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Nicki Minaj At The O2 Apollo Manchester Review

Mark Jorgensen is left perplexed and perspiring after a trip to planet Minaj

Written by . Published on June 29th 2012.

Nicki Minaj At The O2 Apollo Manchester Review

PRIOR to attending the Manchester arm of Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday tour at the Apollo, I had my suspicions that she was either 50 different people or a shapeshifter.

As Churchill once famously said of Russia, Minaj is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a Widow Twankie costume and a massive booty. I’m pretty sure that’s what he said.

I’ve probably seen hundreds of pictures of her yet I honestly can’t say I know what she looks like, nor can I even picture her in my head. Every picture I see, she has a different weave, a different scowl, different makeup, different outfits and different bumps and curves protruding from her infamous and preposterously-angled posterior.

After seeing the gig, I’m now suspicious that she is 100 different people - each of them shapeshifters - yet her legions of fans seem to be absolutely crazy about every single one of them.

“Have you noticed that everyone here is either gay or wearing hotpants?” my plus one noted, as we stood in the bar in our capacity as honorary ‘Ken Barbs’ (Minaj’s name for her male fans) for the evening. He was absolutely right.

Nicki Minaj At The O2 Apollo Manchester

For an artist who recently performed a mock exorcism on stage at the Grammys, her arrival last night was suitably bizarre.

The mere dropping of the lights had caused the decibel level to screech to heights I never thought conceivable, Minaj arrived on stage amidst a dazzling flurry of colour and lights with an opening line of “I’m a bitch, I’m a c*nt”. As far as entrances go, that’s a fairly clear statement of intent.

The stage was as surreal and difficult to describe as Minaj herself; imagine a Christian rap music video held inside an M C Escher painting.

Her opening was a curious yet well delivered collection of her hip hop material, from the slower hip-jangling Did it On Em, to the frankly berserk Stupid Hoe, with seemingly every single member of the huge crowd (bar two astonished Ken Barbs) rapping and ‘attitude finger wagging’ along to every single lyric.

Nicki Minaj At The O2 Apollo Manchester

The entire set seemed to be split into different sections - each naturally requiring a new bombastic outfit - and it was the gaps for these costume changes which were arguably the most confusing of the night.

Each time she left the stage for her ample derriere to be not-so-hurriedly shoehorned into the next gaudy outfit, it left the DJ alone on the stage playing, well, Nicki Minaj songs. With lyrics. Just playing her songs.

Strangely, the act not actually being on the stage for long periods mattered not a jot as the crowd continued to go completely bananas, dancing and singing back at the DJ cutting a bit of a lonely figure on the empty stage being sung at by thousands of teenagers.

As the show moved along, Minaj moved more toward her up-tempo pop material - most notably Turn Me On and Starships – cranked up the volume and the heat, transforming the Apollo into a sweat-drenched cauldron. The longer the show went on, the more and more it felt like a school disco rave held on the surface of the sun. With a giant confetti cannon.

Nicki MInaj At The O2 Apollo Manchester

Is it all a big marketing ploy from some nefarious, faceless record label? Perhaps. But whether you’re a fan or not, Nicki Minaj is undeniably unique and has carved herself a level of surreal pop stardom akin to fellow uber-star mentalist Lady Gaga.

As Churchill once famously said of Russia, Minaj is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a Widow Twankie costume and a massive booty. I’m pretty sure that’s what he said.

On the subject of the booty (or bhoooootttaaaaaayyyy, as I feel is more pertinent in this instance).......yes, she definitely has.

Follow Mark Jorgensen on Twitter @markjorgy

Mark is part of The Hip Hop Chip Shop collective - the plaice to be for hip hop based comedy, founded by a bunch of Manchester-based rapscallions who had a love for hip hop, humour and fish and chips.

For more information visit: www.thehiphopchipshop.com 

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AnonymousJune 29th 2012.

Silly man, not a minaj fan but people getting excited by a dj? Oh my!! (you need to go out more) watch the last ten minutes of 24 hour party people.,, and mancon, don't send pensioners to cultural events.,

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