By Trinidad Express, February 26, 2020
(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – Trinidad-born American rapper Nicki Minaj was yesterday urged to do a soca song with soca stars Machel Montano and Neil “Iwer” George for Carnival 2021.
Minaj, one of the top female rappers in the world, celebrated Carnival in Trinidad yesterday and partied with her husband, Kenneth Petty, on board the Tribe truck with Montano and other stars.
Her Tribe Carnival costume, a feathered blue and sequined ensemble, generated more than two million likes on Instagram, more than the 1.4 million population of Trinidad and Tobago.
Minaj touched down in a private jet at Piarco International Airport on Sunday and there were reports questioning whether she was pregnant, following a video with her husband rubbing her stomach on the jet.
She displayed all her curves with her costume, which also made international news.
At the Socadrome at the Jean Pierre Complex, Port of Spain, Minaj did not take to the stage but stayed on top of the truck, taking in the mas, revelry and live performances by Montano, Iwer and Kees Dieffenthaller.
Montano asked for the music volume to be lowered so that Minaj could address the crowd.
“Trinidad, make some f***ing noise!” she shouted.
It seemed someone told her about using obscene language, as she replied: “Oh, are you serious? Are you guys going to arrest me? Would you guys break me out of jail?”
With all smiles, Minaj continued: “I just want to say I love you guys and I’m so happy to be here… this is my first Carnival ever! God bless you and have a good night. Thank you, Machel, for having me.”
“We love you, baby,” Montano responded.
“We want you (Minaj) to sing a soca song with Machel and Iwer for 2021!” suggested a DJ, as the crowd went wild as Minaj smiled.
‘Stage gone bad’ rules
Before and after her appearance, thousands of masqueraders crossed the Socadrome stage.
Confetti filled the air and sweepers cleaned up rapidly after every band passed, to afford the next band the same luxury of being showered with a burst of colour.
And revellers seemed relieved that the usual scorching sun was hidden by grey clouds that kept the atmosphere cool for most of the day.
While there were thousands of masqueraders, there were just a few dozen spectators.
From as early as 9 a.m. the Socadrome stage was alight with colour, but the stands remained empty, with some spectators trickling in after lunch.
While Minaj provided international love, local superstars Montano, Iwer and Kees kept revellers happy as they performed on the various trucks.
“Stage Gone Bad”, by Iwer and Kees, was the only song that prevailed, and was played dozens of times at the Socadrome. It was the song of choice for every single band crossing the stage.
Asked about the song’s popularity, Iwer responded: “It was a sweet feeling.”
He moved from truck to truck at the Socadrome, performing the hit song.
Miss Trinidad and Tobago/Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam crossed the stage with the band Harts, wearing a costume from the section, Boa.
The band appeared around 10 a.m. with beautiful costumes such as Cassius Blue, Serpentine and Scarletbadis shining in splendid colours.
Fitzwilliam noted that this was Harts’ 60th anniversary of mas, as she recalled playing in the band with her own parents in her earlier years.
Harts took just about 20 minutes to cross the stage, paving the way for Bliss, which presented Nectar, a variety of flowers depicted in nine sections.
Bliss was also marking an anniversary of ten years of mas.
The stage was resplendent with bold colours from sections such as Dragon Orchid, Taya and Viola.
Months of planning
Just before noon, National Security Minister Stuart Young and Police Commissioner Gary Griffith made their rounds of the Socadrome. Young said months of planning went into ensuring a safe Carnival.
He noted Griffith had said 95 per cent of the Police Service was out to maintain the peace.
Around noon, big band Yuma entered the venue, with Iwer and Kees sending masqueraders wild as they sang their runaway Road March contender.
Yuma presented Fete, with 13 different sections crossing the stage, including the all-female section, Ecstasy and others such as Hard Wine, Razzle Dazzle and Pandemonium.
Following Yuma was the massive band Tribe, which had some 15 sections and took a long time to cross the stage.
Tribe presented Legends of the Far East, with an amazing display of colour and design, with sections such as Fenix, Warriors of Kyoto and Aiko.
After 5 p.m., Rogue appeared, with its presentation Badass.
As the evening drew to a close, spirits remained high as another huge band, The Lost Tribe, entered the Socadrome with thousands of revellers depicting the story of Anansi.
Masqueraders, who would have been on their feet since early morning, continued to party hard in their stunning costumes from sections such as Tau, Agbe and Finyezi.