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"Motive" (stylized in all lowercase; originally titled "Motivate")[1] is the third track from Ariana Grande's sixth studio album, Positions. It was released on October 30, 2020 through Republic Records. This marks the first collaboration between Grande and American rapper and singer, Doja Cat.

Background[]

The collaboration was first confirmed and teased on May 13, 2020, by Ariana during a Zane Lowe interview. She revealed she worked with Doja around late 2019 to early 2020. When Ariana sent Doja the song, Doja said she was showering and would listen to it later. The next morning, Doja sent Ariana her verse and a video of herself twerking so hard that her wig fell off her head. She then asked Ariana if she could extend her verse because "it was mad inspiring", which Ariana allowed her to do.[2]

Around June 24, 2020, Doja Cat had went live on Instagram and was considering revealing a lyric from her verse on "Motive", but decided against it due to the song pending copyright at the time.[3]

In September, rumors were spreading that Ariana and Doja Cat were featured on an upcoming Nicki Minaj song. Doja quickly confirmed and shut down these rumors as they were false, but did confirm the existence of collaborating with Grande alone.

During her interview with Zach Sang, Grande said "Felt it in my bones. I was like, ‘Oh, she’s gonna eat this’. It’s just such a specific space to occupy, a: it’s like vogue-y and b: it kinda is, more like slow. So, it’s kinda hard to just have a couple bars on, like, that tempo of a song and know what to do with it, but she really added so much to it. I love it" when asked about why she chose Doja Cat as a feature.

A scrapped fourth verse leaked on March 27, 2023, along with the full session and all of the demos.

Audios[]

Chart performance[]

"Motive" debuted at #32 on the Billboard Hot 100 during the chart week of November 14, 2020.[4]

Trivia[]

  • This song was originally supposed to be the sixth track.[5]
  • The collaboration was confirmed as the third track of Positions on October 24, 2020, through Grande's social media.[6]
  • Visualizers of Ariana lip-syncing to every song on Positions during the album's photoshoot were recorded, but never released. A snippet of the visualizer for "Motive", alongside others, leaked on April 12, 2023. The full video then leaked April 21, 2023 along with 3 others that were “Positions”, “Obvious”, and “Shut Up”.
  • In the demo with the scrapped fourth verse, you can hear Grande spell out Madonna as the song was inspired by Vogue.

Lyrics[]

[Intro]
Mu-Mu-Mu-Murda

[Verse 1: Ariana Grande]
Tell me why I get this feeling
That you really wanna turn me on
Tell me why I get this feeling
That you really wanna make me yours, ah

[Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande]
'Cause I see you tryin', subliminally tryin'
To see if I'm gon' be the one to sing along
I admit it's exciting, parts of me gonna like it
But before I lead you on

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
Baby, tell me, what's your motive? (Motive)
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)
So tell me, what's your motive? (Motive)
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)

[Verse 2: Ariana Grande]
I could call bullshit all from a mile away (Don't say)
You want me if you can't keep comin' back for me
I'd have to curve you if you just can't talk straight (Just say)
Say what you mean 'cause you might get it

[Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande]
'Cause I see you tryin', subliminally tryin'
To see if I'm gon' be the one to sing along
I admit it's exciting, parts of me gonna like it
But before I lead you on

[Chorus: Ariana Grande & Doja Cat]
Tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)
So tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ayy, yeah, yeah, ayy, ah)

[Verse 3: Doja Cat]
You treat me like gold, baby
Now you wanna spoil me
Did you want a trophy or you wanna spoil me, baby?
Want me on your neck 'cause you wanted respect
'Cause you fightin' some war, baby
Well, I had to bring the fists out, had to put a wall up
I don't trust phonies, baby (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
You gotta tell me, what's your motive, baby?
'Cause you got your candy (Yeah) on your arm (Yeah)
No need to sugar coat our lies (Yeah)
Say what you want, I need it, I'm a bonafide G (Come on)
Can you promise me you'll bring it all tonight? (Give it to me)
'Cause I need you to be wise
Tell me everything that's on your mind, come on

[Chorus: Ariana Grande & Doja Cat]
Baby, tell me what's your motive? (Tell me, baby)
What's your motive? (What's your motive?)
What's your motive? (What's your motive?, ah)
Said tell me, what's your motive? (Better tell me, baby)
What's your motive? (What's your motive?; Better tell me, baby)
What's your motive? (Yeah, ayy, ah)

[Intro]
Mu-Mu-Mu-Murda

[Verse 1:]
Tell me why I get this feeling
That you really wanna turn me on
Tell me why I get this feeling
That you really wanna make me yours, ah

[Pre-Chorus:]
'Cause I see you tryin', subliminally tryin'
To see if I'm gon' be the one to sing along
I admit it's exciting, parts of me gonna like it
But before I lead you on

[Chorus:]
Baby, tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive?
Tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive?

[Chorus:]
Baby, tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive?
Tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive?
Baby, tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive?
Tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?

[Intro]
Mu-Mu-Mu-Murda

[Verse 1:]
Tell me why I get this feeling
That you really wanna turn me on
Tell me why I get this feeling
That you really wanna make me yours, ah

[Pre-Chorus:]
'Cause I see you tryin', subliminally tryin'
To see if I'm gon' be the one to sing along
I admit it's exciting, parts of me gonna like it
But before I lead you on

[Chorus:]
Baby, tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive?
So tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive?

[Verse 2:]
I could call bullshit all from a mile away (Don't say)
You want me if you can't keep comin' back for me
I'd have to curve you if you just can't talk straight (Just say)
Say what you mean 'cause you might get it

[Pre-Chorus:]
'Cause I see you tryin', subliminally tryin'
To see if I'm gon' be the one to sing along
I admit it's exciting, parts of me gonna like it
But before I lead you on

[Chorus:]
Tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive?
So tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive?
Baby, tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive?
Tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive?

[Intro]
Mu-Mu-Mu-Murda

[Verse 1: Ariana Grande]
Tell me why I get this feeling
That you really wanna turn me on
Tell me why I get this feeling
That you really wanna make me yours, ah

[Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande]
'Cause I see you tryin', subliminally tryin'
To see if I'm gon' be the one to sing along
I admit it's exciting, parts of me gonna like it
But before I lead you on

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
Baby, tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)
So tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)

[Verse 2: Ariana Grande]
I could call bullshit all from a mile away (Don't say)
You want me if you can't keep comin' back for me
I'd have to curve you if you just can't talk straight (Just say)
Say what you mean 'cause you might get it

[Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande]
'Cause I see you tryin', subliminally tryin'
To see if I'm gon' be the one to sing along
I admit it's exciting, parts of me gonna like it
But before I lead you on

[Chorus: Ariana Grande & Doja Cat]
Tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)
So tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ayy, yeah, yeah, ayy, ah)

[Verse 3: Doja Cat]
You treat me like gold, baby
Now you wanna spoil me
Did you want a trophy or you wanna spoil me, baby?
Want me on your neck 'cause you wanted respect
'Cause you fightin' some war, baby
Well, I had to bring the fists out, had to put a wall up
I don't trust phonies, baby (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
You gotta tell me, what's your motive, baby?
'Cause you got your candy (Yeah) on your arm (Yeah)
No need to sugar coat our lies (Yeah)
Say what you want, I need it, I'm a bonafide G (Come on)
Can you promise me you'll bring it all tonight? (Give it to me)
'Cause I need you to be wise
Tell me everything that's on your mind, come on

[Chorus: Ariana Grande & Doja Cat]
Tell me what's your motive? (Tell me, baby)
What's your motive? (What's your motive?)
What's your motive? (What's your motive?, ah)
So, tell me, what's your motive? (Better tell me, baby)
What's your motive? (What's your motive?; Better tell me, baby)
What's your motive? (Gotta tell me, baby, ayy, ah)
Baby, tell me, what's your motive? (Come on, gotta tell me, baby)
What's your motive? (Better tell me, baby)
What's your motive? (better tell me, baby, ah)
So tell me, what's your motive? (Better tell me, baby)
What's your motive? (What's your motive?; Better tell me, baby)
What's your motive? (Yeah, ayy, ah)

[Intro]
Mu-Mu-Mu-Murda

[Verse 1: Ariana Grande]
Tell me why I get this feeling
That you really wanna turn me on
Tell me why I get this feeling
That you really wanna make me yours, ah

[Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande]
'Cause I see you tryin', subliminally tryin'
To see if I'm gon' be the one to sing along
I admit it's exciting, parts of me gonna like it
But before I lead you on

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
Baby, tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)
So tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)

[Verse 2: Ariana Grande]
I could call bullshit all from a mile away (Don't say)
You want me if you can't keep comin' back for me
I'd have to curve you if you just can't talk straight (Just say)
Say what you mean 'cause you might get it

[Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande]
'Cause I see you tryin', subliminally tryin'
To see if I'm gon' be the one to sing along
I admit it's exciting, parts of me gonna like it
But before I lead you on

[Chorus: Ariana Grande & Doja Cat]
Tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)
So tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ayy, yeah, yeah, ayy, ah)

[Verse 3: Doja Cat]
You treat me like gold, baby
Now you wanna spoil me
Did you want a trophy or you wanna spoil me, baby?
Want me on your neck 'cause you wanted respect
'Cause you fightin' some war, baby
Well, I had to bring the fists out, had to put a wall up
I don't trust phonies, baby (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
You gotta tell me, what's your motive, baby?
'Cause you got your candy (Yeah) on your arm (Yeah)
No need to sugar coat our lies (Yeah)
Say what you want, I need it, I'm a bonafide G (Come on)
Can you promise me you'll bring it all tonight? (Give it to me)
'Cause I need you to be wise
Tell me everything that's on your mind, come on

[Chorus: Ariana Grande & Doja Cat]
Tell me what's your motive? (Tell me, baby)
What's your motive? (What's your motive?)
What's your motive? (What's your motive?, ah)
So, tell me, what's your motive? (Better tell me, baby)
What's your motive? (What's your motive?; Better tell me, baby)
What's your motive? (Yeah, ayy, ah)

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
Baby, tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)
So tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)
Baby, tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)
So tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)

[Intro]
Mu-Mu-Mu-Murda

[Verse 1: Ariana Grande]
Tell me why I get this feeling
That you really wanna turn me on
Tell me why I get this feeling
That you really wanna make me yours, ah

[Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande]
'Cause I see you tryin', subliminally tryin'
To see if I'm gon' be the one to sing along
I admit it's exciting, parts of me gonna like it
But before I lead you on

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
Baby, tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)
So tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)

[Verse 2: Ariana Grande]
I could call bullshit all from a mile away (Don't say)
You want me if you can't keep comin' back for me
I'd have to curve you if you just can't talk straight (Just say)
Say what you mean 'cause you might get it

[Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande]
'Cause I see you tryin', subliminally tryin'
To see if I'm gon' be the one to sing along
I admit it's exciting, parts of me gonna like it
But before I lead you on

[Chorus: Ariana Grande & Doja Cat]
Tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)
So tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ayy, yeah, yeah, ayy, ah)

[Verse 3: Doja Cat]
You treat me like gold, baby
Now you wanna spoil me
Did you want a trophy or you wanna spoil me, baby?
Want me on your neck 'cause you wanted respect
'Cause you fightin' some war, baby
Well, I had to bring the fists out, had to put a wall up
I don't trust phonies, baby (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
You gotta tell me, what's your motive, baby?
'Cause you got your candy (Yeah) on your arm (Yeah)
No need to sugar coat our lies (Yeah)
Say what you want, I need it, I'm a bonafide G (Come on)
Can you promise me you'll bring it all tonight? (Give it to me)
'Cause I need you to be wise
Tell me everything that's on your mind, come on

[Chorus: Ariana Grande & Doja Cat]
Tell me what's your motive? (Tell me, baby)
What's your motive? (What's your motive?)
What's your motive? (What's your motive?, ah)
So, tell me, what's your motive? (Better tell me, baby)
What's your motive? (What's your motive?; Better tell me, baby)
What's your motive? (Yeah, ayy, ah)

[Verse 4: Ariana Grande]
Said it's M-A-D-O-N-N-A
I need the guys to get away
[?]
No matter what the people say
[?]
Even though that you lied (You lie)
Even though that you hold me (You hold me)
Ain't it something you mine? (You know)
[?] told me
[?] ain’t [?] doubt in my mind (You don't)
It ain't nothing you mine (Yeah)
It ain't nothing you told me
And before I lead you down, gonna, wanna, [?]

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
Baby, tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)
So tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)
Baby, tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)
So tell me, what's your motive?
What's your motive?
What's your motive? (Ah)

[Verse 4: Ariana Grande]
Said it's M-A-D-O-N-N-A
I need the guys to get away
[?]
No matter what the people say
[?]
Even though that you lied (You lie)
Even though that you hold me (You hold me)
Ain't it something you mine? (You know)
[?] told me
[?] ain’t [?] doubt in my mind (You don't)
It ain't nothing you mine (Yeah)
It ain't nothing you told me
And before I lead you down, gonna, wanna, [?]

References[]

Positions
October 30, 2020 • 41:07 • Republic Records
Songs
Released 34+35Just Like MagicLove LanguageMain ThingMotiveMy HairNastyObviousOff The TablePositionsPOVSafety NetShut UpSix ThirtySomeone Like UTest DriveWest SideWorst Behavior
Unreleased 90s Heartbreak95 MillionAnti ShitBabymakingBlueberriesBopBowzerBrandy MelvilleCommunicateComplicatedComptonCount Me InDan E Elf ManDashin ItDo DatDon't Talk To My ManDirty SecretsDisco DanceEarly 200sEverything I DoFor SureFresh White TeeFuck Around With The Fuck AroundGirl Is MineGodsfavorGrande. 1Groovy BabyHandy ManHe Had It CominHerguitarHeroHersHomeHow Do YouI Like Your PartInternational Friendship DayI'm ReadyIntroezyIt's A-Jedi MindJoccyJust Happy 4 NowLakortleLalalaLaniLet's StayLofi 1Lofi 2Love Me NowMacking ShitMade Of TheseMet Him Last NightMy FaultNeighborhoodNew House-PopNo Free PromoNorthshoreNot TodayOrganic OOOOOOOOutgrownOweeePick ChordsPink RoseShortySmoooothSweet DreamsTake CareTennis BallThe GodfatherThrasherTommy 3Tommy 4Quiet KidWanna See Something CoolY Is Everyone So In Love With Me
Artists
Ariana GrandeBryson TillerCarmen ReeceDemi LovatoDoja CatLil WayneMegan Thee StallionNjomzaRoddy RicchTayla ParxThe WeekndTy Dolla SignVictoria Monét
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