I remember listening to Nicki Minaj shortly after signing with Young Money back in 2009. Bedrock became a huge hit and I still remember thinking that she is an interesting character. I remember she set the internet alight when she released her buzz single ‘Massive Attack’. The single cover showed her wearing a green wig and there was something really different about her. A few months later she dropped ‘Your Love’ and ‘Check It Out’ which didn’t really grab me but were good enough for me to add to my playlist. It wasn’t until I heard her verse on Kanye West’s smash hit ‘Monster’ that I really sat up and listened. Since then, she has dropped hit after hit and became the biggest female in the hip-hop industry.
I became obsessed with Nicki Minaj. She not only catered for my love of pop music, but delivered some incredible (even hardcore) raps that literally blew my mind every single time. Therefore, when Airey Scott, 5FM and Metro FM announced that they would be bringing out the rapper earlier this year, I freaked the fuck out. I literally began counting down the days until the 18th of March when I got to see one of my favourite performers live. Being a big lover of music, these are the moments I live for. It was a huge tick off the bucket list to see Nicki Minaj live but the experience was both over and underwhelming.
The night started off with Cassper Nyovest who opened the show. He has literally turned the local industry upside down with just two albums and after selling out the venue last year (something not even Nicki did), he was so comfortable on that stage. He gave a world-class performance and was the perfect person to open for the Queen of Rap.
After Cassper’s explosive performance, we had a short wait before Nicki burst onto the stage with a track off her latest album called ‘All Things Go’. Now, as you may have guessed by the title of this post, I left the show on a high yet also with a huge sense of disappointment. Sounds confusing, right? Well, let me explain.
Much like Chris Brown’s abomonation of a show last time he was here, Nicki tried her best to satisfy each and every member in the crowd. Nicki has hits for days so, naturally, she can’t perform every single one. However, she did a really great job at diversifying her material. From hip-hop singles like ‘Beez In The Trap’ and even ‘Monster’ to her pop bangers ‘Starships’ and ‘Anaconda’, Nicki gave every member in the crowd an experience.
I’m still surprised I didn’t lose my voice. The crowd was eating out of the palm of her hand. I rapped along to almost every single song and she did a great job keeping it entertaining and slowing it down to show off her vocal ability. Nicki had all the ingredients to make The Pinkprint Tour one of the best in the world, however, it was her sheer laziness that turned the show into a disaster.
To be honest, I’m mad at Nicki. I feel cheated. She got to the top by being the best but the show she put on should make any artist embarrased to be on stage. Her performance was incredibly messy and it was clear that she was purely going with the flow this time around. The Pinkprint Tour headed out all over the world but, honestly, this felt like it was put together that morning and I’m sure many fans, like myself, expected more from her.
Firstly, what the fuck was up with those backing tracks? They were so loud that most of the time you couldn’t even hear Nicki’s voice coming from her mic. Sure, she blew me away during moments like her ‘Save Me’ performance but overall, this was one thing that really upset me. Yes, Nicki raps a lot and sometimes she may not be able to take on such a feat live but this was just ridiculous.
Posted by El Broide on Saturday, March 19, 2016
Also, why stop a song in the middle? Like I said, Nicki has hits for days so it’s understandable that she wanted to squeeze as many tracks into the setlist as possible. And if this show was a 2-hour spectacular I would have been content. However, Nicki performed for just over an hour so, to me, there is no excuse as to why she could not just finish the song. She did have a moment in the set where she performed her raps which she featured on. Songs like ‘Dutty Love’, ‘Touchin’ Lovin’ and ‘Dance (A$$)’ naturally meant she would only perform her verse (she had a part in the show dedicated to her features which was really cool) but I cannot understand why she didn’t complete her very own material.
There was also a moment in the performance, just before she sang ‘Starships’, which is the last track on the tour’s setlist on the Wikipedia page, where she hinted to the DJ that she was over the performance and that he should wrap things up. If you look at the setlist, she skipped many tracks although I do understand that the setlist is never set in stone. However, the vibe she gave off was an indication of this. She also didn’t have one outfit change that angered a lot of people but to be honest, I didn’t have a problem with that at all.
Posted by El Broide on Wednesday, March 23, 2016
The truth of the matter is that Nicki’s heart and soul wasn’t in this performance and, unfortunately, there is no way even an artist of her calibre can hide this. There were also sound issues which should have been sorted out.
That being said, I can’t lie and say I had a bad time. I had a great time. I was so into the performance and there were moments when Nicki spat a verse acoustically and crushed it or slowed it down singing ‘Johannesburg won’t you save me’ so emotionally and effortlessly. I’m still a huge Nicki Minaj fan and I am so so happy that I got to see her doing her thing live. I just wish she was as excited to perform for me as I was to watch her perform.
**** This is a friendly reminder that this is my opinion and my opinion alone.
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