By DiMarkco Chandler-
Nicki Minaj is a Trinidadian rapper, songwriter whose release of her debut album, “Pink Friday” in Nov. 2010 catapulted her career following the album’s commercial success, peaking at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, and certified Platinum only a month after its release. Recently, Minaj unveiled her “Pound the Alarm” music video as a cinematic tribute to her homeland’s natural beauty, Carnival, and culture. If for some reason you weren’t feeling Minaj, feel again, because the superstar has superseded her past releases with this cultural gem.
“Pound the Alarm” pays homage to all the major aspects of Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival, from resplendent feathered fantasy creations to traditional characters, including moko jumbies (stilt walkers), fire breathing blue devils, and fancy sailors.
The video for “Pound the Alarm” begins with Minaj on a building, singing and looking over the town. She pays tribute to Trinidad, her birthplace, and the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. The video opens with a steelpan version of the song, and shots of different locations in Port of Spain. Then the flag of Trinidad and Tobago appears before, Minaj is shown standing in a bird eye view of Port of Spain. Nicki is wearing a custom Trinidadian flag themed bra and high-rise panties. She then is seen walking down an alleyway in a red carnival costume, joined by other women in the same Trinidian carnival attire, they are seen partying and dancing to the song. In this scene Nicki Minaj has a large feathered headdress on. Minaj is then seen onstage holding a concert with Trinidadian artist Machel Montano, Bunji Garlinand Fay-Ann Lyons, while confetti comes down and the audience throw up the Trinidadian flag.
Many Trinidadian carnival characters appear in the video such as Dame Lorraine, Blue Devil, Jab Jab and others. Towards the end of the video Minaj is sitting on top of a stereo speaker, while fireworks appear in the night sky. Minaj forms a conga line, and does some choreography with her backup dancers. Nicki and other women are dancing sensually on each other. Towards the end of the video Minaj is seen in front of her cousins from Trinidad, and wrapping a Trinidadian bandanna around her mouth.
The video takes viewers on a musical tour of Trinidad and Tobago. The beauty of this country’s people and culture are also on display as masqueraders donned their costumes to create a Carnival atmosphere through the streets of Belmont, a historic suburb in Port of Spain.
Also highlighted in the video is an intricate wrought-iron arch, which is the official entrance into St. James, known as the “city that never sleeps” for its dynamic nightlife. The town also happens to be where Niki Minaj was born. Visitors are always welcome in St. James, and at any hour, night or day, activities are in full flight. Some of the best street food, restaurants, and sport bars are open for business around the clock, and closing time is when the last patron leaves – a fitting kingdom for the reigning queen of rhythm and rap!
As far as her performance, Minaj owns a terrific theatrical voice and multiple accents that seem to be truly part of the artist’s daily persona rather than a facade, you sense a softer, more assured and confident Nicki Minaj that exposes her true personality away from the so -called hardcore ‘bully’ image said to off fans and snap at anyone who has an opinion. This artist puts on her defense mechanism so high due to constant demand from her high impact music career she seems to devour negativity with vicious cut and dry comments that make it seem impossible to watch any of Nicki Minaj videos without feeling indifferent; but if indeed as woman you realize most in route to success will shut down anyone who steps in their way the same way with the forces they have to do so. For this artist, she takes to her Twitter and voices her opinions in interviews.
If fans who have turned off to Nicki Minaj can vicariously step into her shoes and realize she isn’t talking to you, but to all of the people throwing pop shots daily you can appreciate all of her music to listen to it and not just watch it and buy it out of curiosity of what’s inside. Nicki Minaj gives you everything in her videos and represents for not just ‘Barbz,’ but for all brown women who until now didn’t have a figure in music to excel in both Hip Hop, Rnb and Pop and not lose ground.
If the “Pound the Alarm” video doesn’t win you back I am afraid nothing will and it’s okay because if you don’t like Nicki Minaj music, videos, hair, features or accent, many will like her here because this may be one of her best videos to date minus any controversy. The music feels good, Minaj looks good, so sit back and enjoy and little Trinidad history for a change.
“Pound the Alarm” is Pound for Pound an enormously creative and attractively rich production that will have you begging for more Minaj.