Nicki Minaj's "Pills N Potions" Single Shows Her Refusal to Stick to One Genre & That's Awesome — LISTEN
Nicki Minaj warned us that she wasn't making a conscious decision to only do rap and hip hop now and her latest single, "Pills N Potions", definitively proves that. Many of us worried that Minaj's previous singles were all just her way of proving that she still had the talent for hard rap that had carried her to the top to begin with, but Minaj made it clear several times that she had nothing to prove. Hell, Minaj doesn't want to be called a female rapper, for the very justifiable fact that she's held her own with the greats and deserved to be treated with identical respect. At the end of the day, however, Minaj refuses to be put into just one box or adhere to just one label and that's what makes Minaj's "Pills N Potions" one of her best songs yet.
Minaj is no stranger to a slow pop song suffused with her rap verses. Pink Friday had "Moment 4 Life", "Right Thru Me", "Your Love", and those were just the singles. "Pills N Potions" in particular was hinted to have involved pop music producer Dr. Luke who also tweeted songwriter Ester Dean about the song. Considering Dean was the co-writer of Minaj's smash hit "Super Bass", we were able to guess ahead of time that "Pills N Potions" would be a pop song.
However, "Pills N Potions" is a pop song with heart and genuine ethos. It's about the lingering emotions inherent in the aftermath of a relationship gone very sour, as betrayal is never enough to make true feelings of love go away. The melody is simplistic, featuring nothing more than a backbeat, a tambourine, and piano music underneath Minaj's singing and rapping. This puts most of the focus on her voice and lyrics, where Minaj shines and connects with her audience.
Is it anything new and groundbreaking from her? No, not really. Is it still a good song? Yes. It's different from all of the other singles that she's released so far, a fine addition to a genre that we all thought that Minaj was leaving behind, and her ability to wield both aspects of her musical interests is truly commendable. As much as we want to label Minaj as a rapper or a pop star or a hip hop artist or whatever, she continues to refuse to ever play to one genre or stick with one label. She lets herself grow and transform and keeps her listeners on their toes. And it's working for her so far.
Listen to the song below.