Ariana Grande dropped a new song called "7 Rings" this week, and she is now being accused of copying several other artists — particularly rapper Princess Nokia.
Grande's latest hit came out on Thursday, Jan. 17 along with a music video. Before long, the whole production was getting compared to past works, claiming that Grande had borrowed, copied or even stolen from other artists — particularly non-white hip-hop artists. Princess Nokia took to Instagram, playing the song side-by-side with her own 2017 track "Mine."
In the video, Princess Nokia played "7 Rings" for a few seconds, feigning surprise and confusion, after a while, she switched to her own song, "Mine," which had a very similar sound and flow. Even more so, it had a similar content, as both were about women purchasing new hair.
"Ain't that the little song I made about brown women and their hair?" she asked. "Hmm. Sounds about white."
The argument sparked a huge debate on social media. Many argued the influences on both songs, tracing them back even further. Many argued that Princess Nokia's song, in turn, sounded remarkably similar to "Honey Baby" by Kali Uchis. However, others claimed that it had more to do with the content of the lyrics, since Grande had also used the same brag about "buying hair" as Princess Nokia.
"I think [peoples'] concern here is specific," one fan wrote. "Less about the sonic origins of 'spend it'/'mine and more about the context of Ariana being white and rapping about buying hair and Princess Nokia rapping about buying hair and the policing of+fixation with black and brown image by white [people]."
I think ppl's concern here is specific. less about the sonic origins of "spend it"/"mine" & more about the context of Ariana being white & rapping about buying hair and Princess Nokia rapping about buying hair and the policing of+fixation with black and brown image by white ppl— Ivie Ani (@ivieani) January 18, 2019
Grande has yet to respond to the accusations that the song was plagiarized, intentionally or otherwise. She may be taking a break from the social media maelstrom as well, since her last Instagram post was captioned: "bye for now."
Many fans have also drawn comparisons between "7 Rings" and "Pretty Boy Swag," a song by Soulja Boy with the same cadence and rhythm. Meanwhile, the music video contains much of the same aesthetic and iconography as the one 2 Chainz made for "Pink Trap House."
Naturally, there were also fans out there who said that none of these songs sounded alike at all. The whole ordeal seems to have done little to dampen excitement for Thank U, Next, Grande's upcoming studio album.