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Queen Latifah says Nicki Minaj will probably come out of her recently-announced "retirement" — but before that, she just needs to live some life first.

We got the iconic femcee Sunday heading into a reception hall in North Bergen, NJ for Treach's wedding, and right before she made it inside … our photog broke the news to her about Nicki abruptly announcing her retirement from rap this past week.

At first, QT couldn't believe it — but when we explained why Nicki was doing it — to start a family with her fiance, Kenneth Petty — the Queen was totally down with NM's decision.

Queen Latifah suggests that Nicki deserves this, as she's been in the game for a long time now. Then she drops a bit of knowledge on us, saying once you're a rapper … you're always a rapper. Short story long, she thinks Nicki will make a comeback … one day.

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