It has been said that secrets do not make friends. All threats aside, Red Bull made a lot of friends this month with its biggest yet 30 Days in LA push. Day after day, Sound Select performances popped up all over Los Angeles, creating quite the buzz. Fans flocked to its grand finale super secret show at Teragram Ballroom Monday night. Word spread like wildfire in the past few weeks about who the special guest might be to round out the night. Tickets for the show sold out in minutes. The exclusivity factor upped as people scrambled to be a part of the magic, and it all culminated with none other than the self-proclaimed “baddest bitch” Nicki Minaj surprising hundreds packed into the intimate club space.
Early in the evening, it is still clear that none of the guests are aware of who they purchased tickets to see play. One hint is to expect a headlining artist in the hip hop/r&b family. The DJ spinning top 40 hip hop tracks warns the growing crowd that they should get as close to the stage as possible so everyone can have fun and be safe because “something big” is coming.
Whilst excitement and anxiety loom over the crowd, they are genuinely warmed up when Jazz Cartier comes out guns a-blazing. The Toronto rapper charges the stage with a valiant fury. He sprays a bottle of water over the audience to wake them up. Between songs he gives a shout out to Red Bull and acknowledges the neon curlers twisted all in his hair. He basically says that even though people may be snickering at him, he knows he “looks pretty.” The comedic relief shows his humble side. His heavier bass lines beg for a slow approving head nod. To keep things moving, he engages the audience in a shouting call and return which gains their favor and attention voluntarily. Even after his set, people are still buzzing. Audible conversations all revolve around who is headlining tonight? Is it Kanye? Is it The Weeknd? Is it Missy Elliott?
When the lights go down and the Pinkprint logo off her 2014 album projects onto the back of the stage, the secret is revealed that Nicki Minaj is the grand finale headliner. It seems to be a fair mix of people who are stoked and some who could care less that she is the surprise. Those who stay up front to revel in the glory of a small show instantly bust out their phones and Snapchat away. The excitement dwindles as Minaj breezes through a myriad of her songs and collaborations because she only plays through to her parts of each tune and then moves on to the next. It turns into more of a giant mashup than a full performance. Meanwhile, she parades around in a turquoise lace body con dress whilst a looming nipple peaks out of the top – a wardrobe malfunction she fails to correct for the entire show. She takes a mid-set break perching on a bar stool and lip syncing over a few familiar tracks from Rae Sremmurd and Fetty Wap which only teases the crowd as if a special guest is about to join her on stage. No such luck. Soon enough the audience lessens by about a third just in time for her to close up with her better known hits like “Your Love,” her collab with David Guetta “Turn Me On,” and “Starships.” The better part of the night was this big reveal, but the excitement in some of the super fans’ eyes throughout the show made sticking around worthwhile.
Moment 4 Life
Did It on ‘Em
Beez in the Trap
Throw Sum Mo
No Flex Zone (Rae Sremmurd teaser)
No Type (Rae Sremmurd teaser)
679 (Fetty Wap teaser)
Up All Night (a capella Drake cover)
Turn Me On
The Night Is Still Young