There are three types of Saturday Night Live musical guests: The “double-threats” like Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift that host and perform, the musicians that play their two songs and jet, and the artists that make their mark in both the sketches and on the Studio 8H stage. Nicki Minaj falls into that latter category as The Pinkprint rapper was all over the James Franco-hosted episode SNL, showcasing her comedy chops and celebrity impersonation skills.
The highlight of Minaj’s SNL visit came in the “Jingle Ballerz Special” skit, a hip-hop version of the Nativity Story with many of SNL featured players pretending to be rap all-stars. (Taran Killam’s “Eminem” and Kenan Thompson’s “Rick Ross” were especially good.) While Minaj could have taken the easy route and simply played herself, she instead delivered a dead-on impression of her “Flawless (Remix)” partner Beyoncé.
Minaj’s Kim Kardashian impersonation wasn’t as polished as her Beyoncé impression, but it still brightened up the Weekend Update. In the sketch, Minaj’s “Kardashian” talks about her controversial Paper Magazine nude photo shoot (with Minaj’s face superimposed on Kardashian’s body). “It was actually a public service announcement about getting regular checkups from your gynecologist,” she explains for one photo. “Kardashian” also reveals that the reason she was “so oily” in the photo shoot was because it was a statement on the Keystone pipeline.
Minaj, who rivaled Franco in terms of screen time on the episode, also appeared in a sketch called “Brains Too Full.” On top of all that, the rapper performed three Pinkprint songs during her two musical performances, opening up with “Bed of Lies” alongside guest Skylar Grey and closing out her night with a medley of “Only” and “All Things Go.” Watch those performances below (via Mr. World Premiere).
“Bed of Lies (featuring Skylar Grey)”
“Only” / “All Things Go”