NEW YORK — Nicki Minaj's New York City concert featured usual suspects like her mentor Lil Wayne and label mate Drake, but it was another guest appearance that was really striking: rapper Foxy Brown.
Brown joined Minaj onstage Tuesday night at the Roseland Ballroom. Before she took the stage, Minaj said she wanted to introduce "the female rapper who influenced me the most."
As Brown entered, the crowd of nearly 3,000 roared. She performed three songs from her last album, 2001's "Broken Silence."
"'Broken Silence' changed my life," Minaj said. "I always loved Foxy. When she put out `Broken Silence,' I knew she was an innovator."
The Queens-based Minaj added that although Brown is "crazy sometimes," she's also ahead of her time.
Minaj, who has dominated as music's top female rapper since 2009, has had a longstanding beef with fellow rapper Lil Kim, though the drama between the two ladies has since dwindled. Brown, too, had battles with Lil Kim in the past.
"There aren't any other female rappers who have opened doors for me than you," Minaj said, looking to Brown and quickly adding: "You and Lauryn (Hill)."
Brown, the Brooklyn-born feisty rapper, has released three successful albums, but she's seen her career wane after criminal charges on a probation violation led to time behind bars. But Brown said she's returning to music, thanks to Minaj.
"I'm coming back," Brown yelled. "My sister's making sure. I'm coming back."
Tuesday's free show for Pepsi was to replace Minaj's canceled appearance at Hot 97 Summer Jam 2012 in June.
The rapper performed more than two dozen songs as the venue transformed from a hip-hop vibe – as she performed rap hits like "Beez in the Trap" and "Did It on `Em" – to a pulsating, Euro-flavored nightclub as Minaj sang the pop smashes "Starships," "Pound the Alarm" and "Turn Me On."
The 29-year-old rapper changed outfits four times – including three wig changes – during the two-hour show. She also sang a line from Beyonce's hit "Sweet Dreams."
"I bruised my vocal chords," Minaj told the crowd, then gave a shout-out to her doctor in the crowd.
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