Product placement and music videos go hand in hand. What, after all, is a clip but ad placement for an artist's song? Still, the glaring one in
With a few well-placed shots of a Beats-brand portable speaker amid the luxuriously filmed images of Minaj and her onscreen love interest, rapper the Game, the spot mixes marketing, message and meaning like a particularly vivid Saturday night drug cocktail.
Taken from her forthcoming album "The Pink Print," "Pills and Potions" is a slow burn ballad featuring Minaj posing and looking beautiful as she sings and raps about anger, pills, love and frustration. It's a smooth, pretty song that features Minaj further bridging the gap between her impressive skills as a rapper and evolving work as a singer.
And then, at the 1:20 mark it first arrives, sent down from the heavens as if from Jimmy Iovine's all-giving hand: a Beats Pill XL portable speaker falling alongside a few purple tablets. The capsule-shaped speaker drifts down without mention as Minaj sings the chorus: "Pills and potions, we're overdosing / I'm angry but I still love you."
A visually rich video/photo shoot whose every camera movement luxuriates over Minaj and a shirtless Game, the clip shows Minaj grooving and grinding, moving sensually with bed-headed seductiveness, parting her lips to reveal silver grills on her teeth, snarling like a panther.
Shots of the Game's tattooed arms enveloping her, of her holding his head in her arm like it's a football, of CGI-stunning mercury tears dropping from her eyes, of morphing, tripped-out blob-cars, of a bunny rabbit tapping its paws in rhythm (.gif alert!), of Minaj wearing virgin-white Playboy bunny ears.
"I sped off in a Benzy, I see the envy when I'm causing a frenzy," she raps after the first Beats Pill drops. "So I pop pills for them, cop cribs in the Hills on 'em."
It gets tricky, though, when you start parsing the placement. The Beats Pill falls among purple pills in a song about taking recreational drugs to celebrate success, connecting the newly purchased Apple brand with dropping a dose of something or other. In hip-hop, said purple pills pop up in "Purple Pills," a song by
Writes one commenter on Rap Genius about the meaning of said purple pills: "It doesn't really matter, when you see some colored pills, just take some and see what happens."
Watch the video.