Minaj’s “Pills” Contrasts edgier, more controversial single “Lookin’ Ass”
Nicki Minaj • “Pills N Potions” • Cash Money • Single Release Date: May 21, 2014
“Pills n potions / we’re overdosin’ / I’m angry but I still love you,” sings Nicki Minaj on the hook of her latest single, “Pills N Potions”. She continues singing on the hook “Pills n potions / we’re overdosin’ / can’t stand it but I still love you…I still love, I still love, I still love”. “Pills N Potions” certainly contrasts an earlier Minaj single, “Lookin’ Ass”, which appears on the Young Money compilation Rise of an Empire and could appear on Minaj’s forthcoming third LP.
“Pills N Potions” is a kinder, gentler Nicki Minaj, and even though it does feature her rapping, it has more of a contemporary R&B vibe about it. There’s nothing wrong with that – hey Missy Elliott san all the time – but for those who prefer when Nicki goes all-in, real hard, this track likely won’t be for you. That said, if you didn’t like “Lookin’ Ass” or found it too brash, you might be into “Pills N Potions”.
The first verse of “Pills N Potions” initially seems to be a love song of sorts. Minaj opens it up with this sentiment of love has expired, but she doesn’t hate this dude: “Ayo, they could never make me hate you / even though what you was doin’ wasn’t tasteful / even though you out here lookin’ so ungrateful / I’mma keep it movin’ be classy and graceful.” But then as you continue to scan through the lyrics and listen, Minaj seems to broaden the horizons beyond love and heartbreak, particularly with street-savvy lines like “N***as want respect, but n***as ain’t earned that yet”, continuing on with “Self-righteous and entitled but they swearin’ on the Bible that they love you / when they really no different from all your rivals.” Ultimately, Minaj is mad, but she essentially “rises above” and in her own words, just “reflect on ‘em”.
Minaj continues on her trek on the second verse, spitting “Soon as you out a n***a’s life is when they start to miss you / they see you doin’ good now it’s kinda hard to diss you”. Again, there is that sentiment of expired love, but also there’s a sentiment from Minaj being written off by critics in her own life, and now given her gargantuan success and sickness as an MC, they can’t ‘write her off’ anymore. Then on the bridge, well, she returns to love or some sort of relationship it seems: “I get high off your memory…in due time we’ll be fine / in due time.”
Ultimately, “Pills N Potions” isn’t too shabby. Perhaps it’s a bit scattered given it’s oscillation between a specific relationship and a more societal view, but in the same token, it’s kind of clever. Again, those who prefer Minaj at her raunchiest (“Beez in the Trap” is still risqué) or edgiest, may not feel this track. However, if Minaj was too much for you on American Idol or generally too manic for you on Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, you may be pleased with this joint right here. Personally, I’m onboard.