Nicki Minaj’s Barbz will have to wait until November 28 to watch her MTV documentary “Nicki Minaj: My Time Now,” however, Rap-Up.com scored a front row seat to view several segments of the hour-long production in advance.
Produced by Radical Media and executive produced by MTV’s Dave Sirulnick, the doc provides an intimate look at the person behind the pink lipstick and elaborate wigs. “‘My Time Now’ really allows viewers to see part of [Nicki's] world that she hasn’t given people access to,” Sirulnick reveals inside a conference room at MTV’s headquarters in New York City.
The feature presentation showcases the Queens rapper traveling to her native Trinidad, which she hasn’t visited since the death of her grandmother seven years ago. Hugging cousins upon her arrival, the 25-year-old star lets down her guard. “I don’t want to act like Nicki in front of you guys,” she says, before cameras catch her purchasing $12,000 worth of merchandise for the family she’s just reunited with.
“Everything in Trinidad reminds me of family that’s no longer here,” Nicki tells director Michael John Warren during an intimate sit-down. After Warren asks the solemn-faced artist if her deceased grandmother would be proud of all she’s accomplished, the unthinkable happens: Nicki Minaj cries. But not for long. As tears stream down her face, the rapper quickly reaches for a pink mirror to look into, and hide behind, to prevent her mascara from running.
The production moves forward as the Pink Friday creator admits her father fell victim to crack and stole from the family, including the video games her younger brother owned. On the other hand, she praises her mother, a woman who “kept us together even when she was embarrassed.” As a sign of appreciation, Nicki signs the dotted line on a stack of papers and hands over the keys to a new home to her mother.
Fans of the Young Money collective may question why the entire team is absent from the doc, but Warren felt the extra additions weren’t necessary. “Nicki was like, ‘Why aren’t you bringing anyone else into [the documentary]?’” he states. “I only bring people in when I feel like the artist hasn’t given me enough. She gave me so much material to work with.”
Before the 20-minute preview ends, the animated lyricist explains exactly where her alter-ego Roman Zolanski comes from (“Roman is a crazy boy who lives in me. He was born out of rage. People have conjured him up. Now he won’t leave”), erupts into a rant after another artist seemingly acts lackadaisical in returning a favor (“When men are assertive, they’re bossed up. When I’m assertive, I’m a bitch. You have to be a beast to get respect”), and discloses the real reason behind her crazy smile (“My happiness comes from seeing life without struggle”).
“Nicki Minaj: My Time Now” airs Sunday, November 28, at 10 p.m. on MTV.