Nicki Minaj’s AI art trend is pure chaotic brilliance

We’ve seen our fair share of AI art trends this year, but none have been quite as strange (and slay) as the latest trend making waves online. May I present to you Gag City – the pink plastic world celebrating the latest album of the Queen of Rap herself, Nicki Minaj. 

Launched by Minaj’s army of devoted fans (known as Barbz) the trend uses AI art generators to bring the fantasy realm of Gag City to life, featuring celebrity cameos and plenty of pink Barbiecore realness. The commendable creativity of the Barbz has created a rare viral sensation that proves that once in a blue moon, the internet can create perfect marketing through the power of memes.

AI art of Nicki Minaj's Gag City

(Image credit: Bing Image Generator)

The trend began in early September when Minaj announced her upcoming studio album, Pink Friday 2. Excited by the news, fans began referring to the release as ‘Gag City’ a term that Minaj quickly adopted in the marketing of her latest album. While it may sound like an adverse reaction to the news, the term ‘gag’ refers to the popular gay vernacular ‘gagged’ which means to be shocked or amazed. 

The AI-generated images featured a range of settings, such as clubs, arenas and even a university. The trend was a chance for Barbz across the globe, from Zambia to Sweden, to share their devotion to Minaj, sharing their journey to Gag City through the magic of AI art. The fictional kingdom is policied by an army of dedicated Barbz and is naturally ruled by Madame President Minaj, which has led to many creative and hilarious memes. 

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Gag City also welcomed a number of familiar faces such as rapper J Cole, singer Ariana Grande and Queen B, Beyoncé. Barbz tweeted updates regarding the dramatic scenes taking place via spoof news updates, which soon divulged into the realms of chaos, with meteor attacks and an invasion of ducks. What can I say, Ai breeds innovation. 

Like all great internet trends, you know it has served its time when brands start to take notice. Before long, fast food chains such as Chilli’s and Waffle House were setting up shop in Gag City, and big brands like Jeep were parking up to get in on the virality. However, it’s not often that marketing gets into the coveted zone of viral meme status, and free marketing certainly takes the heavy lifting out of expensive and time-consuming campaigns. 

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I have to admit that I’m a little obsessed with this AI art trend. It’s refreshing to see an artist embracing a movement created by their fans in such a playful way and I’m always glad to see AI used as a tool for creativity (regardless of the ridiculousness). 

For more AI trends, check out the bizarre ‘make it more’ trend or take a look at the yearbook picture trend that took over TikTok

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