My Nicki Minaj Moment 4 Life

You know Nicki Minaj’s Pepsi commercial? It sort of happened to me this weekend.

In the commercial, a couple drinks Pepsi and goes on adventures, like hitting a fashion cat walk. At the end, they’re at a Nicki Minaj show, and time stops during her performance of her hit “Moment 4 Life.” The couple runs up to the stage and time starts again.

So what did I do this weekend? I ran up to the stage while Minaj sang “Moment 4 Life.” Almost just like the commercial, minus the Pepsi and the freeze frame.

I went to see Nicki Minaj last week in Birmingham with a big group of friends. Minaj’s new album, “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded,” is easily my favorite album of 2012, so I’ve been super excited about this “Pink Friday” tour for a long time.

2 Chainz opened the show and was terrific, performing hits from his mixtapes and a few songs from his upcoming album, “Based on a T.R.U. Story.”

Minaj started her show in a dungeon-like setting with her song “Roman’s Revenge,” one of my favorite songs. She breezed through so many songs I love, like “Did It On ‘Em,” “Beez in the Trap” and “I Am Your Leader.”

Let me pause here to say we didn’t exactly have the best seats. Then again, the Boutwell Auditorium is pretty small (roughly 6,000 seats compared to the BancorpSouth Arena’s 10,000-ish seats) so really there isn’t a bad seat in the house. But we were in the nosiest nosebleed seats, and what breaks my heart is the auditorium was only maybe half-full. What’s up with that, B’ham?

Anyway, as Minaj was ending “Right By My Side” and starting “Moment 4 Life,” an auditorium official came through and handed us all tickets, saying all of us up there were now given upgraded seats. We could go anywhere in the building. I grabbed my best friend Spencer and yelled, “DOWNSTAIRS!”

I’m sure the auditorium has an elevator but we never found it, so we climbed down SO MANY flights of stairs, and all the while Spencer is squealing in excitement and I can hear Minaj singing “Moment 4 Life.” It was kind of an incredible moment.

Just as she wrapped up the song, we made it to the floor and ran up as far as we could – basically about a third of the floor back. Not bad, considering where we were! And her fans are hands down the nicest I’ve ever encountered. There we were, late-comers to the floor, but everyone down there let us stand and dance by them. They were too busy having fun, just like we were.

The rest of her set included more of my favorite songs, like “Pound the Alarm,” “Starships,” “Come on a Cone” and “Super Bass.” Minaj danced, had several costume changes – she basically had a blast on stage.

She also talked to her fans – mostly female – telling them the most important thing they could do is get an education, and they should never rely on a partner for money.

One of my favorite moments was when Minaj performed her verse from Kanye West’s “Monster” – probably my favorite Minaj moment ever – completely a capella. It was powerful. When she got to the line, “50k for a verse/no album out,” she stopped. “Let me try that again,” she said, and changed the line to “100k for a verse/two albums out,” and the crowd went wild.

Minaj plowed through more than 20 songs in a little over an hour, and sometimes I almost wished she slowed down a minute so we could really take in everything we were experiencing. Still, I had so much fun. She brought one of my favorite albums to life, and I got to have a “Moment 4 Life” with my best friends. To quote Ms. Minaj herself, “No, I’m not lucky/I’m blessed, yes.”