Nicki Minaj has always been able to inhabit more than one persona, sometimes in a single guest verse, but new song “Bed of Lies” ought to rank among her most head-snapping reversals. After the derriere-themed, ferocious “Anaconda” and the raw, controversial “Only,” the New York rap-pop monster has released “Bed of Lies,” a plaintive, confessional-style ballad with Skylar Grey on the hook.
In a portion of the song debuted a week ago at the MTV European Music Awards, Minaj rapped about contemplating suicide, putting a darker twist on a similar single from earlier this year, “Pills N Potions.” In the full, keyboard-centered track, Minaj — who has been famously private about her relationship status — airs out her painfully mixed feelings toward someone who hurt her but whom, per Grey’s closing coo, she isn’t over yet. “This ain’t How To Be A Player, you ain’t Bill Bellamy,” the Harajuku Barbie spits.
“She kind of poured her heart out on the verses,” Grey told Billboard. The result isn’t Minaj’s lyrically hardest-hitting track, or her catchiest, but it’s one that, like Grey’s work with Eminem, could fit in naturally on Top 40 radio ahead of Minaj’s upcoming third album, The Pinkprint (due out on December 15 via Young Money/Cash Money). And it’s a late-breaking addition to a year that, as Hazel Cills wrote recently for Pitchfork, has been a boom time for songs by women scorned.