Singer Nicki Minaj arrives for the 42nd Annual American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Nov. 23, 2014 in Los Angeles.
Albert L. Ortega—Getty Images
By Eliza Berman
December 3, 2014

The opening track of Nicki Minaj’s forthcoming album The Pinkprint hit the Internet today, and it’s light years away from the Amazonian twerkosphere that is “Anaconda.” “All Things Go” is a sober account of a wide range of personal challenges the rapper has faced in her life, from strained relationships with her family to the murder of her cousin Nicholas Telemaque in 2011.

Minaj opens the song with a reflection on fame and the velocity with which life moves forward. “Life is a movie,” she raps, “there’ll never be a sequel.” In the second verse, she grapples with whether her cousin’s death could have been avoided if she had let him stay with her: “I’ll pop a pill and remember the look in his eyes the last day he saw me.”

In the third verse, Minaj addresses motherhood — both her relationship with her own mother (“I’d give it all if somehow I could just rekindle that”) and the realization that her own child would have been a teenager now. In her 2008 song “Autobiography,” Minaj refers to what sounds like an abortion, rapping, “Please baby forgive me, mommy was young.”

In a Twitter Q&A with fans yesterday, Minaj called “All Things Go” one of the two most emotional songs on the album. We can expect to hear the other, “Grand Piano,” when the album comes out on Dec. 15.

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