Nicki Minaj’s 2022 Rolling Loud NYC Headlining Set Was a Moment for the Barbz

Nicki Minaj ruled over a frigid night at Citi Field in Queens, N.Y., to close out day one of Rolling Loud NYC on Friday (Sept. 23), and she brought along several guests to shake the festival grounds.


Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj

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With Nicki being the first female rapper to headline Rolling Loud, expectations for a grand show were high, and the hometown girl didn’t disappoint. Fans were scrambling across the festival grounds when the lights at the Fashion Nova stage turned pink, causing them to hurry over and get a good spot to catch the South Jamaica, Queens, native in all her glory. At around 9:15 p.m., she arrived onstage in an all-black outfit with the sounds of screaming fans filling up the Big Apple air.

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The mother of one got the party started with a fiery performance of “We Go Up” with Fivio Foreign popping on the stage to dish out his hypnotizing verse. Minaj wasted no time getting fans into a frenzy as she gave them a treat with a medley of her hits such as “Did It On’em,” “Beez In The Trap,” “Feeling Myself” and more.

Just when fans were still reeling from Fivio Foreign’s appearance at the top of the show, Nicki had a few more friends join her onstage to keep the energy flowing rapidly inside Citi Field.

BIA joined Minaj for a booming rendition of “WHOLE LOTTA MONEY (Remix),” while Lil Uzi Vert arrived shortly after that to hold Nicki’s hand for a duet performance of their touching record “The Way Life Goes (Remix).”

Midway through the set, Minaj dug even deeper into her bag of hits once she knew she had festival-goers in the palm of her hands. Fans burst at the seams upon hearing the instrumental to the rapper’s 2018 single “Chun-Li,” and the Barbz faithful got only louder when their idol performed “Only” and “Truffle Butter” sans Chris Brown and her Young Money brethren Drake and Lil Wayne. The late Pop Smoke was also shown some love when Nicki rode the New York drill train to perform “Welcome to the Party (Remix).”

It wouldn’t have been a true Nicki Minaj show if the day one fans didn’t get to hear more of the classics that lured them into the Barbz fandom in the early 2010s. As Nicki went off stage for an outfit change, the Barbz held it down for the 39-year-old by rapping “Up All Night” and “Itty Bitty Piggy” word-for-word with precision. If Nicki wanted to hand the mic to her fans, she could’ve done so with everyone rapping and dancing to her songs in unison.

Minaj had another surprise for her devoted fanbase when she brought out G Herbo to perform “Chi-Raq.” The crowd roared at his arrival, especially when he couldn’t perform his set earlier in the day due to New York City traffic keeping him from getting to Citi Field in time.

The multi-platinum artist returned to her 2010 debut album, Pink Friday, to close out the night starting with “Super Bass,” but there seemed to be a slight hiccup with her set and the allotted timeframe festival organizers gave her.

Nicki stopped reciting her lyrics to “Super Bass” when she told the crowd: “Rolling Loud is not going to let me do ‘Moment 4 Life.’ But I gotta do it a cappella for my people.”

In the most touching moment throughout her entire set, the hip-hop star dropped to her knees while performing her Drake-assisted track before the audience took the reins and closed her set. Fans left the grounds satisfied with the performance with many people chatting about Minaj reigning supreme on day one of Rolling Loud NYC 2022.

“She’s just the best,” one of the Barbz said walking out of the festival before another said, “It’s because she’s the Queen!”

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