Tag Archives: grammy awards

Nicki Minaj’s Grammy performance shocks


| brennison@queenscourier.com

No one from Queens walked away with a Grammy Award during Sunday night’s show — Queens rapper Nicki Minaj and St. John’s graduate and former Queens Courier employee J. Cole both lost — but Minaj may have turned in the night’s most discussed performance.

The awards were bookended by rappers from Queens.  The show opened with host LL Cool J, and closed with an exorcism/performance by the Jamaica-native Minaj.

Channeling her alter ego, Roman Zolanski, the religiously-tinged act opened with a pre-taped skit of a possessed Minaj before her live performance of “Roman Holiday” off her upcoming sophomore album.  Prior to the show, the Queens rapper arrived at the award show with someone dressed as the pope.  During the performance Minaj spoke in tongues and danced with monks before ending it by levitating high above a stage of shooting flames.

The reaction of blogs and social media following her performance was mostly negative and also confused.  Minaj is still trending nationally on Twitter 12 hours after the show.

What did you think of the performance?

 

J. Cole earns Best New Artist Grammy nod


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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In a year that J. Cole released a debut album that reached the top of the Billboard charts, the St. John’s University graduate has been recognized for his meteoric rise with a Grammy nomination.

Cole, 26, was nominated for Best New Artist where he will go up against The Band Perry, Bon Iver, fellow Queens rapper Nicki Minaj and Skrillex.  Acts such as The Beatles, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys have taken home music’s version of Rookie of the Year.

The nominations were announced Wednesday in Los Angeles at a concert hosted by Queens’ own LL Cool J.

The rapper was born in Frankfurt, Germany, where his parents were stationed in the military, but grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina. At 12, Cole began writing his own lyrics. After graduating from high school in 2003, Cole headed to the Big Apple determined to achieve his goals of breaking into the music business and earning his college degree.

In May 2007, Cole graduated magna cum laude from St. John’s and then got a part-time job selling classified ads for The Queens Courier.

The Roc Nation rapper’s debut album, “Cole World: The Sideline Story,” sold over 200,000 units in its first week.

Minaj also received nominations for Best Rap Album for “Pink Friday” and Best Rap Performance for “Moment 4 Life.”

The award show will be held Sunday, February 12.