Nicki Minaj Is Coming To Call Of Duty, Barbs Stay Winning

After weeks of rumors, Call of Duty has announced that it’s adding a Nicki Minaj operator to Warzone and Modern Warfare II. Nicki will join Snoop Dogg (who first became a playable Call of Duty character last year) and 21 Savage as part of an in-game celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. The operators will be available during Call of Duty: Warzone and Modern Warfare II Season Five, which kicks off August 2. Because of this addition, and nothing else, I will be playing this game again.

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According to a blog post on the official Call of Duty website, you’ll also get free war track packs (songs that play on in-game vehicles’ radios) for logging in four times between August 7 and August 16. The first three days of logins will get you a song from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s respectively, while logging in on the fourth day gets you a weapon blueprint.

Playing as Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj, and 21 Savage will not be free, but it’s unclear how much their respective bundles will cost you. The blog post says that “more information is to come” that will be posted “prior to launch,” so if you’re hoping to get some Roman’s Revenge in Warzone, you might wanna start saving up. I know that I will be downloading Warzone and playing again for the first time in months, solely thanks to Miss Chun-Li.

Plus, an Activision rep confirmed to Kotaku that Nicki Minaj did some voiceover work for her Operator (as did 21 Savage and Snoop).

The Call of Duty Season 5 roadmap.

Image: Activision

At launch, Call of Duty Season 5 will also bring back a Call of Duty 4 map, and add three other new maps for Modern Warfare II, as well as three new modes (Havoc, a multiplayer arena-style mode; large-scale Capture the Flag, and Gunfight variants). As always, the season will add more maps and modes as it progresses.

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Warzone will get a special quest for its Vondel map that’s similar to the Traditional Battle Royale Champion’s Quest in Al Mazrah, with a few tweaks detailed in the aforementioned blog post. And two familiar vehicles will join Warzone maps for the first time: the MRAP (a big-ass armored truck) and the dirt bike (self-explanatory).

All of this is well and good, but I’m still focused on the addition of Nicki Minaj. Barbs, rise up.

Nicki Minaj Swatted In Apparent Prank For Third Time This Year

Nicki Minaj places her left hand on her chest at the 2022 Met Gala.

Photo: James Devaney (Getty Images)

This past weekend, police showed up to musician and newly minted Call of Duty operator Nicki Minaj’s Los Angeles home in what’s being called a swatting prank that’s commonly used against gamers and livestreamers, TMZ reports.

According to TMZ, the San Fernando Valley Police Department (SFVPD) county sheriff deputies arrived at Minaj’s $19.5 million farmhouse with lights and sirens blaring on July 29. Law enforcement explained that a person dialed 911 claiming someone was shot at her house, leading police to rush to the scene. When SFVPD arrived and saw no shooting victims, they deemed it a prank call. Minaj wasn’t happy to see deputies again, especially since this is the third time this happened to her this year.

In June, TMZ reported that someone called the cops on Minaj and claimed her child was being abused. Twenty-four hours later, police received another 911 call that alleged the “Barbie World” rapper’s house was on fire. Police deemed both instances were swatting pranks. At the time, Minaj said that she hired lawyers to make sure those responsible were exposed and held accountable.

Swatting is a dangerous form of prank that started in the early 2000s but rose to prominence in the mid-2010s with the internet boom. It involves someone calling the cops, typically on a livestreamer, with the goal of getting a large police response to show up at a particular person’s address. A variety of livestreamers have been subjected to this form of online harassment, including trans political commentator Keffals, Just Chatting broadcaster Kai Cenat, and The Streamer Awards creator QTCinderella. Not only does this dangerous prank waste police resources, in some cases it’s even resulted in an unfortunate loss of life. It’s also a criminal offense, with folks who engage in the “prank” potentially facing multiple years in prison, large fines, and any other applicable penalties.

Kotaku reached out to Minaj’s team and the SFVPD for comment.

Minaj, who has won over 400 awards including MTV’s Best Hip Hop trophy in 2022, will be a playable operator in the upcoming season five content drop of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Warzone. Her forthcoming album Pink Friday 2 comes out on November 17. She says it will restore hope in mankind.


Reactions To Call of Duty’s Nicki Minaj Operator Are Priceless

Call of Duty: Warzone and Modern Warfare II have finally added a Nicki Minaj operator skin a month after it was announced, and the Barbz are taking over the battle royale and posting reactions to the bombastic character’s addition to the game.

Introduced as part of Activision’s 50th anniversary of hip-hop promo, the Nicki Minaj cosmetic bundle comes with two bubblegum-pink weapons (an assault rifle and a shotgun) that shoot pink paint splatters, an animated player icon featuring an ice cream cone that morphs into Nicki’s face, a player banner, gun badge, pink truck skin, and, of course, the queen of rap herself. The Nicki Minaj operator is especially brilliant—not only does she have an incredibly long, pink wig that trails well past her ample bottom, but she’s wearing a head-to-toe metallic pink catsuit and six inch heels. Naturally, Warzone players who are also fans of Nicki Minaj are gagging over her addition to the game, and many of them jumped in to buy and equip it (her bundle costs about $20).

A screenshot of the Warzone start screen. Nicki Minaj stands front and center in all pink.

Screenshot: Activision / Kotaku

Nicki Minaj in Call of Duty reactions

Social media was almost immediately inundated with clips of Nicki Minaj in Warzone, like one of Fortnite streamer and rapper KeepUpRadio refreshing the in-game shop and freaking out when the Nicki bundle appeared. “Sound the alarm for Nicki Minaj in Call of Duty! Let’s go!” she yells before playing a clip from “Red Ruby Da Sleeze,” a more recent Nicki hit.

“Nicki Minaj is my favorite artist. Every year she’s my most streamed on Spotify Wrapped,” she told Kotaku over Instagram DM. “I was bummed she wasn’t in Fortnite but just the fact that she was coming to any video game I think is a huge accomplishment…the representation when it comes to playing as people you can relate to makes the experience more fun.”

KeepUpRadio isn’t the only person freaking out over Nicki in Call of Duty—the internet is full of reaction clips and videos of Minaj sprinting through a literal warzone in six-inch pumps, her long, pink hair flowing oddly behind her (I don’t think Activision devs are all that familiar with a 40-inch wig).

One Nicki clip shows a streamer rapping one of her verses while riding an ATV before being unceremoniously blown up. “The str8ghts ruining cod for us Barbs,” the captions reads. In another, a woman warns everyone that they’re gonna be sick of her while waving what looks like the Nova Pink PS5 DualSense controller at her TV, Call of Duty Nicki standing idly on the screen. “We got another Nicki on our team,” a player says excitedly in a different clip, the pink-clad rapper serving as a sort of calling card for Black women, her fans, and the gay community at large.

Naturally, the Nicki skin and its implications has been triggering some angry little boys in Call of Duty, but the Barbz run deep. One TikTok shows a player frustratingly asking “y’all are really just gonna sit here?” after two Nicki players took out an enemy late in a match. As the Nickis try to respond to him, he complains: “Y’all wasted money on that? I mean c’mon now” referencing the Nicki skin. The squad wins the game, and someone says “fuck you gays” loudly into their mic. “Bitch, you’re mad as fuck we won,” a player responded, and the Barbz break out into laughter. “Look how we ate that,” one says as the evac helicopter takes the victors away. “Barbz r taking over and the straights r mad,” the caption reads.

I too have been waiting for Nicki to drop in Warzone (in fact I’ve been bothering Activision PR about it for weeks), so I made sure to get a few rounds in last night with Chun-Li herself. Within moments of dropping into Ashika Island during the pre-match warmup, I chased down a guy in a generic operator skin, killing him with a spray of pink-splattered bullets. “Damn, Nicki!” he yelled over Warzone’s proximity chat. Minutes later, I mowed down someone while blasting Lil’ Kim’s “Lighters Up” over the in-game truck’s radio. “Nicki Minaj!” a kid’s voice screeched as his character’s body rolled under my tires.

Her voice lines are unsurprisingly great, too. That’s because Nicki Minaj actually recorded them, so when your in-game character shouts “Brrrr” or implores a teammate to “buy me back, boo,” it’s actually the modern queen of rap herself saying it. Call of Duty rarely feels like it’s for the girls and the gays, but it certainly does right now.

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