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Can you not?
While Ariana Grande may have been petty timing the release of her latest song, dropping it just 30 minutes before her ex Pete Davidson appeared on Saturday Night Live, most fans agree “thank u, next” isn’t a diss track. With lyrics like “I’m so fucking grateful for my ex,” the song celebrates self-love even after the pain of a breakup, detailing how every relationship lost can be a chance to grow if you let it be. It’s a true lesson in maturity amid all the drama we’re used to in celebrity culture.
Unfortunately, not everyone who heard the song came away with such a positive message. Izzy (@_izzyofficial), an aspiring rapper from California, tweeted at Grande with his own rendition of her break-up anthem on Wednesday.
“Shout out to all my fellas out there that got an ex-girlfriend that’s been singing this song just a tad bit too loud lately,” he begins before launching into a cover about how women who blame their boyfriends for breakups are really at fault themselves.
The fact that Grande didn’t actually blame any of the men mentioned in “thank u, next” seemed to elude him.
His lyrics include, “It’s funny how you make it seem like I’m the bad guy when in reality you couldn’t get your act right” and “I really feel bad for the one you choose to be in next, because you the real definition of a devil in a dress.” For the chorus, he sang simply, “Fuck my ex.”
People on Twitter were not amused.
i wish you people would stop doing this and go to therapy instead https://t.co/CdbsWvioEN— reaghan (@reaghhan) November 15, 2018
as soon as I saw the upper lip rub and fake chuckle I had to dip lmaooo https://t.co/zz2iN3oTgl— lys (@peachylys) November 15, 2018
He really just turned such a beautiful song about growth and learning from the past into something so ugly... thanks, but no thanks. Next. https://t.co/I3OyXeOQ8t— Dramalina (@rileytresjolie) November 15, 2018
who else opened the video and closed it right after https://t.co/sukNXDidOM— anna ou (@badgaldegu) November 15, 2018
straight men don’t deserve rights https://t.co/6FP5HNj7uU— sabrina (@ashlngrey) November 15, 2018
The... entire point of the song is about how she isn’t bashing her exes & being grateful for them & all they taught her. Yet are somehow interpreting that as a “men ain’t shit” anthem... like... I cannot believe. Men can’t handle the fact that sometimes we’re ok without them. https://t.co/hGvON3EW5n— yeji ✨ (@edgyyeji) November 15, 2018
As the video racked up more than 600,000 views, Izzy responded in a tweet later that day to clarify that his cover was specifically about his ex-girlfriend. But the explanation didn’t blow over well, especially since he ended his tweet with: “If you’re MAD mad: You’re probably a female, and that video wasn’t for you.”
If you’re mad:— IZZY (@_izzyofficial) November 14, 2018
Understand, that cover was about MY ex. Lol nobody else’s, nor about the main focus of Ariana’s song (in which she gave praise to hers.)
If you’re MAD mad:
You’re probably a female, and that video wasn’t for you. Hence “fellas, it’s our turn.”
Thank u, next.
Izzy followed up again on Thursday with a video formally apologizing. He said he realized “thank u, next” had a positive message but was trying to point out that some girls who sang the song “a little too loudly” may have ex-boyfriends who are more innocent than their explanations for the breakup would imply.
“I mean no harm, I mean no negativity. I’m just an artist trying to come up,” Izzy said, adding that, hey, even negative publicity is good publicity to an aspiring artist.
Alyse Stanley is a video game and culture reporter based in Virginia with words at Polygon and USGamer. When she’s not writing about memes, she edits Unwinnable’s monthly magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @pithyalyse.