Anyone who listens to Ariana Grande’s music knows that everything she produces is deeply personal. She consistently embraces her feelings in her music and there’s really never a time when she’s not sharing some deep part of who she is with her fans. Nothing proves that more than Grande’s songs about her ex, Mac Miller. After Miller’s death in September 2018, Grande poured her heart and soul into her music. And from that came a really lovely song called “Imagine,” which fans believe is about Miller (at least in part). But that’s not the first time Grande has written lyrics about Miller, according to fans. In fact, she’s done it quite a few times, especially with the release of her albums thank u, next and Positions. Here’s a look at eight Ariana Grande songs about Mac Miller.
Just to be clear: Grande has never directly addressed these song lyrics, which seem to be about Miller. She’s a deeply private person, so a lot of this is left up to fan speculation. Either way, Grande’s lyrics flawlessly convey the experience of love, loss, and everything in between, so it’s no wonder she’s the unofficial queen of heartbreak bops.
This thank u, next track is believed to be about Miller. Here’s a look at the lyrics:
Step up the two of us, nobody knows us / Get in the car like, 'Skrrt' / Staying up all night, order me pad thai / Then we gon' sleep 'til noon / Me with no makeup, you in the bathtub / Bubbles and bubbly, ooh / This is a pleasure, feel like we never act this regular
Click, click, click and post / Drip-drip-dripped in gold / Quick, quick, quick, let's go / Kiss me and take off your clothes Imagine a world like that / Imagine a world like that / We go like up 'til I'm 'sleep on your chest / Love how my face fits so good in your neck / Why can't you imagine a world like that? / Imagine a world
While the lyrics may not immediately conjure images of Miller, one brave fan asked Grande what the song was about. Grande revealed the meaning behind “Imagine” in really simple terms.
That certainly hints that Grande could have had her relationship with Miller in mind when she was recording the track.
Not to mention the fact that Miller had a tattoo on his arm that said “Imagine”:
2. “Better Off”
While “Imagine” is seemingly about Grande imagining a life where she was able to live happily ever after with Miller, the track “Better Off” from her Sweetener album definitely has "love gone wrong" written all over it. Here’s how Grande addresses a relationship in the song:
Go on and face it, I'll never be ready for you (ready for you) / I swear my love is a curse, make you handle issues (handle issues) / Let's put them topics to bed and go f*ck on the roof, just to say that we did it / You keep insisting I listen to your proposition / I dismiss them all, no offense, yeah
Steering clear of any headaches to start / And if we're being honest / I'd rather your body than half of your heart / Or jealous-ridden comments / That come when you let in them feelings that I don't want / I never let 'em know too much / Hate gettin' too emotional, yeah
While there's no way to know for sure if Grande was singing about Mac Miller in "Better Off," when it dropped, fans speculated that she was. The lyrics could possibly be read as an extension of what Grande revealed about her troubled relationship with Miller back in May 2018 after the two had broken up:
Elite Daily reached out to Grande's team for confirmation that "Better Off" was about Miller, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Another track featured on Sweetener is “Everytime”, a song that details the push and pull of a troubled romance. According to fans, Grande appears to be referencing her ill-fated relationship with Miller in the lyrics. Here's a look at the lyrics:
I get tired of your no-shows / You get tired of my control (yuh) / They keep telling me to let go / But I don't really let go when I say so (yuh, yuh) / I keep giving people blank stares (yeah) / I'm so different when you're not there (yuh) / It's like something out of Shakespeare / Because I'm really not here when you're not there
And the chorus truly seems to allude to the issues Ariana referenced in her tweet about their breakup:
(Yeah) You get high and call on the regular / I get weak and fall like a teenager / Why, oh why does God keep bringing me back to you? / I get drunk, pretend that I'm over it / Self-destruct, show up like an idiot / Why, oh why does God keep bringing me back to you?
Elite Daily reached out to Grande's team for confirmation that "Everytime" was about Miller, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Whether "Better Off" and "Everytime" were about Miller or not, it doesn't change the fact that Grande loved him fiercely, and still does. Relationships are complicated, and it's clear from Grande's tweets about what led to their breakup that her relationship with Miller was no exception.
4. "Thank U, Next"
Although Grande and Miller clearly had no shortage of troubles, they also had no shortage of love while they were together, and that can be seen throughout Grande's tributes to Miller since his death. Grande gave the rapper the ultimate shoutout in her hit single, "Thank U, Next," after his death when she sang:
Wish I could say, "Thank you" to Malcolm / 'Cause he was an angel
Clearly, Grande cherished Miller as a person through good times and rough times, and if all of these songs are about Miller like fans speculate, then it's commendable that she was authentic about the good and the rough times in her lyrics. They really capture how deep her relationship with Miller was and there’s no doubt that this particular relationship had a huge impact on her, both personally and creatively.
5. “Just Like Magic”
In Grande’s “Just Like Magic,” which appeared on her 2020 album Positions, she included a lyric about “heaven” that was seemingly a nod to Miller.
"Good karma my aesthetic (Aesthetic) / Keep my conscience clear, that's why I'm so magnetic / Manifest it (Yeah), I finessed it (I finessed it) / Take my pen and write some love letters to Heaven,” she sang.
6. “Six Thirty”
While the lyrics of Grande’s Positions track “Six Thirty” didn’t directly address Miller or his passing, the song title seemed like a clear tribute to him to fans. Before his death, Miller recorded a song titled “6:30,” which never saw the light of day until it leaked in December 2019.
This thank u, next track is all about the ghost of a past relationship rearing its head during the start of a new romance. In it, Grande sang: “Though I wish he were here instead/Don’t want that living in your head/ He just comes to visit me/ When I’m dreaming every now and then (And then).”
Seeing as she was dating Pete Davidson at the time of its release, it’s safe to assume the song was written about Miller, whom she dated directly before him.
8. “Off The Table”
Fans presume the Positions’ track “Off The Table” was written about Miller after Grande sang all about worrying she won’t be able to “love the same again” after the loss of a relationship.
In one verse, she sang:
Will I ever love the same way again? (Way again) / Will I ever love somebody like the way I did you? / Never thought you'd be so damn hard to replace / I swear I don't mean to be this way / If I can't have you, is love completely off the table?
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