I would like to preface this review with a full disclosure: I’m not a fan of hip hop shows. It has nothing to do with the artists themselves, or the genre at all. With my experience, it is attending hip-hop shows and having to watch an artist on stage with 5-10 member of their entourage and all they do it rap over the album version of their songs. However, on Tuesday night, some of these hip hop artists can take a lesson from Nicki Minaj.
The Jamaica, Queens native popped into the mainstream at the perfect time. Her cameo’s on Young Money’s “Bedrock” and Trey Songz “Bottom’s Up” really catapulted her into the hip hop stratosphere which previously lacked any sort of female companion over the last 10 years. Yes, Lil’ Kim, I’m talking to you.
Nicki opened the show with a rapid fire of hits. We all witnessed the ‘shock and awe’ on her interpretation of the Catholic church at this year’s Grammy Awards and her performance of “Roman’s Revenge”. Nicki followed it up with a barrage of her more urban hits like “Did It On ‘Em”, “Stupid Hoe” and a cameo from her opening act, 2 Chainz, on “Beez in the Trap”. The audience, made up of predominately Caucasian females, belted out every word of Nicki’s verse on “A$$ (Dance)”, made famous by Detroit native, Big Sean, as she progressed into more of her mainstream songs.
Songs like “Starships” and her latest top 40 single, “Pound The Alarm” proved that she can provide mainstream longevity, while still staying being able to satisfy her urban base. Nicki went into “Save Me”, from her Pink Friday album, which in this writer’s opinion, was a song top 40 radio failed to capitalize on. While even though the audience didn’t need the radio exposure to know the song, they still knew every word.
Nicki fired back with some of her early mixtape material like “HOV Lane” before inviting guests from the audience on stage to help her perform her Young Money debut on “Bedrock”. Confetti filled the Fox Theatre as she brought down the house with “Super Bass” was arguably her biggest song of the evening. Nicki left an amazing impression on Detroit, as well as this writer, who proved that you can be a hip hop performer and still perform a hip hop show, without the entourage.