I don’t usually publicize it, but Ariana Grande’s music has always been a guilty pleasure for me. My Everything and Dangerous Woman are my go-to albums for when I’m bored or have exhausted my playlists on a road trip, and while there’s not much to most of her songs beyond catchy pop hooks and slighty-suggestive romantic commentary, her sound always gets me dancing.

Lady Gaga is a whole different ball game. Edgy, experimental, and often weird to the point of making me uncomfortable, her songs either send me running or totally captivate me. I avoided her at all costs until I heard the 2013 song Applause, which paved the way for me to fall in love with quite of a few of the songs on her latest album, Chromatica.

The first time I heard Rain on Me, one of my friends played it for me with this preface: “It’s really weird, but I keep listening to it and I kinda like it. Except for one part that I really hate, I’ll tell you when it comes.” With that intro, I had low expectations. By the time it got the part my friend hated (when Lady Gaga chants “Rain. On. Me.” in her low-pitch robotic voice) my head was already bobbing and I was like “I actually kind of like that part.” (To which my friend responded, “Yeah I actually kind of like it too.”) By that evening, I had learned most of the lyrics and listened to it more times than I could count.

What is it about Rain on Me that was so alluring? It’s just another shallow Top 40 hit, right? There’s nothing in the sound that is that original juxtaposed with the rest of either of the artists’ songs… It’s got the quintessential build-up into the chorus, the sugary pop beat that’s hard not to like, the over-sized vocal range that few pop singers besides Ariana and Lady Gaga can actually pull off… so what was so different and fresh about it?

Certainly not the music video, from which my entire takeaway was:

from @LGmonsterfacts on Twitter

Either Ariana forgot how to dance, or she couldn’t due to the legwarmers on her arms. Or maybe she was just too weighed down by her hair extensions.

Is this an intentional part of the dance routine? Or are they calling for help from a passing airplane?

But that’s beside the point. My music video commentary could be a whole other article on it’s own.

I think the weight of Rain on Me is in the lyrics, right from the get-go:

“At least I showed up, you showed me nothing at all / It’s coming down on me / Water like misery … I’m ready, rain on me”

How often do you get a bangin’ pop track with lyrics that are (1) depicting the singer in a position where they are completely defeated and heartbroken, and (2) welcoming the pain because they know it could be worse?

I’m going to venture a guess that Lady Gaga wrote WAYYY more of the lyrics than Ariana Grande, though they were both credited. Ariana’s strongsuit is high ponytails, not personal reflection.

But regardless of who wrote what lines, Rain on Me is the ultimate unique hype song. Some of the first (and most important) moves toward recovery are acknowledging your losses, coming to terms with your disappointment, and accepting that things aren’t great – but could always be worse.

“I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive” they sing before repeatedly welcoming the pain, asking it to “rain on me.” There aren’t many different lyrics, but something about the repetition of “rain on me” between the verses and even throughout the bridge gives this song a motivating, “you got this” vibe, almost like they are saying “is that all you got? Bring it on, I can handle anything.” And sometimes that is the mentality you need to put on to get you through difficult times.

Singing along to “I didn’t ask for the rainfall,” but “I’m ready, rain on me” is strangely empowering every time I listen to it. Come dark days, let-downs, mistreatment… you can get through anything with the right outlook. And isn’t that just the kind of message we need right now?

While the music video is as hot of a mess as it could be, this end shot is unbearably cute and almost redeems the sketchy aesthetic of the rest of the video:

And just for good measure, I’ll leave you with some food for thought.

from @gagadaily on Twitter

Leave a comment if you agree, disagree, or want to see more of this kind of #unpopularopinion!

Until next week…


Regardless of it’s downfalls, or the fact that dystopias are way out of style, I will always be a die-hard Hunger Games fan. The Hunger Games reignited my childhood love of fiction in my teenage years, and first introduced me to both YA and science fiction. In other words, I owe so much of my creative identity to The Hunger Games. Yet, both in the films and the novels, I always had a MAJOR issue with – yes, I’m serious – Peeta. Which, consequently, means I had major problems with the entire plot and character arcs of the series. Oops, did I just admit that?

Me, apologizing in advance for offending Team Peeta:

I mean, what do we really know about Peeta?

He likes pastries, painting, and philanthropy. He’s not super physically or emotionally masculine (which would not at all be an issue, except for the fact that he doesn’t replace the traditional masculine elements of the male personality with anything… anything at all). Instead of lacking a “man’s man” persona, and instead being rich in intellect, cultural knowledge, or emotional depth, he’s kind of just… there. Pouting. Causing problems. Wallowing in self-pity.

Look at this mushy dishrag. What did he do for Katniss? What did he do for Panem? What did he do for the plot of the trilogy???

The Melark Doughboy was enough of a whiner to begin with, then you add Tracker Jacker venom?

And Katniss should’ve, too. She had a perfectly-loyal childhood friend waiting for her to come back for him. But she never did. She came back and paid even less attention to him than she did before meeting Pita Bread.

It’s not like Gale was standing there giving the calls to fire bombs on the crowd of wounded people Prim was trying to help. He just invented the tactic, the execution of this particular usage was overseen by a non-Gale party. We’re just going to throw all that history out for a one-off?

Don’t lie and say that this relationship is not precious.

Plus he’s got a great sense of humor. Not always easy to find in a dystopian society. *

Honestly, beggars can’t be choosers. Miss Everdeen should not be pushing away friends, because, well…

But the whole thing about Gale not being a real man? That’s what bothers me most. Fine, if you want to say he chickens out too easy and doesn’t stand up for what he believes in, I readily accept that. Is this not masculine enough??? I mean, I’m into it. She’s just standing there looking bored.

Let’s face it… Katniss was never looking for a man’s man. She was okay with this happening way too often.

In fact, I don’t think there were any real men in Panem. Probably due to the government. But if anyone would come close, it would NOT be Peeta.

Unless everyone else except President Snow was dead. I mean, give me Haymitch any day over Peeta. At least he was a complainer for legitimate reasons. O-dare I say that maybe a non-flirty Finnick would’ve been the manliest man?

Scratch all that. I just remembered Cato. That dude wins easily. He should’ve won the Hunger Games, tbh?

Until the next Quarter Quell,

*Quote taken from Bad Lip Reading: The Hunger Games*

**Images courtesy of GIPHY**