Minaj descended the VMA Pre-Show escalator channeling her Harajuku Barbie alter ego in an outfit that could only be described as eclectic. Minaj layered a shiny, structural purple bodice with a frothy tutu under-pinning. Accessories ran the gamut from a chunky, soft-serve ice cream necklace to layers of cartoon-covered socks, leg warmers and slippers. She topped off the look with a Japanese face mask and a mop of blond, red, yellow and orange locks.
When asked by MTV News' James Montgomery which of her three nominations — Best Female, Best Hip-Hop or Best Collaboration — she wanted to win the most, the answer was clear for Minaj. "I'd like to win Best Hip-Hop Video," she said. "Yeah, but they're all important. And I'd be honored to win either. I'm honored just to be nominated."
Minaj then introduced a first look at her "Fly" music video collaboration with Rihanna. In the video, Minaj sports two comparatively more demure looks: the first, a gray gown with a pink wig; and the second, a leopard-printed confection.
As for her duties at the main show, Minaj, who helped present the prize for Best Pop Video, also confirmed she'd be doing something with MTV's own crazy cartoon characters Beavis and Butt-head, but she wouldn't reveal much beyond that. "Oh my god," she said. "All I know is that it's going to be ass-tacular."