In honor of Ariana Grande's new album, "thank u, next" being released recently, I thought I would give my interpretation on what the hit single means.
'thank u, next' is a hit single of Ariana Grande's that everyone has been talking about. It was on the top spot of the US Billboard 100 for five weeks, then became the title of Ariana's newest album. It has become a teenage-to-college-age girl anthem, but others believe it is a lash against men. I'm writing to depict that this could be further from the truth.
'thank u, next' is misunderstood.
Ariana hasn't been one to have luck in the relationship department within the past few years. It is blatant who she addresses in the song because she references names (Big Sean, Mac Miller, Pete Davidson, and Ricky Alvarez), but it is unclear about what each person possesses in terms of characteristics. The line "One taught me love, one taught me patience, and one taught me pain" leaves fellow critics and fans alike wondering, "Who is who?" But, this article isn't about trying to uncover Ariana's past relationships. It is to unveil the truth.
"Spending time with my friends, I ain't worried about nothing...I know they say I move on too fast, but this one gon' last. 'Cuz her name is Ari, and I'm so good with that"
These three verses show that Ariana is enjoying life in the moment as it is. She wants to spend her time with not only her friends, but getting to know herself better. She is willing to put the time and effort into loving herself, even though the journey isn't one that is easy. She also expresses that she is content with being on her own, despite people saying she jumps from relationship to relationship. It shows open-mindedness to the possibilities that may come to her as a single woman.
"She taught me love, she taught me patience, and she handles pain. That sh*t's amazing"
Ariana is praising herself for learning how to love, how to be patient, and how to get through painful situations. She's embracing herself for who she is, and she isn't giving that up. It's almost as if she's celebrating herself, which is significant for being able to grow into a better person. It shows her tenacity and strength, and that she believes in herself.
"One day I'll walk down the aisle, holding hands with my mama...Only wanna do it once, real bad, Gon' make that sh*t last"
Although Ariana may seem that she is bashing on her exes and the male species in general, she truly believes in true love at the end of the day. She wants to get married one time, and one time only. She values a quality, long-lasting marriage filled with nothing but happiness and love--isn't that what the end goal of dating and relationships is?
"I've got so much love, got so much patience, I've learned from the pain. I turned out amazing"
Ariana is realizing that although she had a difficult past, it doesn't mean that she is closed off. She acknowledges that she has more to give in life and to others. She's taken what she can from the bad times, and created positive lessons for herself. All of it has shaped her into who she is right now, and that is a person that she is proud to be.
'thank u, next' is truly about Ariana's self-love journey, and her thankfulness for her previous occurrences.
These verses are prime examples of someone who has recently had a rough patch and lost herself, but has transformed into who she is supposed to come. It is the best example of the phrase, "Grow through what you go through". Ariana is a relevant figure to today's youth, and it is important to have someone with that much exposure send out positivity. This positivity and self-love gives people the chance to be inspired to do the same for themselves.
Although some of these events Ariana went through are quite recent, she seems to have changed. "Sweetener" was more about being in love and appreciating what love has to offer. "thank u, next" shows Ariana's personality. She also is telling us her story through her songs, and they can be quite relatable.
Although some of her songs on the album send opposing messages, and I am not a die-hard Ariana Grande fan, this song struck a chord with me.
I myself have recently gone through emotional hardships, and I lost my perspective along the way. But, now I am ready commit to loving myself for who I am. It's been a long road, but I owe it to myself to spend time to learn who I am. That means investing into myself by eating healthy, exercising, taking up new hobbies, focusing on school, and spending time with those I love most. If I don't know who I am, how can I give more back to the world?
Instead of blaming the past for my problems, I'm learning to be grateful for them, as they made me a stronger person. I'm learning to let go of irrelevant people and things; they aren't part of myself or my life. Not letting go is only going to withhold me from becoming who I am supposed to be. It gives a close-minded, negative outlook on life, and I'm tired of being this way. It's time to flip the script.