Grade A Certified

Ok, Nicki, I Believe You Now (by J. Tinsley)

Posted by Mr. Put On on January 11, 2010


The  footage below was shot at Ibiza in Washington D.C. last week. To set the scene even more, just know the temperature was around 19 degrees with the wind making it painfully more colder. I happened to be in attendance that night, albeit very far from the chaos that was the dance floor. From my view from the DJ booth, I saw the crowd grow more and more as the minutes passed that night, all with one thing in mind. The night before, Drake and Nicki Minaj were scheduled to be at Club LOVE. Due to recent violent events, their appearances and the entire establishment was shut down.

Honestly, I knew Nicki Minaj had a buzz surrounding her. That’s apparent with the ridiculous number of females mimicking her look and style on a daily basis. Hell, I’m even a fan of some of her work. When she wants to, she can come correct on a track (I still believe she had the #1 “Best I Ever” remix). Even better, her personality and niche’ have blossomed at the most ideal time. Female MC’s are a rare breed, that’s obvious. What may not be so obvious to those who aren’t fans of the 24-year-old New York bred femcee is her following. It happens to be reaching levels which would make the most veteran of artists stop and take look.

Around 1:15 that morning, the woman Barbie of the evening finally hit the stage. Keep in mind, this wasn’t a “concert”, rather a “performance.” Several members of her entourage, Drake, Future, Niko and Cortez Bryant (Lil’ Wayne’s manager) were all on stage as well. But none of that mattered, it was all about Nicki. She ran through her set with the entire crowd fixated on her every syllable. All I saw were camera flashes sparking in unison, similar to a batter stepping to bat in the World Series. Her fans knew every word to every song, feature and freestyle. She even afforded me a pleasant surprise when she performed her underground anthem, “Slumber Party.”

Young women passed out, Drake saw his favorite breast and the crowd represented a sea of confusion, excitement and loyalty. All in all, it was a cool event. More important than that, however, it opened my eyes to the true influence of Minaj’s music has on her fans. This isn’t to rally the troops on how her (positive or negative) Barbie phenomena is taking over the country one unsuspecting female at a time. If nothing else, that remains a testament to her. Truthfully, I’ll probably never become her biggest fan, but I do respect her hustle. She’s not Lil’ Kim. She’s not Foxy Brown. She’s not Remy Ma. And Nicki herself would likely tell you she’s not the next Lauryn Hill. But ultimately, she doesn’t have to be. She just has to be Nicki Minaj.

And if the past year and some change are any indication, she’s on the right track.


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