Pills N Potions
Nicki Minaj
The Pinkprint
Released May 21, 2014
Recorded April 2014 (New York City and Los Angeles)
Format Digital download
Genre R&B, rap
Length 4:28
Label Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic
Writer Onika Maraj, Ester Dean, Lukasz Gottwald, Henry Walter
Producer Dr. Luke, Cirkut
Single information
Single release May 27, 2014 (Radio impact)
Video release June 10, 2014
←Last single
"Yasss Bish"
Next single→
"She Came to Give It to You"
The Pinkprint track listing
"Pills N Potions" is track number 14.
Previous track
"The Night Is Still Young"
Next track
"Bed of Lies"

"Pills N Potions" is a song by Nicki Minaj from her third studio album, The Pinkprint. The song serves as the lead single of the album. Minaj did a radio promo tour on the day of release and premiered the song on stations The Breakfast Club, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, Hot 97, Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, and Power 106 with Big Boy. The single was released on May 21, 2014 as a digital download, to Rhythmic radio on May 27, to Urban radio on June 3, to Pop radio on June 10, and re-released to Pop radio on July 15. A music video was shot for the song on May 13-14, and premiered on June 10 on her VEVO account.

It will also be featured in her Myx Fusions commercial. The song was certified Platinum in Australia and Silver in the UK.

Background and release

On April 22, 2014, at an interview with MTV News, she teased the release of a new track around the first days of May which will be nothing like her previously street singles "Lookin Ass" and "Chi-Raq", or like her hit singles "Starships and "Super Bass".[1] On May 2, 2014, Nicki released a street single "Yasss Bish",[2] in which she hinted that she will drop her first single in two weeks (around May 18).[3] During an interview with "The Insider", she confirmed that the single would be released on those dates.[4]

She described the track as her "all-around single" that all her Barbz will really hold on to. In her favorites on Twitter, she badged that the single will have an iTunes premiere. The music video for the song was shot on May 13 and 14.[5][6] In an interview at Powerhouse, she said that she would release the cover on Monday, and the single on Wednesday May 21.[7] She confirmed the name of the song in an interview at the Billboard Music Awards to be "Pills N Potions".[8]

Early morning on May 21, 2014, Minaj posted a snippet of the song on Instagram,[9] and later released the song on her SoundCloud account.[10] The audio was hours later released to Minaj's official VEVO channel at YouTube,[11] and it was finally released as a digital download on iTunes the same day.[12] A lyric video was released to her new Youtube account on May 26. The song was released to Top 40 Rhythmic[13] stations on May 27 and was the #1 most added song of the week. It was released to Urban sations on June 3, 2014. It was released to Top 40 Mainstream (Pop),[14]stations on June 10, 2014. It was later sent to Pop radio again on July 15.


Minaj stated that she wrote the song in April 2014.[15] In New York City, she wrote the first verse. Days later she finished the second verse[16] and sometime in the future she freestyled the bridge.[17]


Minaj confirmed on May 18 that the cover artwork would be released the next day, May 19, and it will be a new photo shoot.[18][19] She released the artwork on May 19 on her Instagram account[20] and hours later she released another cover almost equal, excepting the font.[21]


"Pills N Potions" was produced by Dr. Luke and Cirkut. The song combines genres of pop, hip-hop, and R&B. Sonically, it is a slow-burning piano ballad "framed in the druggy imagery of mixtape rap". It opens with a spare, haunting drum beat, while Minaj sings the pre-chorus in a feather-like near-whisper. As the pre-chorus repeats, an echo effect is added to her vocals, and "blooming" chants of "I still love, I still love, I still lu-uh-uhhhv" are sung to create the songs chorus. During the verses Minaj raps with a sense of urgency. The song is notable in her change of musical style and departure from her EDM work on Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded and gritty hip-hop work she's known for.

Critical reception

The song received universal acclaim from music critics. "Pills N Potions" was universally acclaimed by critics. Zach Frydenlund of Complex called "Pills N Potions" a "monster of a song", saying: "after a few months of steadly dropping her more street singles, Nicki shows—once again—how she can delicately balance pop and hip-hop, while spitting true to her "real rap" promise to fans."[9] Chris Payne of Billboard felt Minaj was sincere in her delivery of the song's personal lyrics, and went on to call it a "crowd pleaser" with something for every listener to enjoy.[7]

Gil Kaufman of MTV News was also positive in his review, saying: "After coming back hard on the singles "Yasss Bish" and "Chi-Raq," the nearly four-and-a-half minute "Potions" is actually a huge move back into the pop game, setting Minaj up for what could be her biggest cross-over hit to date."[12] Although Marc Hogan of Spin found the song's message confusing, he praised Minaj's rapping and said that "when we hear that Rihanna-like "I still lo-uh-uh-ve" hook blasting out of car windows this summer? We'll probably still lo-uh-uh-ve it."[8]

A writer for ClickMusic called "Pills N Potions" a more "traditional" love song compared to those done by Minaj before, and said that "there's plenty of her personality running through it and a welcome depth to the lyrics this time around."[10] Kory Grow of Rolling Stone called the song a "piano rap ballad", and said it comes off as the "diametric opposite" of her last single, "Lookin Ass".[11]

Music Video

Music Video Information
Nicki Minaj - Pills N Potions (Official)

Nicki Minaj - Pills N Potions (Official)

Premiere June 10, 2014
Filmed May 13-14, 2014
Director Diane Martel, Geoffrey Lillemon
Production co Black Dog
Exec. producer
Length 4:32
Source [1]


On May 13, Nicki tweeted, "Vid shoot".[5] She instagrammed some BTS pics of her on set. The next day she tweeted, "Shooting this video, wyd?" with a new look suggesting it was a 2-day shoot.[6] The video was shot by Diane Martel and Geoffrey Lillemon. It was released on her VEVO account on June 10, 2014.


Behind the Scenes

Video Snippet

On June 6, Nicki went on GMA to preview a snippet of the music video.

Nicki Minaj - Pills N Potions Snippet

Nicki Minaj - Pills N Potions Snippet

Lyric Videos

Nicki released a lyric video on her new official Nicki Minaj Youtube account on May 26 saying it was just 1 of 2 to be released. It was uploaded to VEVO shortly after. The 2nd was released straight to VEVO on June 6.

Nicki Minaj - Pills N Potions (Lyric Video)

Nicki Minaj - Pills N Potions (Lyric Video)

Nicki Minaj - Pills N Potions

Nicki Minaj - Pills N Potions

Clean Version

The clean version was released on her VEVO on June 27.

Nicki Minaj - Pills N Potions-0

Nicki Minaj - Pills N Potions-0

Live Performances

Nicki performed Pills N Potions for the first time at Hot 97 Summer Jam (2014). She also performed it at BET Awards 2014, and the Philly 4th of July Jam.

Charts and Certifications





Australia (ARIA)

United Kingdom (BPI)






Chart (2014) Peak
Australia (ARIA) 14
Australia Urban (ARIA) 3
Belgium Urban (Ultratop Flanders) 31
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 53
France (SNEP) 71
Ireland (IRMA) 29
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 17
Scotland (Official Charts Company) 29
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 31
UK R&B (Official Charts Company) 6
US Billboard Hot 100 24
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard) 7
US Hot Rap Songs (Billboard) 2
US Rhythmic (Billboard) 10

Release history

Country Date Format
Worldwide May 21, 2014 Digital download[12]
United States Radio premiere
May 27, 2014 Rhythmic radio[13]
June 3, 2014 Urban radio[22]
June 10, 2014 Mainstream radio[14]



  1. Nicki Minaj Says 'Hell No' To Another 'Super Bass' - MTV News. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  2. Yasss Bish!! (ft. Soulja Boy) - Nicki Minaj by Yo}ungMoneyDotCom - SoundCloud. Retrieved May 15, 2014.
  3. Nicki Minaj – Yasss Bish!! Lyrics Rap Genius. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  4. 'Yasss!' Nicki Minaj Reveals Funny... The INSIDER. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Twitter: Vid shoot Retrieved May 15, 2014.
  6. 6.0 6.1 nickiminaj: Shooting this video. Wyd? Retrieved May 15, 2014.
  7. Nicki Minaj’s Powerhouse Set: “Dropping My Single On Wednesday” Idolator. Retrieved May 19.
  8. Nicki Minaj Reveals New Single Title at 2014 Billboard Music Awards - Billboard. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  9. nickiminaj: #pressPLAY #PillsNPotions on iTunes in a cpl more hours.❤️❤️❤️💊💊💊🍷🍷🍷 Retrieved May 26, 2014.
  10. Twitter: #PillsNPotions EXTENDED, EXPLICIT, CD QUALITY … - iTunes shortly Retrieved May 26, 2014.
  11. Nicki Minaj - Pills N Potions (Audio) - YouTube. Retrieved May 26, 2014.
  12. 12.0 12.1 iTunes - Music - Pills N Potions - Single by Nicki Minaj. Retrieved May 26, 2014.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Top 40/Rhythmic-Crossover > Future Releases Retrieved May 26, 2014.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Top 40/Mainstream > Future Releases Retrieved May 26, 2014.
  15. Twitter: About a month Ago > RT @DaBarbzRule: @NICKIMINAJ can you tell us when you wrote the single?! #PillsNPotions” Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  16. Twitter: Wrote 1st verse In ny. Days lata 2nd verse in LA > RT“@fenellamaraj_LK: how long did it take you to write the whole song? #PillsNPotions”” Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  17. Twitter: The bridge cuz I freestyled it > RT @KidZolanski: "@WMinaj1D: @NICKIMINAJ what is your favorite part of #PillsNPotions ?"” Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  18. Twitter: Monday > RT @johntavius: @NICKIMINAJ 1st we need the artwork you promised us ” Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  19. Twitter: New shot > RT @WeezusMinaj: @NICKIMINAJ is the artwork a whole new shot (like Starships) or just text (like RIM)” Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  20. @nickiminaj: Wednesday #PillsNPotions Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  21. @nickiminaj: #PillsNPotions ~ HiRes Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  22. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named urban
  23. Nicki Minaj - Pills N Potions Lyrics Rap Genius. Retrieved May 21, 2014.

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