Ariana Grande has been through a lot in the past year but has amazingly bounced back from all her struggles. When Grande released “thank u, next” in November 2018, it became an instant hit due to her inclusion of 2000s teen movie references in the music video. She embodies Regina George, Elle Woods and other famous characters while adding her own twist. The song itself went viral, as Ariana thanks her exes instead of bashes them as many do. The lyrics have her exes’ names and reassurance that things between all of them ended on a good note. The music video has more than 280 million views as of January 2019 and remains on the Billboard Hot 100 list. After this single’s success, fans eagerly awaited Ariana’s next release.
Earlier this month, Ariana announced a new song titled “7 rings.” Fans could not wait to see what Ari had in store and immediately became excited over photos the singer posted on social media of the cover art and music video. The music video premiered January 17, and two weeks later, it has over 93 million views. It is a song about Ariana flaunting her wealth, as many rappers are wont to do. While listeners may not be able to relate to her lyrics, many love the confidence the song emulates, specifically the chorus as she sings: “I want it, I got it.”
However, not everyone is a fan of the song. Soulja Boy, Princess Nokia and 2 Chainz all claim Grande has ripped off part of their songs and put it all together in “7 Rings.” In the start of the song, it is very clear that the singer legally sampled “My Favorite Things” from the musical The Sound of Music. But did Ariana borrow much more than that? Many on social media pointed out the resemblance between Grande’s song and Soulja Boy’s “Pretty Boy Swag,” a comparison Soulja Boy noticed himself. The rapper went onto social media to call out the former Nickelodeon star, telling her to “stop stealing [his] swag” and even quote tweeted her Mac Miller tribute to call her a “thief.” Clearly, Soulja Boy is unhappy with Grande and wants to be credited.
As for Princess Nokia, she posted a video of her playing her own song, “Mine” and comparing it to “7 rings.” The rapper calls out Grande for the similarities, not only in the sound but lyrics as well. Princess Nokia said her song was about “brown women and their hair.” In “7 rings,” Grande talks about buying her hair, to which Princess Nokia said, “sounds about white!” The rapper has since deleted the video from her Twitter, but you can watch it for yourself on YouTube and make your own judgment.
2 Chainz is the most recent artist to accuse Grande, not only for ripping off his song but also for using his Pink Trap House idea in her music video. For starters, fans have pointed out that the chorus of “7 rings” sounds a lot like 2 Chainz’s song titled “Spend It.” Then in the music video, Ariana has scenes of her in front of an all pink house, with an all pink car, and all pink everything, very similar to the Pink Trap House, which also features an all pink car, that 2 Chainz unveiled in 2017 to promote his album and provide HIV testing to Atlanta residents.
Grande has yet to address these accusations, and many of her fans are quick to defend her. Like any hardcore fan of an artist, they refuse to see any flaws in their “queen” Ari. “7 rings” is a catchy, fun song, but did its creation come at the expense of other artists? The song has found its way to the top of the charts, but were Soulja Boy, Princess Nokia and 2 Chainz partly responsible for its success? Grande could ignore the accusations, apologize and credit the other artists, or deny it all. Regardless of whether or not she ripped off other artists, it appears to have no effect on the song’s success, so it is likely that Ariana will continue to shine in spite of the accusations.
Feature image via Ariana Grande on Twitter