By Quedus Babalola
Two years ago, a group of top musicians came together to announce a new streaming service called Tidal. Those musicians included Alicia Keys, Arcade Fire (Win Butler and Regine Chassagne), Beyoncé, Calvin Harris, Chris Martin, Daft Punk, Deadmau5, Jack White, Jason Aldean, J. Cole, Kanye West, Ma- donna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Shawn “JAY Z” Carter, and Usher.
Tidal was created in Oct. 2014, and allows you to stream songs, music videos, mix- tapes and various other musical content.
Fast forward two years later and Tidal hosted its second charity event on Oct. 15, in Brooklyn, N.Y. This time, the event was put together to raise money for the Robin Hood Foundation in order to help its education initiative. With performances by Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Lauryn Hill, Robin Thicke, Nicki Minaj and many more, this night was one to remember.
Lauryn Hill, who is known to be late to her performances or sometimes not even show up at all, did arrive but performed a little late. After Lauryn Hill, the DJ got the crowd pumped up once more for the next guest to perform. Within five minutes, everyone was rapping along to “Roman’s Revenge,” as Nicki Minaj walked out.
You would think a show that has Beyoncé or Alicia Keys on its list would mostly consist exclusively of their fans, but that was not the case. I was immediately shocked at the variance in the stadium. The crowd finally became alive after a long night of performances, and once Minaj arrived on the stage, it was like New York was seeing the female version of Jay Z for the first time, after a long absence.
“I’m sorry I can’t hold my tears back right now, it’s just so amazing how she owns the stage and lets it be known that she’s in the building. She’s my idol and even my mom’s idol and she hasn’t even been around that long,” said Sherika Thomas, a 22-year old nursing major at Morrisville State College, who attended the event. “I came all the way home from school to grab my mother so we could come to this show together.”
Minaj knew that she had a huge presence on stage that night. Without her backup dancers and huge stage decorations, Minaj was still able to perform like the champion she is. Surprisingly, she didn’t perform any of her pop hits such as, “Super Bass,” “Starships” or “Anaconda.” She chose the songs that she knew her audience was looking for. “I don’t know if she’s angry right now or if this is the direction she’s going for the next couple of months, but I don’t want her to stop, this ‘Slick’ rapper Nicki is the Nicki I fell in love with, and I’m so happy she’s coming back,” said Tysheem Samuel, a Brooklyn resident, right after Minaj performed her verse from the smash hit “Monster.”
After performing “Win Again” from her third studio album, Minaj told the audience, “Champions will do what champions do.” Then, she offered her political perspective, saying “Barack needed a Michelle, and Bill needed a Hillary, you better pray to God you don’t get stuck with a Melania, y’all want brainless females to stroke your ego?”
Minaj is known for giving inspirational speeches at her shows, but this was more of an endorsement for Hillary Clinton. Minaj then went on to twerk for a minute before bringing Fetty Wap out as her special guest.
The performance ended with Minaj singing “Moment For Life” and reminding the members of the audience that they are special, asking them to promise her they’ll never give up on themselves.