Nicki Minaj is about to break more ground in the name of Hip-Hop. She has been booked for a show at the Islamic holy land.
The New York Post is reporting that the “Pills N Potions” rapper is set to perform in Saudi Arabia as the headlining act for the Jeddah World Fest. As the largest sovereign state in the Middle East, the Kingdom has laws in place forbidding alcohol and drugs. Additionally women are asked to wear abayas; a long black cloak that covers all but the hands and face in public. Naturally this booking came to many as a surprise as her hyper sexualized Rap persona doesn’t align with city’s super conservative policies.
While her fans were excited over the news, female residents raised questions about hypocrisy with flying in Nicki for a performance. “She’s going to go and shake her ass and all her songs are indecent and about sex and shaking ass and then you tell me to wear the abaya. What the hell?” one Saudi woman said.
Raed Abuzinada, Sector Development Chief of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA), revealed that the festival will also be providing opportunities for local talent. “There is a stereotype of the Kingdom all over the world, and today it is disappearing. In its place is a new picture of the Kingdom, that accepts everyone” he said in a formal statement.
Robert Quirke, President of event organizer Roqu Media International explained that Nicki is the perfect fit for a festival of this magnitude. “She is going to get a lot of attention for Jeddah in the most positive way you can imagine. She’s going to be actively on her social media, she’ll be posting right from the stage in Jeddah and at her hotel in Jeddah. Everyone is going to know that Nicki Minaj has landed in Saudi Arabia”.
Also slotted for a set is DJ Steve Aoki and British artist Liam Payne; additional artists will be announced this week. The Jeddah World Fest will take place on July 18 King Abdullah Sports Stadium. The festival is scheduled to be globally televised by MTV. You can purchase tickets here.