Following her rather disturbing live performance at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, Nicki Minaj stopped by the On the Air with Ryan Seacrest show to talk about her bizarre red carpet debut, the concept behind her award show performance of her new single, “Roman Holiday,” and what it was like working with Madonna for the Superbowl XLVI:
ON WHY SHE WALKED IN WITH A POPE:
He is major part of the story and the movie that I’m writing about one of my alter egos. His name is Roman. Basically the religious figure is there because he was called on by Roman’s mom to rehabilitate him.
ON WHY SHE DECIDED TO DRESS AS RED RIDING HOOD:
I wasn’t going to do the red carpet. I was backstage preparing to have my performance outfit and not do a carpet and go and sit down. My people wanted me to do it. I had this amazing robe made for me by Versace sent from Milan. I said, “Oh, my God I have to wear this. They were so generous. They sent me so much stuff and I was originally going to wear it during the performance, but when I got it, it was a little heavy for the performance. I said, “Hey, it’s only one way to do it and that’s the red carpet.”
ON THE CONCEPT OF HER PERFORMANCE:
I had this vision for him to be sort of exorcised—or actually he never gets exorcised—but people around him tell him he’s not good enough because he’s not normal, he’s not blending in with the average Joe. And so his mother is scared and the people around him are afraid because they’ve never seen anything like him. He wanted to show that not only is he amazing and he’s sure of himself and confident, but he’s never gonna change, he’s never gonna be exorcised. Even when they throw the holy water on him, he still rises above.”
ON WORKING WITH MADONNA FOR SUPERBOWL:
Meeting Madonna changed my life. Working with Madonna changed my life. Rehearsing with Madonna for two weeks changed my life. You look at these amazing women you have to realize that a lot of work goes into this. I for the first time refused to do anything. I didn’t go to any parties. I didn’t do anything. This performance was it. This is the first performance that I’m proud of in my entire career because I saw Madonna’s outcome when she sacrificed, and how she rehearses and rehearses. Everyone there was like, “Oh, my God we got it” and she was like,” No, I want you to know this choreography in your sleep.” You know what? We did know it in out sleep by the time we got on the Super Bowl stage.
When I saw that, it inspired me so much… the same way [Lil] Wayne started really becoming a beast as a rapper. The Madonna situation inspired me to give it my all in terms of rehearsal and in terms of bringing my vision to life. In terms of you know what, “Hey, I’ll pay for this performance myself because it means that much to me.” [Source]
Listen: Nicki Minaj’s Interview w/ Ryan Seacrest