Hip-hop queen Nicki Minaj lights up Target Center in long-awaited Minnesota comeback

2024 Dreamville Music Festival
2024 Dreamville Music Festival / Astrida Valigorsky/GettyImages

Nicki Minaj, the reigning queen of hip-hop, made a triumphant return to the Twin Cities on Saturday night, turning the Target Center into a vibrant sea of pink. The anticipation was palpable as fans, clad in their best rosy attire, gathered for a concert that had been 13 years in the making.

The overdue return

Minaj’s last performance in Minnesota was back in 2011 when she opened for Britney Spears at the Xcel Energy Center. Since then, her career has skyrocketed, making her one of the top-selling artists in pop music over the past decade. With three No. 1 albums (the most ever by a female rapper) and 23 top-10 singles, Minaj’s success has been nothing short of meteoric. Her influence extends beyond music, as she stands as an icon for both the feminine and LGBTQ communities.

A pink affair

The nearly sold-out crowd of approximately 16,000 fans arrived dressed in various shades of pink, a nod to Minaj’s signature color. From her breakout album “Pink Friday” to her latest release, “Pink Friday 2,” Minaj has consistently embraced the hue. But it wasn’t just the fans who were tickled pink; the entire Target Center seemed to radiate with excitement.

Fashion and flair

Minaj’s stage presence was nothing short of spectacular. Clad in a silvery space-queen ensemble, she kicked off the show with “I’m the Best,” setting the tone for an unforgettable night. The visual production was equally dazzling, with neon lights, pyrotechnics, and a constant stream of energy. Minaj effortlessly transitioned between outfits, from a bejeweled purple bodysuit to an elegant flowing red dress during the mellower moments.

Fashionably late

While the crowd eagerly awaited Minaj’s arrival, a DJ kept the energy alive. However, the hip-hop star didn’t take the stage until 10:10 p.m. Some fans, especially those who had hired babysitters, may have been seeing red by then. But once Minaj stepped into the spotlight, any frustration melted away.

Hits and highs

Minaj’s performance was a mix of fierce rap verses and captivating dance moves. She didn’t shy away from her hits, including “Pink Birthday,” where she playfully engaged the audience. While not as physically hyperactive as some performers, Minaj’s stage presence was magnetic. Her dance moves, particularly a memorable stage-hump, had the crowd cheering.

Nicki Minaj’s overdue return to Minnesota was well worth the wait. The Target Center turned pink, and fans reveled in the hip-hop queen’s triumphant comeback. As the lights dimmed and the final notes echoed, it was clear that Minaj’s reign continues, and her impact on the music world remains unmatched.