Saturday Night Live chose to end its action-packed 43rd season by enlisting Nicki Minaj as the finale’s coveted musical guest. The Queens native will be featured on the May 19 airing of the show next to SNL alumnae, Tina Fey. Nicki’s appearance will close out a season that contained a litany of memorable moments including Chadwick Boseman’s “Black Jeopardy” sketch, and Cardi B’s pregnancy reveal during her performance.
The exciting nature of this episode is the allusion that the Queens-bred rapper may be gearing up to release her long-awaited album. Aside from a sprinkle of feature verses, Nicki has been virtually quiet in terms of music and media appearances. However, with the release of her latest singles, “Barbie Tingz” and “Chun-Li,” Nicki ended her hiatus while simultaneously addressing her “conflict” with Cardi during an interview on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 Radio show.
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) April 18, 2018
This decision to promote her return on a platform like SNL not only speaks to the show’s cultural relevance but also Nicki’s stardom. Throughout her tenure, hip-hop has watched Nicki grow from an underground sensation to a pop music starlet. This maturation only heightens the anticipation around her SNL appearance.