Ariana Grande is smitten on “Knew Better Part Two,” and she can’t stop flaunting it to her former lover. “If you knew better, baby you would do better,” she sings breathily on the new song, an an extended version the song “Knew Better” that appears on her last LP Dangerous Woman.
The song also features a sheepish talk interlude. Grande aims for the braggadocio of her frequent collaborator, rapper Nicki Minaj, but comes off more coy than cutting. But the pop singer’s willingness to dip a baby toe in the rap game could signal a different form of expression for the talented singer down the road. While the delivery is lacking, Grande’s lyrics are full of Minaj-esque tropes on this song. “I don’t fuck with your energy,” she talk-sings, trying to play tough.
Grande recently stepped into the rapper’s light during a performance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. She enlivened an otherwise simplistic performance by rapping out Minaj’s verses on the single “Side to Side.” The rap-pop duo performed the track at MTV’s Video Music Awards, where Grande took the stage with a phalanx of seductive cyclists.