Wait, Is Nicki Minaj Releasing An Album?

Nicki Minaj's Twitter is a unique social media space full of crying emojis, inside jokes with fans, and retweeted adoration of her own music. This is why Minaj's new album tease on Saturday night left some fans laughing, some breathlessly excited for new music, and some (like me) confused about whether or not it was at all real. After a night of having fun and RTing her Twitter fans, Minaj appeared to announce a surprise album, as she tweeted that an album called "Pick My Fruit Out" would drop at midnight. Many of her fans believed her, and some news outlets even picked up the story, but it turned out that the star was just playing us — although new Nicki Minaj music might still be coming soon.

Those paying attention to Minaj's attitude on Saturday night should not have been surprised when midnight came and went and there was no new Nicki album. Minaj's other comments on the "new music" that night made it pretty clear that her announcement was a joke. She tweeted that each track would be named after a fruit, with songs called "Bananas (harambe interlude)" and "N**** Toss My Fruit Salad." Later, she tweeted her love to her fans, writing "I been cryin laughin this whole time, btw." As of Sunday afternoon, Minaj hasn't tweeted since that latest tweet, and of course, she didn't release a new album, either.

Gullible fans should be forgiven; they just wanted new Nicki Minaj music, and it wouldn't have been completely implausible. Surprise albums have grown far more common in the age of Beyoncé, and Minaj could absolutely pull it off. She also recently released "The Pinkprint Freestyle," a new track that did include a reference to Harambe. Could "The Pinkprint Freestyle" have marked the end of the Pinkprint era and the beginning of a new one?

Even though this album was a joke, it seems very possible that Minaj will release new music before long. The Pinkprint was released almost two years ago, and while Minaj's been featured on tracks like Ariana Grande's "Side to Side" and DJ Khaled's "Do You Mind," more standalone tracks would be super welcome. Minaj has addressed her current break from albums, telling Nylon in March:

I wanted to take a moment to just live my life, enjoy my life, have fun, go out. I think that's very important before you start writing again. It's a spiritual experience for the people who are hearing the music, so I'm trying to be very careful of what mental space I'm in while I'm creating it. Now, I want my happiness to be reflected in the new stuff.

Yet although she did mention a break, it's also telling that she talked about her new music in the present tense. Recently, Minaj referenced new work in tweets that didn't appear to be jokes. On Saturday night, she tweeted to a fan that "Everything happens at the RIGHT time. Not the most requested time, not the predicted time. BUT the RIGHT time. PRAISE GOD." She's also tweeted out what looks like lyrics and retweeted speculations:

It's difficult to tell what's real, considering Minaj's playful sense of humor. In the meantime, fans have the new Freeform show about Minaj's childhood to look forward to. Is it possible that the comedy series will feature original Minaj music? We can dream.