By Jamie Lewis (‘19)
On June 22, 2018, American rock band Panic! At the Disco released its sixth studio album Pray for the Wicked. Panic reached its second No. 1 album during the week of July first and previously in January of 2016.
Pray for the Wicked created a number of chart-toppers, like “High Hopes”, “Say Amen (Saturday Night”, and “Hey Look Ma, I made It.”
Panic’s current bop that may be heard over Hits 1 radio station is “Hey Look Ma, I Made It.” Track number 3 of Pray for the Wicked might sound like lead singer Brendon Urie is boasting about his success. However, Urie takes a different route and exposes the other side of the entertainment business.
In Panic’s music video, Urie transforms into a puppet, which refers to being taken advantage of by the higher-ups in the music industry. The puppet indicates Urie’s unfortunate role as a tool to make money.
Another key theme of the track is the idea of fake friends. Urie sings, “Friends are happy for me, or they're honeysuckle phonies. Then they celebrate my medals, or they wanna take my trophies.”
Through his lyrics, Urie explains how his “friends” are simply people who take advantage of him because he worked hard to accumulate success. Urie wants his fans to understand that the people you meet along your journey are not always as good as they claim to be.
Urie emphasizes the importance of keeping your eyes on the prize because it is very easy to lose sight of how to live your dreams while trying to make ends meet.
The puppet version of Urie is shown struggling to find the right track in his life throughout the music video in order to convey the unfortunate struggles many artists undergo. For example, puppet Urie explores Los Angeles and is on the front cover of magazines like Rolling Stone, but his success does not last.
Soon enough, puppet Urie gets caught up in a drug and alcohol addiction because of the dreadful people surrounding him. By the end of the music video, the puppet is tossed into a pile of lifeless puppets, which conveys the idea of lost fame, success, and talent.
“Hey Look Ma, I Made It” shares a unique story of fame, friendship, and failure through its hard truth-lyrics and upbeat instrumentals. Panic! At the Disco wants all listeners to take chances and live the fortune they were granted before it is too late.