Rolling Stone gave Nicki Minaj a bad review on her live performance during her tour with pop star Britney Spears, but that didn’t stop this hip-hop Barbie doll. Minaj has been featured on the two largest tours of 2011. She first joined her Young Money mentor Lil Wayne for his ‘I Am Still Music’ tour, and now she’s roaming the states with Britney Spears for ‘Femme Fatale.’
On the creative direction of the show:
I wanted the direction to feel like a few girls from another planet. One of them just happens to be “the chosen one.” They embark on a journey to go to a few different cities and search for this person named Nemesis. I wanted it to be really theatrical and fun. And I just wanted to make the audience feel like they were spying on our world.
On performing for a pop audience and how it differs from a hip hop audience:
What I first dealt with was a bit of the unknown. Is this something that Britney’s crowd will even enjoy? But it all went away the first night. I stood in the transporter, that big prop that we have on the stage, and I could not believe the crowd reaction before they even saw me. It was very emotional for me. I was so shocked. I thought, OK, on the Wayne tour, this is my audience, everyone that knows Wayne, they know Nicki Minaj. When I heard those screams, it was one of the best feelings in the world. It changed overnight. I’m pleasantly surprised with the people coming out on this show; they generally are coming out not to critique, but to have fun. The hip-hop community tends to be more critical. On this stage, I felt a little bit more free.
On how much time she had to prepare for the Britney tour:
I’m going to be honest: I haven’t even done a dress rehearsal for this tour yet. I know most people wouldn’t come out and say that, but we’ve been really, really pulling this off by the skin of my teeth because like you said, I had just come off a tour, and right after the tour we had to prep for a lot of other things. We really didn’t have a lot of prep time, and then of course I’m not the headlining act so I didn’t get time on the stage, I didn’t get time for my lighting and my cues. We really have been pulling it off.
I wanted more time to nurture the show and get it to the point where I was ready to see it, but unfortunately tick, tick, tick, it was time to go up. So just being honest, I really don’t think the show is where I want it to be as far as preparation. People don’t notice, you’ll never know, but I’m having all these wardrobe malfunctions. [During Monday’s performance] my dress broke, I couldn’t walk down the aisle on “Fly,” for the fight scene my holster didn’t come off in time — it was a lot of craziness backstage. I really can’t wait for people to see this show after we start to feel comfortable. These three shows have been our dress rehearsals. We’re definitely not in our comfort zone yet.
On her upcoming solo tour and what she has taken from both the Wayne and Britney tours:
Let me just say I’m going to take from Britney and Wayne, because they’re both veterans. Being completely honest I’ve learned so much from them, in terms of production. Britney’s production is so amazing. When I sat out there the first night to watch it, I felt like I was a kid at an amusement park. It was so much, the lights, the content and the props. Whereas Wayne, he teaches me how to command a crowd. His comfort level and how he makes people feel like he’s their best friend when he’s onstage. He has that command. If you can put both of those two things into a show, you can really do an amazing show — that’s my goal. Am I gonna be able to do these humongous venues within the next year? Probably not. But am I gonna put on an amazing show and give everyone something that’s gonna be well worth what they paid? Absolutely yes.