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"Better Off" (stylized in all lowercase) is the twelfth track from Ariana Grande's fourth studio album, Sweetener. It was released through Republic Records on August 17, 2018.

Background[]

Ariana confirmed "Better Off" on June 2, 2018 on her Twitter account.[1] She said herself and Tommy Brown were deciding on different endings for the song.[2] Grande also revealed on her Twitter that this song is the closest to a ballad on the album.

On June 25, 2018, Grande confirmed on Twitter that the song is old, and that it wasn't initially on the album. She also said "it's beautiful and has always been one of my favs and I'm very happy she's on there. [I am] excited to share it [with] you."[3]

During an interview on the Zach Sang Show that took place on August 17, 2018, the same day the Sweetener album was officially released, Ariana spoke about the song and said, "I wasn’t gonna put it on the album because I didn’t think I’d be where I am in life now and like it was almost too honest about like what I was afraid of happening and then life changed and things happened and I was like "You know what? That’s a really beautiful record and it’s something that is honest or whatever.”[4]

Live performances[]

Grande debuted "Better Off" live on August 20, 2018 at The Sweetener Sessions.

Trivia[]

  • "Better Off" is one of Grande's favorite songs from Sweetener.[5]
  • On July 19, 2018, songwriter Kaydence who co-wrote the song revealed on her Instagram that it was written by her in 2016 before she gave the song to Ariana.[1]
  • "Better Off" was first solely produced by Hit-Boy before being sent to Tommy Brown who made a few production changes.[6][2]
  • This song is about how Ariana is realizing that a relationship isn't for her and that she's "better off without him" as she'd "rather [his] body than half of [his] heart". Hence, to "steer clear of any headaches to start", she "dismisses" his propositions.
  • It has been speculated the track is about Ariana's former boyfriend, Mac Miller, a relationship with whom she's previously denounced as "toxic" and the editor's notes for the album on Apple Music express similar sentiments saying she exits a toxic relationship in "Better Off".[7] But if being accurate with the timeline, this song may be about Ricky Alvarez whom she called it quits with the same month she had recorded the song during 2016.
  • It has been confirmed that this track is about escaping a toxic relationship.[8]
  • This is one of five songs originally not making the final cut of the tracklist and was only added back after Grande decided to extend the album from 10 to 15 songs.
  • It is one of the only songs from Sweetener not performed at any point in the Sweetener World Tour, along with "Blazed", "Borderline" and "Pete Davidson".
  • Ariana performed "Better Off" live at the BBC One on September 7, 2018, and it released on November 1, 2018. The performance has been removed on the official channel for BBC Music. However, it has been uploaded by many fan accounts who have re-uploaded the video.[9]

Lyrics[]

[Verse 1]
You keep me in your orbit
Well, I know I'm a hard one to please
Give it too much importance
My love will have you fall to your knees
I tell them this too often
Know better than to bark up my tree
Just for me to fall and leave
Nah, I'd rather just watch you smoke and drink, yeah

[Pre-Chorus]
Steering clear of any headaches to start
And if we're being honest
I'd rather your body than half of your heart
Or jealous-ridden comments
That come when you let in them feelings that I don't want (I don't want)
I never let 'em know too much
Hate gettin' too emotional, yeah (Emotional, yeah)

[Chorus]
I'm better off without him
I'm better off being a wild one
On the road a lot, had to keep it a thousand
So that I'm better off not being around ya

[Verse 2]
Go on and face it, I'll never be ready for you, ready for you
I swear my love is a curse, make you head over shoes, head over shoes
Let's put them topics to bed and go fuck on the roof, just to say that we did it
You keep insisting I listen to your proposition
I dismiss 'em all, no offense, yeah

[Pre-Chorus]
Steering clear of any headaches to start
And if we're being honest
I'd rather your body than half of your heart
Or jealous-ridden comments
That come when you let in them feelings that I don't want
I never let 'em know too much
Hate gettin' too emotional, yeah

[Chorus]
I'm better off without him
I'm better off being a wild one
On the road a lot, had to keep it a thousand
So that I'm better off not being around ya (Not being around ya)

[Outro]
I'm better off without him
I'm better off being a wild one
On the road a lot, had to keep it a thousand
So that I'm better off not being around ya, ah

References[]

Sweetener
August 17, 2018 • 47:25 • Republic Records
Songs
Released Better OffBlazedBorderlineBreathinEverytimeGet Well SoonGod Is A WomanGoodnight N GoNo Tears Left To CryPete DavidsonRaindrops (An Angel Cried)R.E.M.SuccessfulSweetenerThe Light Is Coming
Unreleased 100Bad To YouClarityCloudsCocoonDaydream On OccasionEnd Up With YouEver BeenGot Her OwnHate That You Made Me Love YouI Don't Wanna LieI Love MeKeep It CuteMan Of SteelMoreMy WayNobodyOk NowOn Top Of EverythingPretty Girls Like Trap MusicRush DeliverySexShnackSoberSouth AfricaStrong EnoughSweetener FlourishTreadmillWifeeYou
Artists
Ariana GrandeAli TamposiBiaBeyoncéChaka KhanDua LipaCamila CabelloCharlie PuthImogen HeapJennifer HudsonKelly RowlandLucky DayeMissy ElliottN.E.R.D.Nicki MinajNormaniPharrell WilliamsQuavoRita OraSkeptaStarrahSZAT-PainVictoria Monét
Tour
Sweetener World TourThe Sweetener Sessions
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