The song’s lyrics are at once pointed and ambiguous. The Queen of hip-hop addresses situations with a specificity to suggest that the people and circumstances are real — but never actually names names.
Like many of her fans, we were wondering: Who is she addressing on her lead The Pink Print single? Let’s a take a look at some of her lyrics.
Nicki opens the track by singing, with a hook that’s repeated throughout:
“Pills n potions/ We’re overdosing/ I’m angry but I still love you/ Pills n potions/ We’re overdosing/ Can’t stand it but I still love you”
She may be addressing any number of people or relationships here, from her longtime boyfriend, Safaree “SB” Samuels, to possibly even her fans, who adore her but expect the world. Or maybe it’s about hip-hop, which has both embraced and criticized her throughout her career — with much of the criticism coming following her last album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.
“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’ma keep it movin’ be classy and graceful”
Could this be addressing her former hairstylist, who is now suing her for $30 million, and making public statements (“out here”) attacking her (“lookin’ so ungrateful”)?
“I told ’em it’s no friends in the game, you ain’t learned that yet/ All the bridges you came over, don’t burn that yet/ N—as want respect, but n—as ain’t earned that yet/ Self-righteous and entitled but they swearin’ on the bible that they love you/ When really they no different from all your rivals/ But I still don’t wish death on ‘em/ I just reflect on ’em”
On Drake’s “Tuscan Leather,” off of last year’s Nothing Was The Same, he rapped, “Not even talkin’ to Nicki, communication is breakin’/ I dropped the ball on some personal sh–-, I need to embrace it.”
Though it seemed like the issues were in the past, Nicki could be referencing Drizzy as someone who swears his love (like he did on “Miss Me”), but is really just a competitor in the game — even if that may be a friendly, sibling-rivalry sort of situation.
“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/ N—as be sick when they remember all the bad they wished you/ N—as be mad when they can’t come and live lavish with you”
This sounds like Nicki might be addressing people from her pre-fame past. Like everyone else, she had doubters along the way, and now that she’s made it major, it’s not hard to think some former detractors came crawling back.
“But I sped off in a Benzi/ I see the envy when I’m causin’ a frenzy/ So I pop pills for ’em/ Cop cribs in the hills on ‘em”
Of course, all we have is speculation. And Ms. Minaj didn’t help clear things up much, when she called into “The Breakfast Club” on Power 105.1 Wednesday morning (May 21).
“I was just reflecting on people; people in my life who have come and gone,” she said. “Just thinking like, what does it all mean? You know? What the hell does it all mean?”
“I’m talking about lots of people,” she added. “It’s not anybody in particular. I have come across a lot of people who I’ve given amazing opportunities to who continue to bite the hand that fed them.”
Over the weekend, at Powerhouse in Los Angeles, Nicki described the song to MTV News. “It’s just a very truthful story,” she said. “And it just feels right. It feels like love. It feels like lessons learned.”