"Side To Side" Is A Sultry Love Song

by S. Atkinson
Originally Published: 

Double the star power, double the fun. So no wonder the Ariana Grande Nicki Minaj collaboration "Side To Side" is one of the highlights on an album that's all about nonstop audio pleasure. It's a long track with a lot of thematic detours, dialogue between the pair and references. So what's it all about? It's pretty diverse, even chaotic at times. Half of it seems to be Grande and Minaj batting their eyelashes at each other and mouthing off about how great the other one is, which makes sense. They're both cool women dominating the musical landscape.

As for the non-Grande/Minaj compliment-off part of the song, this is all about a sexy bad boy type. I'm imagining him as the bad boy type in every noughties boyband: identifiable via a goatee and an ill-advised eyebrow piercing. But hey, this could just be me. We don't know a whole lot about him except that he's got Grande's body temperature rising, and she's eager to catch his eye via peacocking, strutting past him time and again, which is probably what's given the song its title.

It's also got some great one-liners, courtesy of Minaj, providing some much-needed humor. (While Dangerous Woman is a brilliant album, it's not always a laugh-a-minute.) Minaj evens things out with the requisite amount of swagger. But hey, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's break this thing down verse by verse.

I've been here all night, ArianaI've been here all day, Nicki MinajAnd boy, got me walkin' side to sideLet them hoes knowI'm talkin' to yaSee you standing over there with your bodyFeeling like I wanna rock with your bodyAnd we don't gotta think 'bout nothin' I'm comin' at yaCause I know you got a bad reputationDoesn't matter, cause you give me temptationAnd we don't gotta think 'bout nothin'

Our girls have been up all day and night because they're so obsessed with this guy. They're signaling to the other women drawn to this, this, *NSYNC Joey Fatone type (circa the red hair), that they mean business.

And Grande's super into him because he's a bad boy. Because he's dangerous. Because she hates cliches. Let's hit that chorus.

These friends keep talkin' way too muchSaying I should give you upCan't hear them no, cause I...I've been here all nightI've been here all dayAnd boy, got me walkin' side to sideI've been here all nightI've been here all dayAnd boy, got me walkin' side to side (side to side)

The Backstreet Boys' Kevin Richardson doesn't just have mean facial hair and a sideways baseball cap, no, he's got a bad rep.

He's got Grande's friends all abuzz, petitioning for their girl to drop him. Meanwhile, poor old Grande's just marching back and forth in those enormous heels. Walk your way into his pants, girl.

Been tryna hide itBaby what's it gonna hurt if they don't know?Makin' everybody think that we soloJust as long as you know you got me And boy I got yaCause tonight I'm making deals with the devilAnd I know it's gonna get me in troubleJust as long as you know you got me

Her friends don't approve, so she's hiding her dalliance with Kevin Richardson/Joey Fatone/insert the bad boy in any boy band. They're pretending to be single. This amounts to a deal with the devil for Grande, but that's OK. She's happy as long as she's #1 in her lover's heart.

This the new style with the fresh type of flowWrist icicle, ride d*ck bicycleCome true yo, get you this type of blowIf you wanna menage I got a tricycle

Love this verse from Minaj too much. Phrases like "wrist icicle" and "d*ck bicycle." All great inspiration for slogan tattoos, right? Anyways, if riding "d*ck bicycle" is sex between two consenting adults, what's a "tricycle?" Yes, that. Jackpot: this is basically Minaj asking to have a fun threesome.

All these b*tches, flows is my mini-meBody smoking, so they call me young Nicki chimneyRappers in they feelings cause they feelin' meI give zero f*cks and I got zero chill in meKissing me, copped the blue box that say TiffanyCurry with the shot, just tell 'em to call me StephanieGun pop and I make my gum popI'm the queen of rap, young Ariana run pop

Minaj is so hot that her body gives off smoke. Feeling up her body is such an intense experience, it means those emotionally-deadened humans we know as rappers are driven to the point of experiencing genuine human emotions. She gives "zero f*cks" and because of this, is able to present herself has having "zero chill" because she's not buying into any of that misogynistic Cool Girl nonsense. This makes rappers propose. The last line's the most important: she and Grande aren't in competition with each other because they're both the queens of totally different genres, rap and pop. Phew!

In summary: Grande's got complicated feelings for the bad boy in a boy band and it's forcing her to lead a double life. Minaj has complicated feelings about Grande's feelings but is willing to work things out in a threesome. Fin.

Images: Elsa/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images; Giphy (2)

This article was originally published on