Taking a “red pill” to become more enlightened was an idea that originated in the 1999 movie The Matrix, in which lead character Neo decides to take the red pill over the blue pill in order to see the harsh truth of reality. But in 2017 the term is most associated with the men’s rights movement, who’ve adopted the phrase to express how they are enlightened to the way the world really works: feminists are wrong, men have it worse, not women.
The “Red Pill” movement has been the subject of several articles and even a documentary. It’s also the name of a Reddit forum that serves as a community for men to complain about women and what horrible monsters we are. So when I saw that Maroon 5's new album was named Red Pill Blues, I wondered if the band knew what the term “red pill” had come to signify these days. It reminded me of when Justin Timberlake mistakably named his 2013 record Take Back the Night, as if that wasn’t the name of a highly publicized anti-rape protest movement.
When I reached out and asked if the title was at all a reference to the Red Pill movement (and, if so, would this be a political album for the band) a publicist for Maroon 5 wrote:
This title does not have any relation to the term you reference.
FYI...The album title is a reference to ‘taking the red pill’... which is a common phrase used to describe ‘seeing things as the really are’ ...such as like in The Matrix where Neo takes the red pill.
Okay then! Guess you can go on loving Maroon 5 as much as you always have.