Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Aug 14th 2011 12:30PM by Joshua Ostroff
Josh Ostroff for AOL
After all, the hometown hero has been entertaining himself between summertime recording sessions for his sophomore album by appearing all over town, be it supporting friends like the Weeknd (for the R&B sensation's debut gig) and Serena Williams (competing in the Rogers Cup) or dropping his guest verses with touring acts like SBTRKT and Rihanna.
Still, that didn't prevent the arena crowd from losing their collective minds -- and possibly damaging their collective vocal chords -- when he appeared from backstage to join in on his hit joint with Minaj, 'Moment 4 Life.'
And though she described him to the crowd as "my friend, my brother" that didn't prevent her from rubbing her booty in his face as he sat down to received one of Minaj's patented lap dances during the coda of 'Super Bass.' (Hey, it's way cooler than headliner Britney Spears giving 'Jersey Shore' star Pauly D a ride center stage in Montreal two nights before.)
The other not-entirely-surprising part of Minaj's performance was how many Britney fans she convinced to stop strutting their homemade 'Britney's Bitches' shirts in the arena hallways and watch the opener. But this was not typical opening act -- more like when 50 Cent "opened" for Jay-Z a few years back.
Pairing her considerable mic skills with her theater-school upbringing -- there was even a narrator! -- Minaj delivered a set more in line with a co-headliner's. Wearing her pink boots and blue afro wig, and surrounded by dancers in elaborate costumes, she barrelled through her bevvy of hits, from dramatic opener 'Roman's Revenge' to badass anthems 'Did It on 'Em' and 'Check It Out' to her current hit 'Super Bass.' Throughout her set, she switched up flows, alternated accents, put on exaggerated expressions, nailed complex dance moves and killed with her classic guest verses like Kanye West's 'Monster.'
But the moment everyone left talking about was Lil Wayne's proteges getting intimate in front of a sold-out hockey arena -- they also hugged, apparently locked lips (Minaj later tweeted they didn't kiss), held hands and showered each other with praise.
They'd actually played the very same venue just a couple years back, to arena-sized ambivalence, during Weezy's perfunctory bring-the-posse-onstage portion of his show. Both have since enjoyed meteoric rises, and while Queen Britney was still backstage waiting to impress her court, these royal rappers proved that they can rule a pop crowd as easily as hip-hop heads.