By Josh Bell
Before her recent album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded was released, rapper/singer Nicki Minaj told MTV that the release date was “gonna be important for—just hip-hop culture and pop culture. It’s gonna be very big.” Never one to understate things, Minaj has ridden her over-the-top style to self-determined fame, with hits like “Super Bass” and “Starships.”
With the success of Roman Reloaded, Minaj is becoming a pop diva in her own right, taking the chaotic rapping style that first got her noticed and mixing it up with radio-friendly dance-pop singing. Minaj is just as comfortable alongside hip-hop stars like Lil Wayne (who first discovered her) and Drake as she is performing with pop icons. Roman Reloaded is split down the middle, with songs representing Minaj’s hip-hop side (which showcase her impressive rapping) and her pop side (which feature her strong singing).
In concert, Minaj is also a little bit hip-hop and a little bit pop. She has hip-hop’s swagger and pop’s spectacle in her show, which has been getting bigger and bigger as her profile rises. When she heads to Europe later this year, Minaj will play arenas, so this tour may be the last chance to catch her in a more intimate setting. It looks like her supreme self-confidence is paying off.