NEW YORK — Nicki Minaj wasn’t kidding when she promised fans that she would make up that canceled Summer Jam performance . The Young Money rapper took the stage at Roseland Ballroom on Tuesday night (August 13) for a set that ran well over 2 hours, and just when it seemed like she might be rocking solo, she brought out a few guests, beginning with Foxy Brown, then adding her Young Money family Drake and Lil Wayne.
Minaj hit the stage at 9:30 p.m. for the Pepsi-sponsored show (part of the brand’s “Live for Now” campaign), which was live-streamed online and broadcast on the big screen in Times Square. Sporting a long blond wig and a skintight pink, blue and black-and-white striped leotard, she kicked things off with tracks like “Roman’s Revenge” and “Did It on ’Em,” flanked by her backup dancers in their colorful garb. The LED screens behind her reflected neon colors as she continued with hits like “Stupid H–” and riled up the crowd with her verses on Big Sean’s “Dance (A$$)” and 2 Chainz’s “I Love Dem Strippers.”
“Pound the Alarm” was another energy booster, after which Nicki took a break, changed into a white gown and returned to the stage, telling her Barbz that she wanted to have story time. It was at this point that Nicki turned the spotlight on the crowd, asking her fans to throw dirty looks at those who had come to judge her. “I just want my fans here, ’cause I don’t want people to come and observe me,” she yelled to the crowd. “If you didn’t come here to have a good time, go home!”
After this, she really turned the energy up, and there were still plenty of hits and outfit changes left. In a voluminous pink wig, with a pink-and-white corseted dress, she delivered the Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded ballad “Marilyn Monroe” and the emotional “Burn,” but she started to take things back to her hip-hop roots when she changed into a fitted red blazer with a long black wig. With a new look, she hit mixtape tracks like “Beam Me Up Scotty” and freestyled her verse on Birdman’s “Born Stunna.” As she continued to drum up old songs and feature verses, it seemed like Nicki would hold down the show on her own after all, but that was far from the truth.
Suddenly, out came Foxy Brown, with Nicki Minaj introducing her as someone “who has influenced me the most out of every female in the rap game” (just in case that wasn’t clear). Foxy and Minaj were spotted hanging out together after her failed Summer Jam performance, and it was rumored that they would have hit the stage together that day. Tuesday night, fans got a chance to see what they missed. Dressed in a one-piece, Foxy delivered “Oh Yeah” and “Tables Will Turn” with Nicki adding one more time, “I wanna thank you for being one of my biggest influences in the game. There isn’t a female rapper in the world who has opened more doors for me than you.”
As touching as the moment was, the Barbz weren’t prepared for what came next. Cue the beat for “Up All Night,” and out walks Drake, dressed in all black, to resounding screams. “New York City, when I heard what was going on tonight, I just had to get on the plane and support the queen, Ms. Nicki Minaj,” he told the crowd. Nicki and Drake’s chemistry onstage is undeniable. After scolding the Toronto rapper for his influence on some of her Barbz (jokingly calling him “the worst kind” of guy) Nicki lectured the ladies on the importance of being independent, before launching into “Make Me Proud.”
What was left at this point, but to bring out Lil Wayne? The man who had the final word on Nicki Minaj pulling out of her headlining slot at Summer Jam made an appearance just to make things official. Telling the crowd “I’m very proud of this young lady,” Wayne was sans skateboard but had a ball kicking it with Drake when they performed “The Motto.” Minaj was all smiles and giggles at this point, having her family by her side. To close out the show, she gave a shout-out to Taylor Swift, who so enthusiastically shared “Super Bass” with her fanbase, helping the track skyrocket and become a hit for Minaj. It was the most appropriate way to close out the night.