Saturday Night: Nicki Minaj at Bayou Music Center
I am told by countless bloggers that Nicki Minaj is a "polarizing." Her Grammy performance, her lyrical abilities, whether she's a rapper or pop star, the quality of "Starships"; all have been debated endlessly on this here World Wide Web.
Because the Internet is an echo chamber and her detractors are extremely vocal, you're liable to forget that part of being polarizing means that there have to be people on the other side that really, really love you. If no one liked or cared about Nicki, people would stop writing about her. There's a reason we stopped talking about Kreayshawn.
When Nicki hits a city it's an event, no matter what size venue she plays. In this case it was this past Saturday at Houston's Bayou Music Center and unlike on the blogosphere, her fans were out in force.
The Warm Up: Although I've heard him on the radio countless times before, going in to the show I didn't know much about 2 Chainz other than that he hangs out with Kanye and used to be named Tity Boi.
Things I learned about 2 Chainz Friday night:
He's got a good street team, as evidenced by the amount of 2 Chainz fans being used by audience members trying to keep cool. He's got an impressive collection of hit songs to pull verses from, which makes him more famous than at least five people on G.O.O.D. music.
The Nicki We Know: Our first look at Nicki was with a mock church background with her and her dance crew wearing black robes while the beat to "Roman's Revenge" dropped. The robes were not long for this world, but it was a nice callback to that Grammy performance that got so many people worked up.
She hit the ground running after that with the focus of the first part of the show being songs that display her lyrical ability and love of cursing in an easy to listen to hip hop package. The crowd was electric from the start, eager to scream out the obscenities along with their idol.
2 Chainz made a return appearance for his verse on "Beez In The Trap," and the cheer he got when he hit the stage was loud enough to make you forget he had just spent 30 minutes rapping earlier in the night.
Pop Diva: The big problem with this show is that the transitions are awful. I get that it takes time to put on new wigs and change outfits, but I'm not sure the answer is to just have the DJ spin songs you aren't going to perform while doing some half-assed call-and-response.
The crowd still managed to lose their minds every time Nicki returned to the stage, which can only mean that lazy can still be effective.
After a quick jaunt through "Starships," which the crowd ate up, and "Pound the Alarm," the pop portion of the show came to a quick conclusion.