Is This ‘Sweetener’ Song About Ariana Grande’s Ex, Mac Miller?
Grande revealed via Twitter back in June that she penned "Better Off" a long time ago — likely when she was still with Miller — and that she almost didn't put it on the record because it was too "honest."
"At first i was nervous about like....... it coming true. if that makes sense," she wrote at the time. "More honest than i was ready to be w myself at the time (its v old). but it’s beautiful and has always been one of my favs and i’m very happy she’s on there. excited to share it w you."
And now that the song is released, the lyrics seem to further point to Miller. "Nah, I'd rather just watch you smoke and drink," she sings in the first verse, possibly referencing Miller's affinity for drugs and alcohol (He's frequently rapped about weed and drinking, and in May, was arrested for driving under the influence.)
This lines up with what Grande has said about their romance post-split. Following Miller's arrest, she fired back at a troll who blamed her for Miller's behavior, saying their relationship had been "toxic" and that she "tried to support his sobriety and prayed for his balance for years," but that it ultimately wasn't her fault he couldn't "keep his s--t" together.
Later, in the track's chorus, Grande laments she's probably "better off" without whoever she's singing about, which seems to be the conclusion she came to in real life, too: She and Miller broke up in May, just weeks before she got engaged to Davidson.
Listen to "Better Off" below.