Fans weren’t sure what to expect from Nicki Minaj at tonight’s BET Awards, after her out-of-control Grammys set, but the YMCMB rapper gave them what they wanted, performing “Champion” and “Beez in The Trap” with some help from 2 Chainz.
After her exorcism-based Grammy performance, which caused the Catholic League to lash out against her persona and music, Minaj had fans expecting hell. Instead, she subverted expectations with violins and cellos. After being introduced by the evening’s host, Samuel L. Jackson, Minaj, dressed in all black, performed “Champion” from her Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded album, a dedication to women of all kinds with a steady, battle-ready march.
The performance quickly flipped, though. Switching to her club anthem “Beez in the Trap,” Minaj had Beyoncé rapping along in the audience and Jay-Z nodding to the hit’s massive, clicky beat. A series of dancers swung in a routine around fires and strobe lights while the strings took on a menacing tone.
2 Chainz, who had already appeared as part of the show-opening G.O.O.D. Music performance on “Mercy,” also joined in on the fun. He dropped in just in time to rap his guest verse on the track while Minaj danced gleefully, clutching her trademark pink microphone.
2 Chainz is joining Nicki on tour this summer.