For those of you who were too swept up in the lavish lyrics, the contagious chorus, the interminable swag of Ariana Grande’s latest single “7 Rings” to notice the haters coming to play…congrats on your internet willpower. Because not long after Grande dropped “7 Rings”—which has now reached over 8.5 million streams and won Grande the biggest female debut in Spotify history—Grande was accused of ripping off not one, not two, but three artists. Princess Nokia, Soulja Boy, and 2 Chainz.
First, there was rapper Princess Nokia, who pointed out to her Twitter following that “7 Rings” bore a startling resemblance to her own song, “Mine”. “Does that sound familiar to you? ‘Cause that sound really familiar to me. Oh my god!” she commented in a since-deleted video. “Ain’t that the lil’ song I made about brown women and their hair? Hmm … sounds about white.”
The lyrical content is undeniably similar. One of the “7 Rings” songwriters may have even heard Princess Nokia’s “Mine”, from 1992 Deluxe. In “7 Rings,” Grande sings, “You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it/I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it.” And in Princess Nokia’s song she says, ”Flip the weave, I am a stunner/ It’s mine, I bought it/It’s mine, I bought it.”
Look, the words are familiar. Even the spare and bass-heavy beat resembles that in Princess Nokia’s “Mine”. But they are not the same, not nearly close enough to call out Grande for plagiarism. And on the matter of appropriating lyrics about weaves: Doesn’t Grande have the right to talk about buying her hair, given her longstanding reputation as the Rapunzel of our generation?
Then, there was Soulja Boy, who had the harshest words for Grande two days after “7 Rings” dropped, after it was clearly ascending to the top of the charts. The rapper took to Twitter to express his reactions to Grande’s new single. “Stop Stealing my swag.” “You’re a thief.”
Soulja Boy, believing that “7 Rings” was ripped from his trademark “Pretty Boy Swag” flow, didn’t waste any time trying to rally support behind his thoughts. When Grande celebrated the team of writers and fellow artists behind “7 Rings”, he said what I consider the most startling words of all: “Give me my credit. Period.” But why was Soulja Boy intimidating Ariana Grande into crediting him with something he wasn’t a part of?
Look, one may bop to “Pretty Boy Swag” in the same way they bop to “7 Rings”. But what makes “7 Rings” different from Soulja Boy’s hit single—besides the lyrical content…the song arrangement…and the beat…? It represents a woman, empowered and feeling herself amongst other empowered women. It’s Ariana Grande Swag. And arguably, it’s better.
We won’t be as hard on 2 Chainz, whose complaint aimed at “7 Rings” was more in jest (the laughing emojis help). On an Instagram clip posted by TheShadeRoom—featuring a still from the “7 Rings” music video—2 Chainz commented: “Tryna figure out if I should Big Draco @arianagrande … ya’ll tell me in the comments.” Check it out below.
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Fans of 2 Chainz also noted similarities between the setting of “7 Rings,” a pink trap house, and his 2017 Pink Trap House—once a real and visitable place. But the visuals are so within the aesthetic Ariana Grande has created for herself, one that she playfully and powerfully luxuriates in during the “7 Rings” video. The setting doesn’t feel stolen, it feels inspired by Grande and the song itself. Check out the stunning visuals, below.
Don’t let a few similarities distract you from the delicious new single. “7 Rings” sits perfectly within her catalog, and follows the path she laid with last year’s Sweetener. So we suggest taking Grande’s advice, and shifting your attention away from the drama, to the women who deserve all the “7 Rings” love you have to give. She shouts them out in this heartfelt tweet, a simple and sophisticated response to those who are sipping the hater-ade.
i wouldn’t have made this celebratory bop or feel ‘okay’ these days w/o my brilliant, gentle and funny friends who get me drunk, write songs w me & help me heal. i am tremendously grateful for u. ? pls support them in their art: @TAYLAPARX @VictoriaMonet @NJOMZA @Kaydenceis ??
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) January 19, 2019
Don’t forget: Ariana Grande’s “Sweetener” Tour kicks off in March. It was already going to be a banger of a show, with Sweetener dominating last year’s pop music releases. But now, with her recent singles “thank you, next” and “7 Rings”, we think her upcoming concert tour is slated to be one of the best in 2019.
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