REVIEW: Nicki Minaj, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj
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SHE’S famed for her cartoon persona, a pneumatic frame with a potty mouth.

But US rapper Nicki Minaj seems to be stepping away from her poppy, curvaceous caricature with The PinkPrint tour.

It took 20 minutes for her to appear on stage, but you kind of expect this diminutive diva to be fashionably late.

She emerged in a black body stocking, accessorised by a don’t-mess-with-me attitude. This is a more mean and moody Minaj, a one that wants the music not to be overshadowed by gimmicks.

Glimmers of Minaj of yore remain in the uber-tight costumes which showcase her famous assets, but there isn’t a pink wig or pair of daft vertiginous heels in sight.

A raft of lithe dancers gyrate around her as she spits out tracks from her new album with lightning-fast speed. She may leave the moves to her dancers, but her mouth is one of the fastest in music.

She slowed the pace for Marilyn Monroe and Save Me from her last album, Pink Friday, showcasing that she really does have a great set of pipes and a rather beautiful singing voice.

Her pop tracks still feature, thankfully, and she ramped up the tempo for Moment 4 Life, her hit collaboration with Drake.

And Anaconda sees her emerge in gold thigh-high boots and bra top to slink about the stage in her inimitable excitable style. This was more like it.

Hats off to the Kevin from Gateshead who she brought on stage for Whip It. He showed her that the North East can be “ratchet” too.

“I didn’t expect this from Newcastle,” she said. She’s certainly a difficult one to keep up with, but her “Barbz” wouldn’t want her any other way.