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Queen
Nicki Minaj
Queen
Features The Weeknd
Released August 10, 2018
Format Digital download
Length 3:18
Label Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic
Writer Brittany Hazzard, Abel Tesfaye, Onika Maraj, Jeremy Reid
Producer J. Reid
Queen track listing
"Thought I Knew You" is track number 7.
Previous track
"Bed"
Next track
"Run & Hide"

"Thought I Knew You" is a song by Nicki Minaj from her fourth studio album Queen. It features The Weeknd. The song was written by Minaj, The Weeknd, Brittany Hazzard and Jeremy Reid, and was produced by the latter. This is the second collaboration between Minaj and The Weeknd, following "The Hills (Remix)" in 2015.

Background

In an interview with DJ Whoo Kid on August 17, 2018 while on Sirius XM Shade 45 to promote Queen, Minaj made the following statement about the track.

"The thing is it’s messed up because if I’ll say it, first of all, that person will feel bad and be offended and then it’ll make it seem like I still have an issue, you know, but sometimes you get out of something and you can say, "Man, wow, you was corny, you played yourself" or whatever, but I still can be cordial and move on. As an artist you wanna put that into your art, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you wanna put the person on blast all the time, but I did have a rap on that song and it would have put the person on blast, I took the rap off because I said, "You know what? I don’t want the bigger picture to be lost with this song"."[1]

I love how The Weeknd approached it, which is subtle, but still Weeknd is kind of dragging somebody on that song if you listen […] but versus when I do it, it’s not gonna go over too well, so there’s two songs that I took off the album because of that—they were talking about two different people, two different exes— because it was too that.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, recording engineer Aubry "Big Juice" Delaine was asked if songs such as "Thought I Knew You" and "Run & Hide" are recorded differently due to the "vulnerable feel" of the tracks.

"On "Thought I Knew You," it had to be smooth, something that changed your mood and put you in another place when you listen to it. The sonics have to match the mood that is being sung or rapped about."[2]

Lyrics

Nicki Minaj:
I-I-I-I thought I knew you
Ha-ha-ha, I guess I didn't
I-I-I-I thought I knew you
Fuck, baby, I-I guess I didn’t
I-I-I thought you was down for real
Thought you would stick around for real
Ah ah, ah ah ah, ah ah, ah

The Weeknd:
Misconstrued your love (Misconstrued your love)
You confused my love
You givin' up (Up) on love (On love)
Not to lose my love (Not to lose my love), yeah

Nicki Minaj:
Honestly, I think this shit excites you
You love drama, it excites you
I-I liked you
I-I-I-I don't think I’m talkin' to the right you

Nicki Minaj and The Weeknd:
I-I-I-I thought I knew you (Thought I knew you, girl)
Ha-ha-ha I guess I didn't
I-I-I-I thought I knew you (Thought I knew you)
Fuck, baby, I guess I didn't
I-I-I thought you was down for real (Down for real)
Thought you would stick around for real (For real)
Ah ah, ah ah ah, ah ah, ah

The Weeknd:
Tell me why you let me come inside for real
Nevermind, you were never mine for real
Hit my line, I'ma hit decline for real
I ain't tryin' for a second time for real

Honestly, I think this shit excites you (Excites you)
All that drama that you're tied to (Ooh yeah)
You play the victim every time, too (Oh, whoa)
That shit came back and hit you times two

Nicki Minaj and The Weeknd:
I-I-I-I thought I knew you (Thought I knew ya, baby)
Ha-ha-ha I guess I didn’t (Guess I didn’t, girl)
I-I-I-I thought I knew you (Oh, yeah)
Fuck, baby, I guess I didn't
I-I-I thought you was down for real (Down for real)
Thought you would stick around for real ('Round for real)
Ah ah, ah ah ah, ah ah, ah

Nicki Minaj:
You broke my heart and now ever since
I just want them dead presidents
I just want them dead presidents
I just want them dead presidents
You broke my heart, nigga, ever since
I just want them dead presidents
I just want them dead presidents
Now I just want them dead presidents
'Dents-dents, them presidents
Presidents-dents, them presidents
Presidents-dents, them presidents
Presidents-dents, them presidents
Presid-dead, d-dead, d-dead, d-dead
Them dead, d-dead, d-dead, d-dead, d-dead
Them dead, d-d, d-dead, d-dead, d-dead
Them dead, d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d, presidents, presidents
[3]

Charts

Chart (2018) Peak
position
US (Billboard Hot 100) 98
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard) 49
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 69
New Zealand 19

Credits

Personnel:[4]

  • Composer: Onika Maraj, Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Brittany Hazzard, Jeremy Reid
  • Producer: J. Reid
  • Mixer: Jaycen Joshua
  • Assistant mixer: Ben Milchev, David Nakaji
  • Recording engineer: Aubry "Big Juice" Delaine, Shin Kamiyama
  • Assistant recording engineer: Brian Judd, Laura Bates

References

  1. https://genius.com/Nicki-minaj-thought-i-knew-you-lyrics
  2. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/nicki-minaj-freestyled-90-of-barbie-dreams-in-one-take-709878/
  3. https://genius.com/Nicki-minaj-thought-i-knew-you-lyrics
  4. https://listen.tidal.com/album/93590429


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