ASBO Live: Nicki Minaj
The words “Cause in this moment I feel so alive” from the 2010 Nicki Minaj and Drake song Moment 4 Life could not be truer for anybody that was in attendance of Nicki’s show at London’s O2 Arena.
The tour which features both Nicki Minaj and Soundcloud rapper Juice WRLD after Future dropped out the tour has been off to a shaky start after a number of shows were cancelled paid its visit to London. Arriving to The O2 shortly before Nicki’s estimated time that she would be taking the stage, walking into Juice WRLD’s set which was still going on when we were expecting the changeover to be happening. After wrapping his set which didn’t really do anything to capture our attention beside from his song, we were left waiting for what we thought would be a quick changer over until we looked at the time and saw that it was 9:30 and Nicki was yet to take the stage. Eventually an hour later than she was supposed to appear Nicki took the stage.
Once she took the stage all prior annoyances the crowd may have felt went out the window. Kicking off with her song Majesty Minaj went into a two-hour set which saw the show ending at 11:30 way past her curfew. However, in this time Minaj who has had a rocky year with her latest album Queen not quite bringing the same hype she has previously had was able to keep the crowd going.
From her setlist which spanned over her past 4 albums, EP as well as her extensive list of features. Showing off her versatility in terms of her musical abilities the show which was split to 4 sections definitely demonstrated the extensive versatility in terms of her discography that Minaj has been able to build the past 9 years since she released her first album Pink Friday in 2010.
In terms of production we can’t help but feel with all her creativity and nature to which has always shown herself in her performances that this was a lacking element of the show. Considering two shows prior to this were unable to take place due to the venues being unable to match the technical nature required, we didn’t really see anything that would’ve explained why this was the case. With artists these days pushing boundaries and really taking production to the next level when it comes to their shows it just felt a bit lacking on her part.
However, where she lacked in production she made up for in the build of her setlist which kept the growing almost until the end of the night. Apart from her own material Minaj treated fans to a variety of her guest verses including a DJ segment which included a medley which we might say went on for a bit too long. However, all that aside the crowd soaked it up singing and rapping along to every verse of every song and every feature. Standouts from the setlist included her songs from her first album Moment 4 Life, Superbass, Right Thruu as well as the hidden gem that is Save Me delivered with strong vocals and the support of a powerful backup singer who took it all the way home. As well as her other songs, Beez in the Trap, Pound The Alarm, Turn Me On, Feeling Myself, as well as the emotional ballads of Grand Piano and Come See About Me and so much more. And if that wasn’t enough Nicki treated fans to guest appearances from UK locals Ms Banks, Lisa Mercedez, Stylo G for a performance of their song Yu Zimme. Additionally, UK rapper Yxng Bane also came out.
Whilst Nicki showed her audience and crowd why she refers to herself as queen she also displayed the ways in which she has continued to be a female rapper and singer that has been able move around different genres in a way that has made her able to reach such a large diverse range of people. This was clear from the people that were in the crowd.
Whatever your views might about Minaj you can’t help but respect that she has been able to build a career that we are sure will only continue to evolve, and being in that crowd we couldn’t help but feel in that moment that Minaj was capturing and living in her moment for life.
Words: Seneo Mwamba