What Is Gag City?: What To Know About The Barbz’s AI-Generated Universe

In preparation for Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday 2, here’s everything you should know about the Barbz's AI-generated trend, Gag City.

Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images

In anticipation of Nicki Minaj's fifth studio album, Pink Friday 2, her devoted fanbase, known as the Barbz, have sparked a new viral trend on social media. 

In December, AI-generated images started appearing on various platforms, depicting a fictional realm dubbed "Gag City"—a nod to Nicki's album and its artwork, which depicts the rapper en route to a pink city. 

The pink-themed graphics and depictions of elaborate fixtures in the imagined world quickly gained viral traction, illustrating a complete universe featuring businesses, concerts, and more. The imaginative universe has captivated online communities and become a creative way for the Barbz to express their excitement and celebrate Nicki’s long-awaited project ahead of its release. 

Pink Friday 2 drops this Friday, Dec. 8. In the meantime, here’s everything we know about Gag City. 

X/Twitter

What is it?

X / Pop Crave
Gag City is an AI-generated kingdom or universe created by Nicki Minaj’s fanbase. In the expansive alternate reality, nearly everything is drenched in hues of pink. Everything from landmarks and buildings to local food and tech businesses has appeared in installments over the last few days, making it a fun virtual destination of Nicki Minaj’s upcoming fifth studio album.

How was it founded?

What’s in Gag City?

Twitter: @MinajPlaylist
The fictional city looks just as whimsical as you would imagine. Although Gag City seemingly exists in another dimension where Nicki Minaj is the city’s mayor and empress, it does draw parallels to the real world. For instance, familiar restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory and popular coffee shop Dutch Bros have outposts in Gag City. The AI-generated reality also hosts real-life events like Rolling Loud, and several businesses like Converse and KFC are a part of it, too. On Dec. 6, music streaming app Spotify shared an image of a map with a locator on Gag City, indicating that the company was opening up shop there. “Calling all Barbz, a new Sound Town just dropped,” the caption reads. Even Complex Music has an office in Gag City; posted by MinajPlaylist just yesterday, it depicts a large, three-story building with neon signage.

Who inhabits Gag City?

Twitter: @itgirlposts
Of course Nicki Minaj and her Barbz are frequent visitors of Gag City, but the city is also open to other celebrities and fanbases. One massive fanbase who was invited to join the city’s inhabitants is the BTS Army. Their invite probably stems from the 2018 collaboration Nicki and BTS released called “Idol.” The city also hosts Nicki’s past collaborators like Ariana Grande, as well as a handful of deceased historical figures like William Shakespeare and fictional TV and film characters, including Game of Thrones’ Daenerys Targaryen and Tyler Perry’s Madea.

Latest in Music