Essence Fest 2022: Why Nicki Minaj's Explosive Performance Was Worth The Wait
Nicki Minaj at the Met Gala 2022

Photo: Noam Galai/GC Images via Getty Images


Essence Fest 2022: Why Nicki Minaj's Explosive Performance Was Worth The Wait

After inspired performances by Mickey Guyton, Nas, Wyclef Jean and surprise guest Lauryn Hill, and more, Nicki Minaj showed the Essence Festival of Culture why she's still the Head Barbie in Charge.

GRAMMYs/Jul 2, 2022 - 09:48 pm

Rarely does absence make this much noise. After legendary MC Nas closed out his set at Essence Fest 2022, the tension ramped up, up and up at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans — for about an hour and a half, in fact.

As festival headliner Nicki Minaj overshot her scheduled performance by a decent stretch, it's hard to articulate how much expectant energy was in the air — both in the raucous stadium and on social media. Inside Caesars Superdome, scores of devoted fans of Black music and culture got very animated to jams like F.L.Y.'s "Swag Surfin'" and Meek Mill's "Dreams and Nightmares." On Twitter, the reaction ranged from fragile hope to bouts of frustration.

By the time the 10-time GRAMMY nominee did show up — past midnight — some folks opted to hit the clattering streets of the Big Easy and turn in instead. But what a show they missed.

In a video opening, Minaj cavorted around as a latexed Catwoman. When she hit the stage, flanked by dancers, she tore into some of her biggest hits — beginning with her 2022 joint with Lil Baby, "Do We Have a Problem?", followed by her verse on Fivio Foreign's "We Go Up."

Subsequently, fans got "Beez in the Trap," from 2012's Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, and "Flawless Remix," originally with Beyoncé. And perhaps the biggest surprise of all — a tie with Wyclef Jean bringing out Fugees cohort Lauryn Hill earlier in the night — was guest and New Orleans’ native son Lil Wayne, who tore it up with Minaj on "Seeing Green," "High School" and "Truffle Butter."

The long wait led to an ever more generous show: Minaj capped off her headlining set with her immortal "Super Bass," followed by "Moment 4 Life."

But really, the wait was symbolic in multiple senses: This was the first Essence Fest to take place since pre-pandemic days in 2019. And if anybody can bring it back with a bang, it's Nicki Minaj, the Head Barbie in Charge — even if it means staying up past our bedtimes.

To Justine Skye, Essence Fest 2022 Is Where Artists "Give Each Other Our Flowers" | On The Road

Solange To Play Benefit Show For Hurricane Harvey Relief


Photo: Daniel C. Sims/Getty Images


Solange To Play Benefit Show For Hurricane Harvey Relief

GRAMMY winner adds her name to the list of artists who are helping to raise millions in relief efforts for victims

GRAMMYs/Aug 31, 2017 - 04:37 am

GRAMMY winner Solange has announced she will be performing a benefit show to raise money for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The performance, called Orion's Rise, will be held at Boston's Orpheum Theatre on Sept. 8.

"I'm committed to partnering with organizations on the ground in Houston and making contributions to uplift the city that raised me with so much love," said Solange, a Houston native.

This announcement comes on the heels of other artists pledging their support, including Solange's sister, Beyoncé. But they are certainly not the only ones.

Beyoncé Vows "To Help As Many As We Can" In Wake Of Hurricane Harvey

Houston rapper Bun B and manager Scooter Braun (Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande) are organizing a televised benefit concert that will reportedly air on four national networks on Sept. 12.

Comedian Kevin Hart pledged $50,000 to relief efforts, and the fund he organized has earned nearly $2 million in additional financial support, with contributions from artists such as the Chainsmokers. All funds will go to the American Red Cross.

The Kardashians and Jenners, Nicki Minaj, and DJ Khaled have also announced they will make donations. Jennifer Lopez and her partner Alex Rodriguez joined in the fundraising efforts, pledging $25,000 each to the Red Cross.

In addition, GRAMMY winner Jack Antonoff is matching donations up to $10,000 for the Montrose Center in Houston, an LGBT community center. Chris Brown will donate $100,000 directly to "the people," and T.I. will donate $25,000 to relief efforts.

MusiCares Announces Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

Nicki Minaj Announces Europe Tour With Juice WRLD

Nicki Minaj

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs


Nicki Minaj Announces Europe Tour With Juice WRLD

Juice WRLD will replace Future, who was originally scheduled to tour with the rapper on the NICKIHENDRXX tour

GRAMMYs/Dec 22, 2018 - 01:39 am

GRAMMY-nominated rapper Nicki Minaj has announced that Juice WRLD will accompany her on the European leg of the Nicki Wrld Tour in 2019.

“I’m so excited to bring the full Nicki Minaj experience to my fans in Europe,” Minaj said in a statement. "I have been carefully crafting the most exhilarating, unique, memorable piece of art to share with my incredible fans. I’m in love with Juice Wrld’s music & feel so stoked to have him join me. This will be one for the books."

Juice WRLD will replace Future, who was originally scheduled to tour with the rapper on the NICKIHENDRXX tour.

Minaj announced that Future could no longer join her on the NICKIHENDRXX tour as co-headliner after she postponed North American tour dates due to a postponed release of her latest album, Queen.

READ: Listen: Nicki Minaj's New Album 'Queen' Is Out Now

Juice WRLD's "Lucid Dreams" reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and he was chosen as Apple Music's Breakout Artist Of The Year. He is currently on tour in New Zealand and Australia.

Refunds for the previous U.S. dates will be available at point of purchase, according to Billboard. For tour dates and to purchase tickets to the Nicki Wrld tour, go here.

Rosalía, Other Latin Music Artists Seeing Boom In Europe Shows


The Week In Music: Who Is The Fairest Of Them All?

GRAMMY ladies go head-to-head in the battle of the pretty

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

What are the attributes that make the perfect woman? Is it a camera-ready glow? Fashion sense? Intelligence? Sense of humor? Talent? An uncanny argumentative ability? Chances are the ladies making's Top 99 Women of 2012 list have all of the above, and much more. With actress/television personality Sofia Vergara topping a list containing the usual abundance of actresses, models and paparazzi favorites, current Best New Artist GRAMMY nominee Nicki Minaj led all female musicians at No. 5. Other GRAMMY nominees putting the "s" in scintillating in the top 20 include Rihanna (No. 9), Zooey Deschanel (No. 12), Katy Perry (No. 16), and Lady Gaga (No. 18). Other notables making the grade include Selena Gomez (No. 14), Beyoncé (No. 39) and even hot newcomer Lana Del Rey (No. 95). Of course, lists of this nature are always subjective. But if you're a female looking to get in on the competition, we invite you to sample some tips from our GRAMMY Glam Squad.

While Music's Biggest Night is just a week away, Indianapolis will take center stage on Feb. 5 when the New England Patriots and New York Giants battle it out in Super Bowl XLVI. While the staff at ESPN is busy crunching statistics for their exhaustive game coverage, musicians are chiming in with their official predictions. Not surprisingly, JoJo, who grew up in Foxboro, Mass., will be pulling for Tom Brady and the Patriots. "I just feel like we [will] win by default, because we have heart," said the songstress. Putting on his analyst cap, Nelly thinks the Giants defense will be too hot for the Patriots. "I think the Giants play a little bit better defense, and I just think defense wins championships in the end," he said. Theory Of A Deadman's Tyler Connolly is leaning toward the Giants, but don't quote him on it. "I guess I'll go with the Giants," said Connolly, a San Francisco 49ers fan. When it comes to the halftime entertainment, Connolly did not mince words, however. "In reality you need to think about who's actually watching the Super Bowl — it's big dudes eating nachos and drinking beer," said Connolly. "And they want to watch the commercials with the Doritos girls. … Madonna? They're not going to watch Madonna." While there are few things better than Doritos girls, we here at TWIM we'd definitely rather watch Madonna, while enjoying a side of nachos.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, following Elton John and Madonna's Golden Globes feud last month, the Rocket Man is reportedly turning over a new leaf in offering the Material Girl some advice for her upcoming halftime performance on Feb. 5. "Make sure you lip-sync good," John advised Madonna on "Good Morning America." "I've never seen a decent one. Never ever." While Super Bowl halftime shows have arguably become more about the spectacle instead of the performance, it's hard to tell if John's advice is sincere. In 2004 the tiny dancer's response to Madonna winning the Best Live Act honor at England's Q Awards was: "Madonna, best fing live act? F off. Since when has lip-syncing been live?" While much of the Super Bowl action will happen on the field this Sunday, there's no doubt there will be lots more to see between Madonna's halftime spectacular featuring LMFAO and Nicki Minaj, and John's Pepsi commercial, set to air during the big game.    

While Dave Grohl has long been known for his quirky sense of humor, evidenced by videos for Foo Fighters songs such as "Big Me" (Mentos, anyone?), "Everlong," "Learn To Fly," and, most recently, the GRAMMY-nominated "Walk," the Foos frontman is taking funny to a whole new, hopefully hysterical, level. According to a report, Grohl is teaming with comedian Dana Gould to executive produce a 30-minute sitcom for FX Networks. The show will reportedly center on a rock band that is in the midst of their big break, and a breakup. The band seeks help from a therapist, who ends up being broken herself. Did we say sitcom? This sounds like the makings of a perfectly good drama to us. But whatever the show turns out to be, we're sure it'll be a hit, given Grohl's vast voiceover experience in films such as The Muppets and television series including "Daria."

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich lost the Florida primary Tuesday to Mitt Romney by a wide margin, but that may not be the worst news he got this week. Gingrich also joined the long list of politicians who have been sued for misappropriating a pop song for a campaign without the artist's permission. On Monday, Rude Music Inc., controlled by the song's co-writer Frank Sullivan, filed suit against Gingrich for his use of Survivor's GRAMMY-winning "Eye Of The Tiger" from Rocky III. Gingrich was clearly gunning for some Rocky Balboa magic now that he appears to be the underdog again, and the anthem's other co-writer, Jim Peterik, who hasn't joined the suit, says that's okay with him. "If it motivates people to get out to the polls and create some excitement, that's what it's for," he told the Washington Post. And while Chicago-native Peterik is loyal to his native son, President Barack Obama, he concedes, "I like [Gingrich's] taste in music." Still, as Rocky himself might ask, "Yo, don't I got some rights?"

Adele's "Set Fire To The Rain" is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" is tops on the iTunes singles chart.

Any news we've missed? Comment below.                                                            

Last Week In Music

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Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, Sam Smith: Most Anticipated Fall Album?

Sam Smith

Photo: David M. Benett/Getty Images


Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, Sam Smith: Most Anticipated Fall Album?

New albums from Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and St. Vincent also on the way this fall — which release are you most excited to hear?

GRAMMYs/Sep 13, 2017 - 12:16 am

2017 has been a big year already in music, especially for streaming, festivals and Latin pop. With summer sneaking into the rearview and stores filling up with Halloween paraphernalia, we want to know which upcoming fall album release you're looking forward to the most.

So here's your chance to be heard: From Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift to in-the-works new offerings by Sam Smith and Nicki Minaj, what's album are you looking forward to the most in fall 2017?: