Nicki Minaj has entered the metaverse with the launch of her first-ever virtual shop in Roblox, called ‘Nicki Minaj’s Gag City’.
In the virtual shop, fans can interact with Nicki Minaj’s music and purchase exclusive digital items. Users can explore a 3D shopping experience to buy exclusive emotes — expressive character animations for Roblox avatars — and digital items inspired by the artist’s iconic career moments and latest album.
For every user who visited the shop on the launch day on Friday (December 8), a virtual ‘BARBZ’ birthday badge was awarded, providing access to limited-edition items. Additionally, the first 100,000 visitors will receive a special free shoulder pet, celebrating Minaj’s birthday and album release.
“This is the perfect way to celebrate the launch of Pink Friday 2 as my BARBZ will be able to dress up just like me. Can’t wait to see thousands of Roblox Nickis running around Gag City!”
The virtual shop also features built-in virtual photo opportunities, allowing users to take selfies and share them on social media. Various Nicki Minaj-themed user-generated content items, including fashion pieces like a white jacket, corset top, baggy trousers, ombre hairstyle, hairstyle headpiece, and short pink hair, will be available for users to try on or purchase.
Commenting on the launch of her virtual world, Minaj said: “I’m so excited to unveil this Gag City project, to give fans a new way of connecting with me and my music. This is the perfect way to celebrate the launch of Pink Friday 2 as my BARBZ will be able to dress up just like me. Can’t wait to see thousands of Roblox Nickis running around Gag City!”
Minaj’s career in music and entertainment spans over a decade, marked by achievements including becoming the first woman to score 100 Billboard Hot 100 Hits with 133 total entries to date, the most among female hip-hop acts. She also has three No.1’s, over 70 Top 40 hits and 23 Top 10s. She holds the record for the Most Billboard Hot 100 Entries Among Women in the 2010s.
Among other things, Minaj is notable for being the first female rapper to reach 1 billion views on YouTube with multiple solo tracks. She has amassed a total of nine videos surpassing the 1 billion-view mark, among them Super Bass (2011) and Anaconda (2014), giving her the record for the highest number of such videos among all female artists.
Her debut album, Pink Friday (2010), sold over 375,000 copies in its first week. It made history by achieving “the largest sales week for a female hip-hop artist since Lauryn Hill in 1998.”
In addition to her musical success, Nicki Minaj has ventured into TV and film, secured high-profile brand deals, and established herself as a figure in the fashion and beauty industry.
Tony Barnes, Co-Founder of Karta, said: “We are thrilled to be working with the superstar and cultural icon Nicki Minaj on the launch of her official virtual fashion collection and shop on Roblox. As one of the most popular artists on the platform it will be awesome to see Nicki’s fans, the BARBZ, interact with and enjoy this unique, immersive commerce experience.”
“As one of the most popular artists on the platform it will be awesome to see Nicki’s fans, the BARBZ, interact with and enjoy this unique, immersive commerce experience.”
Tony Barnes, Karta
Karta, founded in July 2021 by Barnes, a music business veteran, and ex-Fnatic Erik Londré, specializes in immersive shopping experiences. The metaverse studio helps brands, artists, and sports teams establish a presence in popular virtual worlds.
That same month, Karta launched its Fortnite studio, partnering with IP owners from music, entertainment, and sports domains to create new takes on Fortnite maps and games.
Karta raised $1.1 million in funding in July from players in the music, gaming, sports and finance industries including GameTech Ventures, Amy Thomson (ex-Chief Catalogue Officer to Hipgnosis), global entertainment company Toikido, CEO of Sports Loft Charlie Greenwood, Chairman of UK Finance Robert Wigley, Powster Founder and CEO Ste Thompson, and venture studio Big Ideas Group.
Music Business Worldwide