FOMO Festival: Nicki Minaj proves she’s the most talented female rapper of the decade

Image via @nickiminaj
Words by Veronica Stanford

I’d pay to see her again and again.

Let me preface this by saying I had no idea what to expect from Nicki Minaj in the lead-up to her headline FOMO Festival slot in Melbourne last night.

Sure, I’ve seen bits and pieces of her performances on YouTube, but after sharing the news that she was sick, a TERRIBLE review from The Sydney Morning Herald and a Sunday night slot, it’s safe to say I had my reservations.

As the sun set at Flemington Racecourse, the Queen entered the stage to ‘Majesty’, with a procession of hooded dancers, who de-robed and broke into dance in time with the song’s opening chorus.

For a small festival stage, the setup was impressive. A winged golden throne was flagged with giant unicorns, and an immersive light show included flames for some serious theatrics.

The rapper herself was flawless (despite minor hiccups with her mic and security), showing off her talent from the song’s first verse, and continuing right throughout the show.

The set acted as a reminder of Minaj’s acclaimed catalogue, offering up a series of one to two-minute renditions of her best collabs – from ‘Feelin’ Myself’ with Beyoncé, to Jason Derulo’s ‘Swalla’ and Ariana Grande’s ‘Side To Side’. ‘Monster’ was a highlight, with the singer rapping acapella.

On two occasions, audience members were invited on stage, showcasing the artist’s less serious side, and need to give something back to her fans.

She then took the crowd through her archives, singing short bursts of her oldest works and testing their knowledge. It was here that Minaj proved her vocal talents go beyond just rapping, singing 2010’s ‘Save Me’, sans backing track, with impressive range.

The hits continued, with ‘Pound The Alarm’, ‘Starships’ and ‘Moment For Life’ (in which confetti cannons were blasted over the audience and Minaj took care of both rap and chorus) keeping the audience enthralled. As someone who prefers her less commercial work, these moments were still completely captivating and enjoyable.

‘Super Bass’ concluded the night, following the crowd’s chants of ‘one more song’ and was undoubtedly the peak of the impressive set. Considering she managed to get this 25-year-old dancing on her own in a sea of 16-year-olds, I’d say she did a pretty fab job.


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