We're only a little over an hour in, and we've already seen a lot of Nicki Minaj at the VMAs. She helped open the show with a performance of "Anaconda" that lead to a performance of "Bang Bang" alongside Ariana Grande and Jessie J, and then joined Usher onstage for a performance of "She Came to Give It to You." First the most notable aspect of their performance was the all-white, Jason DeRulo-esque outfits worn by Usher and all of his backup dancers, but that was quickly overshadowed by a truly unforgettable moment that will undoubtedly live on in .gif infamy.
At one point Usher grabbed a guitar — cool, I'm on board. Then, he decided to crouch down and get low on the stage — nice one Usher, get that rockstar vibe going. Then Nicki Minaj was next to Usher and somehow ended up booty-bumping his shoulder over and over — umm, what?!? And things only escalated from there. We went from butt-to-shoulder action to butt-to-head action, culminating in a straight-up slap.
It's unclear if these were rehearsed moves or spur of the moment, or who even started them. Did Nicki slam her butt into Usher's shoulder and he decided to reciprocate? Or did he thrust his shoulder into her butt and she decided to keep it going? Was in mutual? A coincidence? Watch the Vine below to see for yourself.
I really can't tell. Maybe it was rehearsed, all planned to make it seem like a spur-of-the-moment thing, when really they had it timed down to a science, with the perfect butt-to-shoulder/head ratio. If anything came as a surprise, I think it was the slap. Do you see the face Nicki gives Usher right after? Either she's going for a very realistic fierce vibe, or she's nonverbally telling Usher to watch his hands. If I was Usher, I'd keep my distance the rest of the night — just in case.