When Alice spots the White Rabbit running late for his appointment, she followed him down the hole and stumbled into Wonderland. It’s a similar effect to hitting play on Nicki Minaj’s new video for “Pills N Potions,” complete with bewilderment and bunnies, metallic tears and rolling heads.
In the clip, Minaj plays all the parts in her hip-hop take on the classic children’s tale: She’s Alice lost in a strange and baffling world, the Red Queen holding The Game’s disembodied head, the drugged up caterpillar, and a very sultry White Rabbit.
It’s a fitting video for “Pills N Potions” — and not just because the title is reminiscent of the fact that Alice transforms whenever she eats or drinks anything — but because lyrically the song tells the story of someone stumbling forward. On the track, Minaj sings: “Pills and potions / We’re overdosing / I’m angry but I still love you.” It’s a haunting and vulnerable refrain, filled with loss and longing and absent the hooks and jaw-dropping rhymes that marked her last full-length LP, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. “It sounds like betrayal. It sounds like running. It sounds like fainting. It sounds like love. It sounds like… *gasp!,” Minaj said about the Dr. Luke-produced ballad to Billboard. While that sounds like she’s been partaking of some pills or potions, Minaj is on to something with that description. The song and the accompanying video are filled with images of love and lust juxtaposed with anger and ire —Minaj is topless and alone, or clothed and holding The Game’s disembodied head. While it’s not clear what The Game did to earn such a punishment —perhaps the answer lies within his tattoos? — her point is clear: she’s hurt, but can’t let go. (That said, if you were accused of “wig plagiarism” you might let a few heads roll, too. )
The video offers an intriguing peek into whatever Minaj has in store for fans on her next album, The Pinkprint, which is expected to be out by the end of the year.