When Nicki Minaj’s fourth album, “Queen,” failed to top the Billboard album chart this week — bested by the second week of sales for Travis Scott’s “Astroworld” — Ms. Minaj lashed out, blaming everyone from Spotify to Mr. Scott’s 6-month-old daughter with Kylie Jenner.
A Twitter rant on Sunday was followed on Tuesday by another diatribe on her Apple Beats 1 radio show, as Ms. Minaj took issue with music industry tactics that she, too, had employed, like bundling albums with merchandise and concert tickets to boost sales numbers. “He knows he doesn’t have the #1 album this week,” Ms. Minaj wrote of Mr. Scott on Twitter. Mr. Scott has not commented about his chart battle with Ms. Minaj.
The disappointing opening week for “Queen” came after the album’s early singles failed to gain traction, and its release date was pushed back from June to August. But the bumpy rollout, which included Ms. Minaj sending harsh messages to a writer critical of her work on Twitter, has not yet smoothed: On Tuesday night, the concert promoter Live Nation announced that Ms. Minaj’s co-headlining tour with Future this fall would be scrapped.
“Nicki Minaj has decided to re-evaluate elements of production on the NickiHndrxx Tour,” the company said in a statement. “Due to scheduling conflicts Future will not be on the North American run. Nicki Minaj will be announcing new North American dates to kick off in May 2019.”
The European leg of the tour, scheduled to begin in February, will go on, Live Nation said, with details of Ms. Minaj’s reconfigured North American dates to come.
“This is all happening because I pushed my album back two months,” Ms. Minaj said in a video to her fans posted on social media. “I just finished writing and recording literally hours before the album came out. So now I just simply don’t have the time to rehearse and be on the road in time to give you guys the level of a show I need to give.” She added in another Twitter post that she also has “TV spots, videos shoots, + Made In America Festival coming up.”
“I really apologize,” Ms. Minaj said, “but it’ll be worth it.”
“Queen” sold 78,000 copies and was streamed 129 million times in its first week, for a sales equivalent total of 185,000 units, compared to a debut week of 244,000 for her previous release, “The Pinkprint,” in 2014. The new album “often feels like it’s fulfilling a checklist, trying to appeal to multiple constituencies in a way that was de rigueur, say, a decade ago,” the New York Times critic Jon Caramanica wrote.