Less than six months after releasing Sweetener, Ariana Grande is back with her fifth studio album, Thank U, Next, which dropped on February 8. In typical Ari manner, the LP is filled with bops and many of them hint at being about her ex-fiancé, Pete Davidson.
The two called it quits back in October 2018, right around the time the musician, 25, started working on the album. Ariana is no stranger to using music as way to cope with her struggles, which suggests even more that she referenced the comedian, 25, in many of her songs.
This track is about needing space in a relationship. Get it? ~Space ~ Her MIND. “Yeah, I’m just sayin,’ baby/ I can’t really miss you if I’m with you/ And when I miss you, it’ll change the way I kiss you/ Baby, you know time apart is beneficial/ It’s like I’m the universe and you’ll be N-A-S-A,” Ariana sang in the pre-chorus. When the former couple started dating, it became pretty evident how inseparable they were solely based on how often they were spotted out together or how often they’d post together on social media. They were as quick to get engaged, as they were to split up, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the tune had something to do with the SNL actor. Last month, however, songwriter Victoria Monét shut down rumors that “NASA” is about a NASA sweater Pete was seen wearing once. “Yo, I promise we did not write a whole song about this mans [sic] shirt. Promise,” Victoria, 25, tweeted on January 24. “It’s just a universally common word.” She didn’t say it wasn’t about him at all, though!
“fake smile” may be Ari’s most straight-forward song on the album. After a difficult few months, the “God Is a Woman” singer’s personal life has been in the public eye more than ever. In September 2018, her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller passed away from a drug overdose, and the following month was no easier thanks to her split from Pete. In December 2018, Pete shared an alarming message on Instagram suggesting he was having suicidal thoughts. Ariana then reached out in a now-deleted tweet, and many were quick to blame her for his struggles, but like previous times, she put on a brave face.
Ari’s most vulnerable track possibly references both of her exes. It’s about “feeling badly for the person you’re with bc you love somebody else. feeling badly bc he can tell he can’t compare…. and how i should be ghosting him,” according to her. It’s possible these feelings came to light after Mac’s death, considering Pete was the one there for her when she was mourning.
— sol is proud of louis (@lovegood28) February 8, 2019
“in my head”
Ari confirmed this song is about “being in love w a version of somebody you’ve created in your head. falling for someone that they are not,” which has led many fans to believe it’s about her ex-fiancé. The intro of the song is apparently advice the pop star’s friend Doug Middlebrook gave her when she and Pete split. “Here’s the thing: you’re in love with a version of a person that you’ve created in your head, that you are trying to but cannot fix. Uh, the only thing you can fix is yourself. I love you, this has gone on way too long. Enough is enough. I’m two blocks away; I’m coming over,” Doug said in their convo.
The start of in my head is doug talking apparently it’s what Doug said to Ariana after she ended things with Pete, my heart please I’m crying pic.twitter.com/nmog2O8LJi
— 𝚃𝚘𝚗𝚒🌻 (@invinityButera) February 8, 2019
“thank u, next”
The iconic song that started it all. In case you forgot, Ari literally name-drops her exes. “Even almost got married/ And for Pete I’m so thankful.” She did that!