Ariana Grande‘s most recent album ‘Positions’ has been out for a couple of weeks now, and already fans on TikTok have deciphered the multiple little clues throughout the project that pay respects to Mac Miller. I’m not crying, you are. (I’m crying.)
While we got an entire emotional ballad dedicated to Miller on Grande’s last album with the song ‘ghostin’, this time around it looks like the references were pretty hidden. Now it’s possible that some of these references to Miller’s music are mere coincidences, but knowing Grande, these are most definitely intentional Easter eggs with thought put behind them.
Let’s get down to business. Thanks to these dedicated TikTok users, we can see some top-notch investigation, and almost every one of these vids will give you CHILLS.
Crickets In ‘just like magic’ And ‘positions’
TikTok user @maraleebell points out that in two songs across the album, there is a strange use of cricket sounds for seemingly no reason. She points out that they are especially noticeable on ‘just like magic’ after Ariana Grande says “might take my pen and write some love letters to heaven.”
Why crickets though? Well, Mac Miller has a song called ‘Crickets’, which uses a very similar sound.
What’s The Use?
In ‘love language’ Ariana Grande says the line “I know you’re probably thinking, what’s the use?” Some people have pointed out that this is a direct reference to Miller’s song ‘What’s The Use?’ Sure it may be a reach, but both songs are also in the same time signature and tempo, and kinda sound similar as well.
‘obvious’ and ‘Come Back To Earth’
Okay so, there is no doubting this reference as an explicit nod to Mac Miller. In ‘obvious’, Grande pays homage to Miller’s song ‘Come Back to Earth’, and it is absolutely mesmerising.
Still not convinced? Well, this TikTok user breaks it down even further using notes. When I tell you I have CHILLS.
Many fans have also pointed out that the earring Ariana Grande is wearing is a subtle nod to Miller’s album cover for ‘The Divine Feminine‘, which was an album dedicated to her.
The Weeknd In ‘off the table’
The lyrics in ‘off the table’ have been speculated as being about Mac Miller and moving on, especially in The Weeknd‘s verse, which seems to be coming from the perspective of a lover who is being respectful of the fact that Miller will always be Grande’s ‘number one’.
In the track, The Weeknd sings:
“I’ll wait for you / Even though it always feels like I’ll be number two / To someone you can’t hold anymore / If you let me in, I’m ready to give you what I couldn’t before’ / Cause I got you, girl, let me help you through it.”
You can have a listen right here:
The Way Sample In ‘nasty’
Now this one got me. In ‘nasty’ the track begins with a sneaky sample of ‘The Way’, which of course is Ariana Grande’s track with Mac Miller from way back when. Have a listen for yourself.
It’s such a heartfelt touch to the album and we cannot help but stan. It is clear through Grande’s music that Mac Miller meant the world to her, and still thinks of him often.
Anyways, I’m off to stream ‘positions’ the album and cry.