Nicki Minaj's Alter Ego Roman Zolanski Makes Grammy Debut
Minaj welcomed her favorite alter ego onstage for her eye-popping performance of "Roman Holiday."
By Jocelyn Vena (@jocelyn1212)
Nicki Minaj's wacky alter ego Roman Zolanski made his Grammy debut Sunday night as the MC welcomed him to the stage during her eye-popping performance of "Roman Holiday."
The Brooklyn-bred MC kicked off the buzzed-about spectacle belting out the opening lines of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded track in a confession booth. After she confesses her sins, a short filmed dubbed "The Exorcism of Roman" played, and when she returned to the stage, she was strapped to a board, surrounded by religious icons, priests, monks and the like.
The theatrical performance was punctuated by the track's thumping beat and soaring rap/sung portions by the always fierce Minaj. As the song began to wrap up, a priest stepped onto the stage and performed an exorcism on the pop star, who had broken free of her shackles during the song. Minaj was elevated off the stage through the power of prayer as the frenetic track closed out.
While Minaj's dedicated Barbs know all about her alter ego, not all Grammy viewers might be familiar with Roman, the subject of her upcoming album release. In the sea of Minaj personas, Roman stands out as the most zany. In fact, he was born from Minaj's own anger, as the myth goes. Roman's appearance on Minaj's tracks is hardly new. He once shared a track with Eminem's own alternate persona, Slim Shady, on the Pink Friday song "Roman's Revenge."
As for why Minaj decided to play up religion during her performance, she once shared that aspects of the album (due out in April) will focus on the rehabilitation of Roman.