Powerful, Pink & Pop

July 19, 2012

Nicki Minaj is now more closely associated with pink than Pink is. The rapper-singer has name-checked the color in two album titles and sports the color from her hair to her clothes. The Pink Friday tour is her first as a headliner, but Minaj is ready for the bright, rosy lights.

Backstory: Born in Trinidad in 1982, Minaj moved to Queens, New York, at age 5. But the party-anthem spirit of her homeland’s soca music is as apparent in her tunes as is borough-inspired hip-hop and R&B.

Minaj the Mirage: The Euro-dance banger “Starships” might be the most annoying pop song of the year, but Minaj doesn’t care. Neither do Cookie, Harajuku Barbie nor Roman Zolanski, just three of her many alter egos. Actually, Nicki Minaj is yet another stage name: She was born Onika Tanya Maraj.

Wig Out: As part of her relentless role-playing, Minaj often vocalizes in a British accent, and she makes Cher’s wig collection seem minor-league. Her synthetic hair is like another woman’s purse: standard accessory.

Mini Minaj-erie: Despite her raunchy lyrics, Minaj’s bright style and personality appeal to kids, too. Google “Ellen + Sophia Grace + Rosie” to see two wee English girls freestyle their version of Minaj’s excellent “Super Bass.”

DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D St. NW; Sat., 7:30 p.m., $43.75-$123.75; 202-628-4780. (Farragut North)
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Katie Aberbach | July 19, 2012