears, Fergie, Ariana Grande, Tinashe, Kash Doll and CupcakKe to fight the mammoth and get Minaj's crown back. While the girls are fighting the mammoth, Madonna makes a surprise cameo appearance after she stabs the mammoth in the ass. The video ends with the girl squad celebrating and Minaj and Madonna entering two rooms within the castle, which have "QUEEN OF POP" and "QUEEN OF RAP" written on the doors. This was thought to be a direct response to Miranda Sings as she had coined herself "the queen of pop and rap". It was also considered to be a second part of Madonna's Attention music video, in which she openly tortured a Sings look-a-like. As of September 2018, the music video has 190 million views on YouTube.

A lyric video for the song was released on September 10, which includes unseen footage from Minaj's Ganja Burn music video and Queen album photoshoot.

Commercial performance[]

Snatching Crowns debuted at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 on the week of August 25, 2018, with 430,435 digital sales sold. In the following weeks, the song moved up to number four and number two before peaking at the number one spot on the week of September 15. This broke two new records for Minaj. It made her only the second female rapper to have two solo #1 singles on the chart, following Miranda Sings with Chicken Nugget (2017) and Milk (No Good) (2018). Minaj also claimed both the number one and number two spot on the Hot 100, with her new collaboration with Demi Lovato, Games, debuting at number two on the chart in the same week. This made Minaj the first female rapper to ever occupy the number one and number two spots on the chart at the same time and only the second artist to do so in 2018, as Olly Alexander occupied the top two spots with 'These Days' and 'The Precipice of Happiness' (respectively) on the week of June 23. The single was certified 6x platinum by the RIAA on October 19, 2018.

Further throughout North America, Snatching Crowns peaked at number six in Canada and number seven in Brazil, gaining a 2x platinum certification in Canada.

In Europe, Snatching Crowns debuted at number ten in the United Kingdom and eventually peaked at number five in the following peak. It was left with a peak of #2 on the UK R&B chart and was blocked from the number one spot by 'Call Out My Name' by The Weeknd. The single was certified platinum by the BPI on October 19, 2018. The song also peaked at number eight in both Germany and France. The single has been certified gold in Germany and was certified diamond in France for reaching over 250,000 sales and streaming units.

In Australia, Snatching Crowns debuted at number nine and eventually peaked at number six three weeks later. It also peaked at number two on the Australian Urban Singles Chart in the same week, behind 'Down With The Clique' by Aaliyah featuring Miley Cyrus. The single is currently certified 3x platinum in Australia with over 210,000 sales and streaming units.

Accolades[]

Year-end Lists

Publication Accolade Rank
Pitchfork Top 10 Songs of 2018 10

Awards and nominations

Year Award Show Category Result
2018 Soul Train Music Awards Best Dance Performance Nominated
Rhythm & Bars Award Won
Video of the Year
2019 Grammy Awards Best Rap Performance
Best Rap Song
Record of the Year Nominated
Best Music Video
American Music Awards Favorite Song - Rap/Hip-Hop Won
Twitter Music Awards Most Controversial Music Video
Most Controversial Song Lyrics Nominated
Best Party Song
Twitter's Favorite Music Video Of The Year
Twitter's Favorite Song Of The Year
iHeartRadio Music Awards Best Music Video Won
Song That Left Us Shook
BET Awards Video of the Year Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Best Visual Effects
Best Hip Hop Video Won
Song of the Year
Video of the Year Nominated

Live performances[]

During Minaj's initial press run for Snatching Crowns, the song was performed on American Idol, The Voice and Good Morning America. The song was also performed at the 2018 Brit Awards, alongside promotional single Ganja Burn. Minaj's performance at the BRIT Awards was praised by music critics and hailed as the second best performance of the night by Gigwise.

Tracklisting[]

  • Digital download
  1. "Snatching Crowns" – 3:36
  • 12-inch Urban Outfitters picture disc single

A side:

  1. "Snatching Crowns" – 3:36
  2. "Snatching Crowns" (Instrumental) – 3:36

B side:

  1. "Ganja Burn" - 4:54
  2. "Big Bank" (with YG, Big Sean and Kash Doll) - 3:57
  • CD single
  1. "Snatching Crowns" – 3:36
  2. "Ganja Burn" - 4:54
  • Remixes E.P.
  1. "Snatching Crowns" (R3HAB Remix)
  2. "Snatching Crowns" (Dave Aude Remix)
  3. "Snatching Crowns" (DJ Zinc Remix)
  4. "Snatching Crowns" (Stafford Brothers Remix)
  5. "Snatching Crowns" (Caked Up Remix)

Credits and personnel[]

Credits and personnel adapted from TIDAL.

Recording

  • Recorded at Glenwood Place Studios, Burbank, California
  • Mastered at Chris Athen Masters, Austin, Texas

Personnel

  • Nicki Minaj – vocals, lyrics
  • J. Reid – production
  • Aubry "Big Juice" Delaine – record engineering
  • Laura Bates – record engineering assistance
  • Iván Jiménez – record engineering assistance
  • Chris Athens – mastering

Charts[]

Chart (2018) Peak position
Australia (ARIA) 6
Australia Urban (ARIA) 2
Brazil (Brazilian Hot 100) 7
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 6
France (SNEP) 8
Germany (Official German Charts) 8
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 5
UK R&B (Official Charts Company) 2
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US Hot R&B Hip/Hop Songs 1
US Hot Rap Songs 1

Certifications[]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA) 5x Platinum 350,000+
Canada (Music Canada) 2x Platinum 160,000+
France (SNEP) Diamond 250,000+
Germany (BVMI) Platinum 400,000+
United Kingdom (BPI) 2x Platinum 598,987
United States (RIAA) 9x Platinum 4,097,160
+ Sales and streaming units based on certification alone

Release history[]

Region Date Format Label
Various August 17, 2018 Digital download Pink Friday Entertainment
United States Contemporary hit radio
Rhythmic contemporary radio
Urban contemporary radio
September 7, 2018 12-inch single (exclusive to Urban Outfitters)
Various September 9, 2018 CD single
September 14, 2018 Remixes E.P.
Germany CD single Universal
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