Nicki Minaj has worked it as an anime-inspired siren ("Check It Out"), taken no prisoners as the leader of a no-nonsense army of vixens ("Massive Attack") and fought to the death as a love-struck martial artist ("Your Love") in her videos. However, for her latest visual, "Moment 4 Life," Minaj said she was inspired by the regal, romantic attire of Shakespeare's era.
In the video, Minaj strolls around a palatial mansion in a voluminous blue gown — where she's spotted by her "Moment" leading man and collaborator Drake — and vamps it up in a beaded corseted getup with a tulle train. Minaj also opens the video as her British alter ego Martha — who appears as a sage-yet-saucy fairy godmother in a frilly pink dress with a scepter and wings — and closes the video in a full-skirted bridal gown as she and Drake go in for a kiss.
Directly after the premiere of the Pink Friday cut's clip on MTV on Thursday (January 27), MTV News' Sway caught up with the megastar MC in Brooklyn for a live Q&A session, and Minaj broke down the theme of the fashion in "Moment" and explained that she took cues from iconic historical periods.
Check out the fashions from Nicki Minaj's "Moment 4 Life" video.
"I wanted to take a step away from, like, high fashion or, like, [a] hip-hop, sporty type of look and into just, like, real flowy and just to play dress-up," she said. "I was envisioning a Shakespeare time, and I figured, 'What would they wear?' I felt like the first outfit kinda looked like, almost like you're in Egypt somewhere back in the day, like a long time ago," she added of the bejeweled draped blue dress.
The visual also marked the onscreen debut of her theatrical alter ego Martha, who counsels a wide-eyed Minaj about her forthcoming fortune at the start of the clip. Minaj explained that it's Martha's signature milky-hued locks — which were teased up into a bouffant — that make the character.
"Of course, you know, Martha she has the wings, and I saw her with white hair. To me she just seemed like she would be an old little English lady, probably with a cane, and so we just needed to give her white hair," she said. "But she's super, like, posh."