Mac Miller was well-liked in the music community, so his death last year drew a lot of heartbroken responses. One of the most notable was that of Ariana Grande, who used to date Miller and posted a candid video of him captioned, “I adored you from the day I met you when I was nineteen and I always will. I can’t believe you aren’t here anymore. I really can’t wrap my head around it.” Like many musicians, Grande incorporates her experiences into her music, and it appears that she may have included several references to Miller on her just-released Thank U, Next album.
Some of them are on songs Grande released in advance of the album: “Imagine” might be named after one of Miller’s tattoos, and “Thank U, Next” mentions him by name when Grande sings, “Wish I could say thank you to Malcolm, ’cause he was an angel.” Now, there are new tracks from the album that might have lyrics referencing Miller as well.
For example, here’s a lyric from “Bloodline” that appears to be about Miller:
“I ain’t lookin’ for my one true love
Yeah, that ship sailed away.”
Grande previously said that “Ghostin” is 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. She sings on the song:
“I know that it breaks your heart when I cry again
There’s also “Fake Smile,” which appears to more generally reference the rough past couple years she’s had in light of her break-up with Pete Davidson and the Manchester concert bombing:
“I can’t fake another smile
I can’t fake like I’m alright
Woo, ah (Woo, ah)
And I won’t say I’m feeling fine
After what I been through, I can’t lie.”
Lastly, there’s “In My Head,” which could also include a nod to Grande calling Miller an “angel” on “Thank U, Next”:
“They see demon, I see angel, angel, angel.”
This is mostly interpretation, but it doesn’t seem like a giant leap to believe that Grande spent a lot of time talking about one of the most important people of her life on the new album.
Thank U, Next is out now via Republic. Get it here.