This has certainly been the year of the apocalypse-themed music video. And now, with the debut of their “Fly” video during the 2011 Video Music Awards pre-show, Nicki Minaj, along with her best gal Rihanna, have joined the ranks of celebs like Britney Spears, Chris Brown, Willow Smith and Katy Perry who have spelled out the end of the world in their clips.
The video plays out like some post-apocalyptic fashion magazine photo shoot in which Nicki Minaj and Rihanna stand near a plane wreck in couture outfits, mugging for the camera. It opens with Nicki pulling up to the wreckage in a very luxurious ride. Plane parts are strewn about as she steps out in platform boots and a hot pink dress made of what looks like pleather and mechanical parts.
Nicki looks around at the world around her, reacting to the destruction as she spits defiant lyrics like, “Everybody wanna try to box me in/ Suffocating every time it locks me in/ Paint they own pictures, then they crop me in/ But I will remain where the top begins/ ‘Cause I am not a word, I am not a line/ I am not a girl that can ever be defined.”
Soon, she’s joined by Rihanna, still with her red hair and wearing a torn-up dress, assessing the damage, though neither of the two ladies seems ready for action. This is more about them looking beautiful in the midst of their ugly surroundings.
Meanwhile, Rihanna keeps the girl power alive on the chorus, singing, “I came to win, to fight, to conquer, to thrive/ I came to win, to survive, to prosper, to rise/ To fly, to fly.”
By the second verse, Nicki’s in her next look: cropped, bubble-gum pink wig and a strapless lavender gown complete with big tulle, ballerina skirt and floral details. She stands as the camera pans around her to show the destruction. She’s again joined by Ri, who is now wearing a tight, white dress. Nicki then changes into a bronze-colored dress made of wires and a leopard-colored wig.
Perhaps the most unusual part of the video is when Nicki, wearing a white latex bodysuit, battles ninjas. Eventually, she defeats them, and the world begins to flourish, with flowers and greenery beginning to grow amid the wreckage. The sun shines down on everyone as the video closes.
The video, which was shot back in January, was directed by Sanaa Hamri, who also helmed Nicki’s VMA-nominated “Super Bass.”
The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards will air live Sunday from Los Angeles at 9 p.m. ET/PT, following the Selena Gomez-hosted pre-show at 8. See the list of nominees, revisit last year’s highlights and vote for Best New Artist by visiting VMA.MTV.com.