They sprinted past me in clusters, squealing and clapping and punching the air. Clad in sequins, studs, shredded jeans, platform heels, hot pink mini skirts and clawing one another with their nail art, those who made it inside NYC's Roseland Ballroom for Nicki Minaj's promised free Pink Friday concert battled one another for a place close to the stage. Alas, the Young Money rapper promised and she delivered, opening dramatically in a black robe with "Roman's Revenge" and stripping down to a skin-tight pink, black, nude, and blue striped leotard and her signature Barbie-platinum hair and doe eyes for "Did It On Em."
After doing "Pound The Alarm," to a wildly receptive crowd, Nicki reappeared in a long white gown, and she didn't stop the wardrobe changes there. She hit us with a cotton candy pink wig and a slammin' corseted dress for her more emotional tracks and rocked a straight black wig and fitted red jacket for the way-more-hip-hop "Beam Me Up, Scotty."
The coolest thing about Nicki Minaj is the positive influence she has on her "Barbz" (fans, in case you, too, didn't know what that meant). To the kindergarten-aged girls and boys wearing tutus and sparkly suspenders watching the performance from atop their parents' shoulders and the teetering gaggle of young ladies in micro minis, her message is the same: be independent. And immediately after she told us so, Drake hit the stage for "Make Me Proud," and the crowd went wild again.
Coupled with also-fierce surprise performances from Foxy Brown ("there isn't a female rapper in the world who has opened more doors for me than you," Nicki told her onstage), and Lil Wayne, I'd say the fans got what they were promised.
For more Nicki goodness, check out our Roman Reloaded mix on The Thread's Spotify playlist.