"Problem (feat. Iggy Azalea)" (CD Single)

Music review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
"Problem (feat. Iggy Azalea)" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
Popular with kids
Tame dance-pop track explores conflicted romantic feelings.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 24 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

This song is about trying to find the strength to walk away from a relationship that is only causing problems. It can be hard to end a relationship with someone we love, but self-preservation is more important. This song addresses the challenge of reconciling those two strong conflicting impulses.

Positive Role Models & Representations

This song's mixed message ("I've got one less problem without ya" verses "I want you") makes it unclear whether or not she can do what she knows is right and walk away from a lover who's only causing problems -- or if she'll just continue to stay with him and put herself in a hurtful situation over and over. As a Disney star, Ariana Grande has a built-in fanbase of young kids that look up to her, and while this song is certainly relatable for many people who've been in challenging relationships, she could use that star power to share more positive, empowering messages. 


There are no explicit references to sex, but lyrics include "Every time you touch me/ And say you love me/ I get a little bit breathless."


The lyrics are saucy with attitude, but one use of "dumb" is as strong as the language gets.


Ariana Grande premiered this track at the Radio Disney Music Awards.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that "Problem is an R&B/dance single by actress and pop singer Ariana Grande, who stars in the Nickelodeon series Sam & Cat. On this track, Grande trades vocal parts with rappers Iggy Azalea (aka Iggy Iggz) and Big Sean, though the official video for the song shows only Grande in a stylized black-and-white close-up with shadows and song lyrics playing across her face. The song expresses the conflicted feelings of a young woman who desires a lover who has hurt her or won't commit. She knows that she would have "one less problem" without the person, but she can't walk away. Azalea's voice represents the character's tougher side, while Grande vocalizes about love and inner confusion. The song mentions touching once, but there are no overt references to sex or other iffy content. However, note that the press on this song mentions that Grande admires Azalea's vocal phrasing on the song "Work," which is a graphic and profane song about a prostitute.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byGreatparent1 November 13, 2020

Confused parents?

Here’s are some amazing songs of her that you can listen and watch with the family:

1. Put your hearts up

A wonderful remake of the non-blondes inspires love.... Continue reading
Adult Written byjoshuamillage24 March 2, 2015

Ariana Grande - Problem feat. Iggy Azalea

Nothing wring with song!! But it says every time u touch me. So idk
Kid, 9 years old June 27, 2014

Awesome song... A TAD inappropiate

To be honest I LOVE this song its awesome... just iffy for kids under 10.
Kid, 11 years old June 3, 2014

What's the story?

PROBLEM is about wanting to be with someone romantically even though the person was hurtful. Lyrics include "Baby even though I hate ya/ I wanna love ya/ I want you/ And even though I can't forgive ya/ I really want to." As the song progresses, Grande becomes more resolved to end the relationship, saying that without this lover, she will have "one less problem." As Grande trades vocal parts with rappers Iggy Azalea and Big Sean, Azalea's voice expresses the singer's tougher side, while Big Sean repeats "one less problem." However, the singer admits she has her "head in the clouds," even though she "should be wiser." It's not clear whether or not the woman actually ends the relationship.

Is it any good?

"Problem" is a hook-y dance track that's made more interesting by the interchanging vocalists and trumpet riffs. The inner conflict expressed in the song is definitely relatable for teens navigating romantic relationships, but it's a clean enough for tweens whose interest in Ariana Grande stems from watching her on Nickelodeon.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about relationships. What kind of behavior by a boyfriend or girlfriend would be a deal-breaker for you? Can you understand the impulse to stay with someone even knowing he or she isn't the best match?

  • This song includes three different vocalists. What effect does that have on the impact of different lyrics in the song?

  • If you like Ariana Grande, check out her Nickelodeon shows Sam & Cat and Victorious. Do you prefer her work as an actress or singer?

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