Beyoncé bleeds on stage and 7 more highlights from Tidal X

You’re in good hands when Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj are around to perform, tell you what to do and even bleed rather than interrupt the show. Name a more iconic duo.

Minaj and Bey returned for the second annual Tidal X concert Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn along with Blood Orange, Alicia Keys and Tip (T.I.), among other performers. 

The event, which first kicked off last year, brings Jay Z-approved acts together in partnership to raise money for the non-profit organization Robin Hood to help fund music education in New York City. 

Here are eight of the most unforgettable moments from Tidal X: 1015 (as it was officially called), including a dangerous wardrobe malfunction and some strong words about the threat of a Trump administration. 

1. Prince Royce’s aggressive charm

Prince Royce repped the Bronx with his Latin R&B. After performing his cover of “Stand by Me,” he actually passed out a dozen red roses to the crowd, because he wants nothing more than to make you swoon. 

2. Beyoncé’s braid

Bey’s Rapunzel braid is perfect for twirling on haters. It’s also, as we will find, actually a dangerous weapon.

3. Confirming what you already knew: a little blood does not stop Beyoncé

Bey came on surprisingly early, which, of course, meant she had more in store.  She (and hologram Beyoncé, because one is more than we deserve but still never enough) opened with a killer performance of “Six Inch,” strutting around the stage. Then Bey made the surprising switch to “Haunted” off her 2014 self-titled album, which is clear foreshadowing of Lemonade now.

At one point, Beyoncé’s all-powerful braid tore out her ornate earring. Bey briefly acknowledged the injury, glanced at the blood on her fingertips, and moved on, because she’s Beyoncé and she had a show to do.

Sharing the stage with Beyoncé, or worse, following Beyoncé is no easy task. But Tidal makes a point to promote up-and-coming artists while they have your attention, so the big headliners are interspersed with their Tidal Rising acts. If that means Robin Thicke opens the show to a mostly empty stage, so be it. 

Sir the Baptist cut straight to the point, saying, “I don’t look like you’re favorite rapper, because I’m not.” His live show got a boost from a lively dance crew, some wearing monk-like robes. At the end of the set, he asked a dancer to grab a discarded jacket, and he obliged — performing a backflip as part of the simple task. 

4. Common

Tidal: 1015 is a concert, but it’s also a call to action, and no one does a better job and blending the two than Common. He rapped “Go” over the beat to Kanye West’s “Fade” and his freestyle on the American Black Film Festival and Black Lives Matter particularly struck a chord with the audience. 

5. DNCE’s infectious energy

Image: brad barket/getty images for tidal

There are a lot of ways to shed your boy band past, many of which involve brooding in a bid to come off as mature, but Joe Jonas and the motley crew that make up DNCE aren’t about that. In a move that’s so obvious it’s brilliant, they just want to bring a party to their audience. Bassist Cole Whittle humps the stage, Joe Jonas enters the crowd — anything’s on the table as long as it gets the people dancing. 

Their ambitious cover of Prince’s “Kiss” could have gone horribly awry (Prince was supposed to perform at last year’s Tidal X, but dropped out), but the band sold it by going all in. 

6. Nicki Minaj came for Trump and weak men everywhere

Minaj’s show-stealing feature in Kanye West’s “Monster” is one of the most iconic verses of the decade, and it set the tone for her ferocious set. 

How many times can Nicki Minaj shout out to the bad bitches in the audience in a 10-minute period? Never enough. Minaj stressed the importance of strong women keeping men in line throughout her set, and fired shots at the possibility of Donald and Melania Trump in the White House.  

“It’s o-motherfucking-k. Cause Barack needed a Michelle, bitch. And Bill needed a motherfucking Hillary, bitch. You better pray to God you don’t get stuck with a motherfucking Melania,” she told the crowd. “You n*ggas want brainless bitches to stroke your motherfucking ego. Fuck you n*gga.”

Image: larry busaca/getty images for tidal

When Nicki adjusted her vinyl trench coat, the crowd roared thrilled at the possibility she might lose it altogether and reveal the lacy bodysuit beneath the flashy outerwear. So Nicki did one of the things she did best and scolded an arena full of people, “Y’all are nasty! Ain’t no one doing that at the Tidal charity concert.” A few minutes later, she took off the jacket and Fetty Wap showed up unannounced to serenade her with “Trap Queen.”

7. Lauryn Hill came through for Nicki and all of us

When Lauryn Hill is listed on a bill, it doesn’t necessarily mean Lauryn Hill will actually play that show, but she did, and it was phenomenal. When Hill peformed “Ex Factor,” the crowd lost their minds. 

But the person who was most excited to see Hill was Nicki Minaj, who quoted Hill in her high school year book and had the opportunity to meet her for the first time last night. Minaj bowed down in her presence and kindly captured the adorable moment on Instagram to melt our hearts. 

Hill just released an updated version of her song “I Find It Hard To Say (Rebel)” from MTV’s Unplugged 2.0 back in 2002, which reflected the racial climate at the time. “Old tune, new version, same context, even more relevant now: sick and tired of being sick and tired,” she wrote, explaining her decision to rerelease the track. 

8. Vote, because you can’t let Beyoncé down

Bey came back in a commanding metallic suit to close the show with a full band and powerful rendition of “All My Life.” After she completed the ballad about coming back from her marital struggles stronger, she had an important message for the crowd: “Doing nothing is not an option right now.” 

She encouraged anyone who thinks things can’t get worse than they are now to have a conversation with their grandparents for a refresher on how far things have come, noting that Barack Obama is in the White House. “We did that,” beamed Bey before exiting the stage while the screen above her flashed the message, “Vote.”

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