A weird thing happened at Thursday night’s much-hyped $150-$250 appearance by Cardi B at Privé nightclub: close to nothing.
Arguably the hottest woman in hip-hop at the moment after her 2017 hit "Bodak Yellow," the Bronx native born Belcalis Almanzar didn’t show up on stage until about 1:15 a.m. That wasn’t the surprising part.
When she did finally walk out on stage – still wearing her matching, gray faux-fur hat and wrap as if she had literally just pulled up to the club – all Cardi B did was dance a little and mime the words to other people’s songs. And she didn’t even do that with much energy or dedication.
About half of the 45 minutes she spent on stage were spent simply standing there, sometimes to adjust her hair extensions and pose for Instagrammers, or to just talk to one of her posse members standing up there with her (including Fabolous and members of Migos). She seemed to know exactly when the 2 a.m. liquor cut-off neared and started putting her faux fur back on just before the clock struck. Here's a clip from Twitter that shows her in action.
I guess this is all you get from @iamcardib for a $150-$250 ticket during #superbowllii week. Just some dancing & standing around on stage. That’s it. Oh, and Migos & Fabolous did the same. #boldnorth #boldnothing pic.twitter.com/P3ajDqJoeD— C. Riemenschneider (@ChrisRstrib) February 2, 2018
Maybe we Minnesotans are gullible and naïve, but this is new territory for us. A fan on Twitter posted that Cardi B did the same thing at a ticketed event in Houston last week. A Star Tribune reader claims a late-night Thursday event featuring rapper Gucci Mane was even worse. "The headliner didn’t show up, and they booted everyone at 2 with zero refunds," he wrote via email. "It was a nightmare."
Everything about the promotion of Thursday’s Cardi B show suggested it would be a performance, or did not warn otherwise (see the flyer below). Certainly, the price tag suggested as much.
That said, tickets to her performance with Future tonight at the enormous Myth nightclub in Maplewood are over $700, so the show at the 500-capacity Privé did seem like the after-thought gig of the week. Her listing on the $750/invite-mostly Maxim party with DJ Marshmello for Saturday is specifically billed as a "special performance." She is also lined up for the $175-plus Players Ball party at the Armory on Sunday night, and since that’s a Live Nation-affiliated show with Diddy and DJ Khaled we’d assume/hope she’s contracted to actually perform at least a few songs there.
This isn’t all on Cardi B, though. Let this be a warning: Some of these splashy parties around the Super Bowl and their promoters have questionable tactics and are only in it to make a quick, easy buck. There have been other lineups in town where big-name rappers were listed – see: Lil’ Jon at the Lumber Exchange or Snoop Dogg at the Playboy party – and you had to read the fine print to see the parenthetical words “(DJ set).”
Come to think of it, though, even a little DJ-ing by Cardi would’ve been more exciting than what she offered Thursday night.