The last we saw of Nicki Minaj in these parts, she was throwing down with Lil Wayne and his Young Money crew in early April at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
And while it might seem prudent for the singer and rapper to tone things down while opening for Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale Tour, Minaj promises that won’t be the case when she returns to The Palace this week.
“People think (Spears) is a pop tour and (Lil Wayne) was a hip-hop tour and Nicki’s going to completely change — I think that’s the biggest misconception,” says Minaj, 28, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago and raised in New York. “I think people don’t understand that I remain myself, whether I’m on a hip-hop tour or a pop tour. And even if I was going out with Wayne again, I would still make the changes I’m making because my brand is going to keep evolving.
“The Wayne tour to me was a pop tour. To me, hip-hop is pop. They’ve merged. Everyone listens to rap. I think it’s all the same thing.”
Minaj has certainly made her mark in the greater pop realm during the four years since the release of her first mixtape, “Playtime is Over.” Her debut album, “Pink Friday,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in November and has been certified platinum, launching hits such as “Your Love,” “Right Thru Me,” “Moment 4 Life” with Drake and “Super Bass.” She’s also made her name as a go-to feature guest for other artists, including Mariah Carey, Usher, Trey Songz, Jay Sean, Usher and Kanye West.
Minaj is featured with John Waters on the Lonely Island comic troupe’s song “The Creep,” and she’s also riding high on the charts as part of dance auteur David Guetta’s club hit “Where Them Girls At.”
“One thing I can say for sure is that nothing in the last six months has been predictable,” says Minaj, who’s working on her sophomore album and will also guest on Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter IV,” which is due out Aug. 29. “It’s like things have just taken on a life of their own and are happening in their own way and their own time.
“I think I’ve gotten over the initial ... craziness. I’ve accepted the craziness, and now I’m learning how to deal with it and how to just enjoy it. That’s the way I am right now; I’m just enjoying it and I’m at peace with it and ready for whatever comes next.”
Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Jessie & the Toy Boys and Nervo perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 28, at the Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $29.50-$149.50.
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