Waiting For Nicki Minaj: Rap Existentialism At Hush
Not Nicki Minaj.
Photos by Marco Torres
8:15 p.m.: The premise is simple: Nicki Minaj, perhaps the most buzzy, interesting, interestingly buzzy female rapper of the last decade, will be at Hush tonight as part of her album release celebration. It will be a proper good time, we imagine. The event is listed as happening from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. This, as you well know, is hogwash. There is absolutely no chance of her showing up at 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. or even 11 p.m.
Still, tickets are going for about $35 bucks or so. If she gets there at midnight, that means you'll have paid $17.50 an hour to stand in the same building with her. We will wait until exactly then for her to get there. If she gets there, awesome. If not, that sucks. But the line has been drawn. The (one-way) standoff has been set into motion. It's before midnight or bust, bitches.
10:47: Wow. Hush is already jumping. The line, ten deep width-wise, stretches around the building. Lots going on right now. These types of shows (those that take place in nightclubs), are almost always poorly managed. Nobody ever knows who's in charge. Point of fact: We tried for four days to get confirmed to attend with several different "promoters" and whatnot, only to never be called back. We'll lay the odds at us actually getting in at about 40 percent.
Also not Nicki Minaj.
10:53: Hey, leather pants. Excellent.
10:55: There's a small, high stage outside the front of Hush. A woman dressed in little more than underwear is up there shaking the interesting parts of her body. For some reason, there is also a fully clothed man up there too. Is this typical Hush protocol?
10:58: We've just been told by the staff at Hush that we're allowed to take pictures tonight, but only until Nicki shows up. At that point, all cameras must be holstered because, "if she sees one, she's turning around and walking out." It'd be really great if someone could dig up an interview with her saying something like, "You know, I'm just a regular girl" that we could link to.
11:01: And we're in. 59 minutes until we're out. The clock is ticking.
11:07: Go MC Kane is here. He's apparently one of the host MCs. Cool. Know this: If Kane's name is attached to a party or a show, go there. We've yet to see a flat event that he had a part in.
Also also not Nicki Minaj.
11:09: Go DJ Hi-C is DJing tonight. Things are looking up. As far as club DJs/hypemen go, Hi-C's name is at the top of the list. It's also at the top of the Guys You Never Expected To See Wearing A Cutesy Pilot's Hat But Inexplicably Did list.
11:12: Love, love, love to see the white guy/black girl couple at rap shows. It's the best. Whenever you get to the part where something happens that he doesn't fully understand and it makes him look a little uneasy - this typically involves some trendy new dance - it's like watching a scene from a Spike Lee movie in real life. There should definitely be more interracial couples in the world.
11:15: Hi-C is cutting through an old-school mix right now. Can you name ten hip-hop beats better than Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere"? No, right?
11:18: Ah, man. There's a girl walking around here who looks like she got dressed for this thing with the specific intention of making people go, "Oh, wait, is that... no, no, that's not Nicki." Ack.
11:22: What's that saying about how people that are the best at something never have to tell anybody that they're the best at something? How does it go? No matter. What we're trying to say is, if you have to wear earrings that say "SEXY" on them, chances are you're probably not. Also, you have terrible friends. Never let anyone you know wear anything that says "SEXY" on it. Never. Never. Not ever.
Also also also not Nicki Minaj.
11:30: 30 minutes away. It is not looking good.
11:31: Kind of thought we saw Vince Young for a second, but we're not sure if it's him. It's hard to recognize him when he isn't throwing interceptions.
11:31:15: Nope, never mind. That's not him.
11:31:17: You know what's weird? Whenever we mistake one black guy for another, it kind of feels like we're being racist. If it happens with an Asian guy or whatever, we don't feel like that. It's weird. Can Mexicans also have "white guilt"?
11:35: Typically when we go to shows we'll spend a good portion of the time there deconstructing what people are wearing. Tonight, it's a totally fruitless task. Just about everyone in here is wearing at least one ridiculous thing. It's overwhelming.
There's literally been a lady standing near us for the past 20 minutes in a dress with shoulder pads, and it hasn't even registered. SHOULDER PADS. We can't fully comprehend everything. It's just too much. This must be what it'd feel like if a blind person could suddenly see.
Definitely not Nicki Minaj. See where we're going with this by now?
11:44: Here's a thought: At Hush (and lots of nightclubs), they have these big heavy speakers hanging over the dance floor. They're secured by chains to rails and whatnot. What if the chain or the rail gave out and the speaker fell and crushed your head in? WHAT IF YOUR LIFE ENDED BECAUSE A SPEAKER FELL ON YOUR HEAD WHILE YOU WERE AT HUSH?
Would that not be the worst, most embarrassing, most ironic way to die of all time? Christ, what's going on right now. Nicki needs to get here soon. The walls are closing in. Craziness is seeping into our brain stem.
11:47: A staffer just said she'd be here before midnight. Could it be? Could it possibly be?
11:50: T-minus ten minutes.
11:52: Hey, there's a guy here in an all white suit and shoes. He looks like a bad guy from Grand Theft Auto. If Nicki doesn't show, at least we stood around for an hour and half and then saw him.
11:54: Selena. They're playing Selena. They're playing Selena right now. They're playing Selena right now at Hush. They're playing Selena right now at Hush while everyone waits for Nicki Minaj to show up. They're playing Selena right now at Hush while everyone waits for Nicki Minaj to show up and people are dancing.
11:55: Five minutes. Nothing yet. Not a whiff.
11:56: Four minutes.
11:57: Three minutes.
11:58: Two minutes. Why is this so important all of sudden? This is crushing. Where is she? WHERE IS SHE?
11:59: One minute.
12:00 a.m.: Game over.
Sort of Nicki Minaj.
Personal Bias: Nicki Minaj is cool. Sorry. She just is.
The Crowd: Was apparently not engaging in a "Midnight or Bust" imaginary standoff with Minaj like we were. We were the only ones walking out when we did.
Overheard in the Crowd: The words to Mary J. Blige's "I'm Goin' Down." There was a point when Hi-C stopped the record and just about everyone in there kept singing. It was a neat little moment.
Random Notebook Dump: There was a female out front who noticed that we were being escorted in by one of the guys in charge. She said, "I want to come in with you guys" in what was likely the most flirtatious voice she could instantaneously muster. We smiled and ignored her.
About 45 minutes later we saw her inside. When we asked her how she got in she said, "I was just standing there and then VIP like that," adding a finger-snap when she said "that." We still have no idea what that means. We have a couple of ideas, though.
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