NICKI-MINAJ-IN TALKS-TO-TOUR-WITH-BRITNEY-SPEARS

Nicki Minaj Speaks On Being Ill-Prepared For Spears Tour & Why Pop Audiences Are Better Than Hip-Hop Ones

Nicki Minaj going on tour with Britney Spears is undoubtedly an ill look for hip-hop and a phenomenal look for the black Barbie. But what's life really like sharing the stage with one of pop's mightiest acts? Nick gave a more than candid update to the LA Times about multiple malfunctions and why she's never felt freer.

On the creative direction of the show.

I wanted the direction to feel like a few girls from another planet. One of them just happens to be “the chosen one.” They embark on a journey to go to a few different cities and search for this person named Nemesis.  I wanted it to be really theatrical and fun. And I just wanted to make the audience feel like they were spying on our world.

On performing for a pop audience and how it differs from a hip hop audience
Well, initially, what I thought was I hope this audience will appreciate what I do.  What I first dealt with was a bit of the unknown. Is this something that Britney’s crowd will even enjoy? But it all went away the first night. I stood in the transporter, that big prop that we have on the stage, and I could not believe the crowd reaction before they even saw me. It was very emotional for me. I was so shocked. I thought, OK, on the Wayne tour, this is my audience, everyone that knows Wayne, they know Nicki Minaj. When I heard those screams, it was one of the best feelings in the world. It changed overnight. I’m pleasantly surprised with the people coming out on this show; they generally are coming out not to critique, but to have fun. The hip-hop community tends to be more critical. On this stage, I felt a little bit more free.

On How Much Time She Had To Prepare For The Britney Tour
I’m going to be honest: I haven’t even done a dress rehearsal for this tour yet. I know most people wouldn’t come out and say that, but we’ve been really, really pulling this off by the skin of my teeth because like you said, I had just come off a tour, and right after the tour we had to prep for a lot of other things. We really didn’t have a lot of prep time, and then of course I’m not the headlining act so I didn’t get time on the stage, I didn’t get time for my lighting and my cues. We really have been pulling it off.

I wanted more time to nurture the show and get it to the point where I was ready to see it, but unfortunately tick, tick, tick, it was time to go up. So just being honest, I really don’t think the show is where I want it to be as far as preparation. People don’t notice, you’ll never know, but I’m having all these wardrobe malfunctions. [During Monday’s performance] my dress broke, I couldn’t walk down the aisle on “Fly,” for the fight scene my holster didn’t come off in time — it was a lot of craziness backstage. I really can’t wait for people to see this show after we start to feel comfortable. These three shows have been our dress rehearsals. We’re definitely not in our comfort zone yet.

On if she will be headlining a solo tour and what she has taken from both the Wayne and Britney tours
Let me just say I’m going to take from Britney and Wayne, because they’re both veterans. Being completely honest I’ve learned so much from them, in terms of production. Britney’s production is so amazing. When I sat out there the first night to watch it, I felt like I was a kid at an amusement park. It was so much, the lights, the content and the props. Whereas Wayne, he teaches me how to command a crowd. His comfort level and how he makes people feel like he’s their best friend when he’s onstage. He has that command. If you can put both of those two things into a show, you can really do an amazing show — that’s my goal. Am I gonna be able to do these humongous venues within the next year? Probably not. But am I gonna put on an amazing show and give everyone something that’s gonna be well worth what they paid? Absolutely yes.

Props → Necole Bitchie

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Jussie Smollett attends the 2018 Fox Network Upfront at Wollman Rink, Central Park on May 14, 2018 in New York City.
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Men Arrested In Jussie Smollett Attack Released From Custody Without Charge

The two men arrested and questioned by Chicago Police are no longer considered persons of interest in the Jussie Smollett attack. Olabijo and Abimbola Osundairo were released without charge “due to new evidence” in the case, police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmo said Friday (Feb. 15).

“The individuals questioned by police in the 'Empire' case have now been released without charging,” Guglielmo tweeted.

Authorities initially arrested the Osundairo brothers on battery charges. Guglielmo also added that  “investigators have additional work to complete.”

Case Update: Due to new evidence as a result of today's interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete. pic.twitter.com/Hswn1Qjgcy

— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 16, 2019

Gloria Schmidt, an attorney for the brothers, told reporters that there are still a lot of “moving parts” in the case. “My guys are innocent of the charge and they're going home,” she said.

Smollett told authorities that he was attacked by two masked men who shouted racist and homophobic epithets before punching him, tying a nose around his neck and pouring bleach on him. He recounted the attack in an interview with Good Morning America Thursday (Feb. 14), telling anchor Robin Roberts that he fought back before the attackers fled.

Authorities raided the brothers home earlier in the week removing several items including bleach and rope.

Schmidt previously confirmed that the brothers worked with Smollett on Empire, and didn’t understand how they became “people of interest” in the case.

 

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Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid Reach Confidential Settlement With NFL In Collusion Case

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid have reached a confidential settlement with the league Friday (Feb. 15). The agreement brings an end to their collusion lawsuit against the NFL more than a year after the legal bout began.

According to Yahoo Sports, the Kaepernick and Reid would only agreed to settle for a “lucrative financial agreement.” No other details about the terms of the settlement were released.

Kaepernick and Reid filed sued the NFL for collusion in October 2017. The league denied the allegations, but failed in their attempt to have the suit dismissed.

Attorneys Mark Geragos and Ben Meiselas said in a statement that Kaepernick and Reid have engaged in an “ongoing dialogue” with the NFL for the past “several months.”

“As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances,” the statement explains. “The resolution of this matter is subject to confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.”

The NFL Players Association released a statement of support. “We are not privy to the details of the settlement, but support the decision by the players and their counsel,” the statement reads.

“We continuously supported Colin and Eric from the start of their protests, participated with their lawyers throughout their legal proceedings and were prepared to participate in the upcoming trial in pursuit of both truth and justice for what we believe the NFL and its clubs did to them. We are glad that Eric has earned a job and a new contract, and we continue to hope that Colin gets his opportunity as well.”

Jerry Jones, Bob McNair, Robert Craft and several other NFL owners and players were deposed in the case. Reid was recently signed to the Carolina Panthers. Kaepernick remains unsigned.

pic.twitter.com/5sdcGSuwvW

— Mark Geragos (@markgeragos) February 15, 2019

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Jussie Smollett attends the 2018 Fox Network Upfront at Wollman Rink, Central Park on May 14, 2018 in New York City.
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Potential Suspects Arrested In Connection To Jussie Smollett Attack

A new development has been made in the investigation surrounding the Jan. 29 attack on Empire actor, Jussie Smollett. The Chicago Police have arrested two "potential suspects" by the names of Olabinjo and Abimola Osundairo. The Nigerian brothers are United States citizens, one of which has been an extra on Fox's Empire.

"Detectives have probable cause that they may have been involved in alleged crime and we are working to corroborate the allegations and investigative timeline as our investigation continues," the police said in a statement to ABC News.

Evidence was found in the Osundairo brothers' Chicago apartment when the cops raided their home on Thursday (Feb. 14). Among the list of evidence found in their home were bottles of bleach, which was mentioned in Smollett's report. The two potential suspects were detained at Chicago O'Hare Airport Wednesday evening (Feb. 13) following a flight from Nigeria and their attorney Gloria Schmidt, has since spoken out to clear their names.

"When they first learned what happened to him, they were horrified. This is someone they know, someone that they work with, so they don't want to see somebody go through that," Schmidt said in a statement to the Chicago CBS station WBBM. "They really don't understand how [police] even got information that linked them to this horrific crime, but they're not guilty of it."

Smollett has had to deal with rumors surrounding the fact that his attack may have been "staged" or a "hoax" by the actor himself. The 36-year-old actor appeared on Good Morning America to clear up the hearsay.

"I have to acknowledge the lies, and the hate," Smollet said to Robin Roberts. "And it feels like if I had said it was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me much more. A lot more, and that says a lot about the place that we are in our country right now."

The Chicago Police also released a statement of their own on Thursday evening (Feb. 14).

"While we haven't found any video documenting the alleged attack, there is also no evidence to say that this is a hoax," Chicago police said to ABC News. "The alleged victim is being cooperative at this time and continues to be treated as a victim, not a suspect."

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