Nicki Minaj, having apparently abandoned all traces of garishness by way of discarding the pink wigs, is in rare form tonight. She slowly glides across the dry-iced floor of the stage looking elegant, almost regal in her black lace veil, as she surveys the crowd before her. Not a smile to be seen, like a po-faced Lady Muck. A preceding video montage explains her arrival at this ostensibly more reserved persona and she makes efforts to address the crowd – who, let’s face it, are here to either hear her singing about her ass or watch her shaking it – in a look-at-how-fucking-eloquent-and-posh-I-am-now display of high-born mimicry. Call it a reductive view on one of the world’s most talked about and successful pop stars, but that’s the only impression you’ll get from the hordes of kids in their skimpies who match her shake for shake and gyration for inappropriate gyration.
Within three songs Minaj has dropped the display of reformed grace and is on her hands and knees and positioned between the flayed legs of one of her four female dancers whilst her team of crack musicians lay on a jaw-dropping display of musical nous. The bass is so powerful it not only feels as if it’s emanating from the listener’s soul and it actually has the effect of blurring the ultra-high definition video display on stage. But the bass is not the center of attention here, Minaj and her dancers are. Ludicrously talented and humming with sex appeal, the seven (there are two male dancers up there now) move in unison and resemble a kind of filthy synchronised swimming ensemble.
“This is my most personal album yet”, claims Nicki in an earnest, almost humble tone via another video interval. This time the video depicts her in her more natural, vulnerable state. Looking wistfully out of the window of a private jet; sitting on the roof of her car whilst checking her phone in front of a private jet; fixing the hair of an aide, in front of a window through which you can see a private jet. She appears from a trap door on the stage in another costume. ‘Anaconda’ launches and although not from her new “more personal” album, we get more about her “buns”, “bitch ass niggas” and “fuckin’ bitch ass motherfuckers”. Not to mention her big ass and big titties. Truly, a Renaissance woman is in our midst.
Photo via Nicki Minaj’s Instagram.