Monday night, both curious fans and industry insiders filled LA's intimate Teragram Ballroom for a secret concert described vaguely as Hip Hop/Pop/R&B.
As the audience anticipated the reveal of Red Bull's final act in their "30 Days in LA" series, speculative whispers of Nicki Minaj possibly headlining began after Jazz Cartier opened. Complete with crowd surfing and strewn water bottles, the Toronto rapper's set included "Dead or Alive," "Holy Shit" and newer release "I Know."
The stage soon transformed and a lengthy instrumental began to play as pink lighting poured over the DJ booth. In due time, the surprise guest appeared in a lacy, teal dress rapping "Super Bass" into her glittery microphone.
As Nicki sashayed around in her matching Louboutins, fans greeted her with excited wails while performing crowd favorites "Only," "Anaconda" and the Beyonce-assisted "Feelin' Myself" (in which she literally lived up to its title, caressing her voluptuous assets at times).
No stranger to star powered features, she flawlessly delivered her verses on Big Sean's "Dance (A$$)” and Drake's "Up All Night" until giving her feet a rest eventually going barefoot. Halfway into her performance, she perched on a stool as fans chanted along to hits like Rae Sremmurd's "No Flex Zone" and Rico Richie's "Poppin" in unison.
"This is what I play when I wanna put it on my man," the glamorous MC shared as she introduced the sensuous "Touchin', Lovin' You" with Trey Songz before wrapping up an abbreviated medley of earlier hits "Your Love," "Right Thru Me" and "Moment for Life."
She closed with her record-breaking hit "Starships" as the exclusive audience cleared out in awe having only paid $3 to witness one of the most successful female MCs to date.
Words by Andrea Aguilar