Hey Look Ma, I Made It by Panic! At The Disco: Lyrics Meaning and Interpretation

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With a pretty self-explanatory title, Hey Look Ma, I Made It is a song by Panic! At The Disco from their sixth studio album, Pray for the Wicked, through Fueled by Ramen and DCD2 Records. Written by band member Brendon Urie in collaboration with Michael Angelakos, Sam Hollander, Morgan Kibby, and the track’s producers Jake Sinclair and Dillon Francis, the song talks about the dark side of fame. It describes Brendon Urie’s journey in the music industry, complete with success and failure.

The music video featured a puppet version of the singer and his encounter with stardom and glory. The video for this song gives a clear picture of what the singer was trying to convey. Brendon starts by looking into a mirror as he transforms into an actual puppet. He bids his family members farewell to secure his musical career. He arrives in the big city, signs a record deal, and quickly soars to stardom. The puppet (Brendon) is now subjected to celebrity-like behaviors as a consequence of his burgeoning career. Large parties with high-class female escorts, heavy drinking, substances, and all the related pleasures. But still, he keeps repeating that he “made it”.

What does the title mean?

The title is about Brendon proving to his mother that he finally made it. In an industry where success doesn’t come easy, Brendon’s parents worried about his future as a “starving artist”. However, through this song, he gives a nod to the hardships he has overcome to reach this point in life where he explores the other side of fame.

Verse 1 – What does it mean?

All my life, been hustlin’ and

Tonight is my appraisal

‘Cause I’m a hooker sellin’ songs and

My pimp’s a record label

This world is full of demons stocks

And bonds and bible traders

So I do the deed, get up and leave

A climber and a sadist, yeah

In the first verse, Brendon talks about finally making it and compares himself to a hooker selling songs and calls the record labels his pimp. A pimp is a person who controls hookers (prostitutes) and finds clients for them, thus taking part of their earnings. By making this comparison, he is trying to show the harsh reality of what actually happens behind the scenes. He also criticizes people who use religion for self-profit and blames them for making the world “full of demon stocks” which are basically the ills of the financial system. He goes back to the hooker analogy, talking about the “doing the deed”, calling himself a climber and sadist who would go to any extent to sell his craft.

Verse 2 – What does it mean?

Friends are happy for me or

They’re honeysuckle phonies

Then they celebrate my medals or

They wanna take my trophies

Some are loyal soldiers while

These other thorns are rosy

And if you never know who you can trust

Then trust me, you’ll be lonely, oh

The second verse focuses on the trust issues in the music industry generally. He stresses how fame makes it difficult to trust people because it is difficult to distinguish between real friends and those who are out to take advantage of you. He often wonders if people are faking it and only want to get close to him because of his popularity in the industry. Urie makes use of a metaphor, “other thorns are rosy” where some of his friends are truly genuine in their friendship with him. He also ends the verse saying it can get lonely because you can’t have real friends in the industry.

Pre Chorus – What does it mean?

Are you ready for the sequel?

Ain’t you ready for the latest?

In the garden of evil

I’m gonna be the greatest

In a golden cathedral

I’ll be praying for the faithless

And if you lose, boo-hoo

“The garden of evil” is a reference to the biblical “Garden of Eden” where the “original sin” takes place and Man is thrown out as punishment. Instead of being the best of the best in the Garden of Eden, which would imply him being righteous or pure, Urie presides over the Garden of Evil. This once again suggests Urie’s mockery of religion. A Cathedral is the main church of a diocese with which the bishop is formally recognized and affiliated. It houses the Cathedra, or Bishop’s throne.

Cathedrals act as the primary church for members of the same religion’s various dioceses. Urie was brought up in a purely Mormon household, despite his growing disbelief in God. A cathedral made of gold would be the highest profile a cathedral could achieve. Even then, Urie would maintain his position on religion for himself and others who believe the same. This line was first mentioned during the album’s advertising. The Panic! team distributed Mystery Potatoes to fans, and some potatoes were emblazoned with the words.

Chorus – What does it mean?

Hey look ma, I made it

Hey look ma, I made it

Everything’s comin’ up aces, aces

If it’s a dream, don’t wake me, don’t wake me

I said, “Hey look ma, I made it, I made it”

I said, “Hey look ma, I made it, I made it”

I see it, I want it, I take it, take it

If it’s a dream, don’t wake me, don’t wake me

The song, Hey Look Ma I Made It lyrics’ meaning is highlighted in these lines. The recurring six words are Urie’s declaration that he has “made it” in the music industry. New artists frequently struggle in the field, and it is extremely difficult to “make it” and become a successful artist. Brendon’s parents were probably concerned that this would happen to him soon on, as it does to most people who try to make a professional life out of songwriting. However, he went on to become talented and popular, which is what the majority of the song is about. He is ultimately able to tell his parents and the rest of the world that he “made it” notwithstanding all the adversity he has endured.

Outro- What does it mean?

I said, “Hey look ma, I made it”

(Mama best believe it)

(Mama best believe it)

Hey look ma, I made it

(Think I must be dreamin’)

(Wide awake and dreamin’)

Hey look ma, I made it

(Mama best believe it)

(Mama best believe it)

Hey look ma, I made it

(Think I must be dreamin’)

Hey look ma, I made it

These Hey Look Ma I Made It lyrics’ meaning could also be interpreted sarcastically or paradoxically. Urie portrays the message of what happens after limelight, lightheartedly all through the song. The music video depicts a puppet replacing Brendon as a clear metaphor for others treating him as a puppet rather than a human. Many lyrics give snarky appreciation to the consequences of fame that are not true. He could be implying, “Hey look ma, I made it,” as an amusing way of saying that, while he has achieved commercial success, a lot of things are messed up.

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The upbeat sound of the verses and tune may tempt one to consider taking it all literally, but this is countered by the music video. It depicts a puppet version of Brendon gradually becoming more messed up, abusing drugs, getting drunk, getting battered, arrested, and throwing up. The cheerful lyrics create a sharp distinction throughout these visuals, which may lead the audience to perceive the lyrics sardonically.


To conclude, “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” is about aiming for excellence in a world where it’s difficult to keep track of the bigger picture. It primarily emphasizes the importance of being cautious with people, training tirelessly, and concentrating on your passion, which will hopefully lead to real success.

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