Ariana Grande dropped the 7 Rings video last week. That’s below. Kaiser asked me if I felt like covering it, since I usually stan for Ari, but I said no. The song sounded derivative to me, some of the lyrics reminded me of Cardi B (does everyone have to rap about Louboutins?) and Ari did this weak sing-song rapping. I just wasn’t in love with the song, the lyrics or the video. I know it’s a thing to “floss” or brag about how rich you are and how much sh-t you can buy, but that’s done to death and it didn’t stand out to me. Go ahead and call me out of touch! Here’s the video:
It turns out that the song wasn’t original at all. A rapper named Princess Nokia recorded a video to Instagram playing “7 Rings” with the hook “I want it, I got it. You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it,” and then her song, “Mine,” which came out in 2017 and features the hook “It’s mine, I bought it.” Mine is about black women’s hair, owning your hair and dealing with rude questions and people trying to touch it. Nokia’s video and tweet about this have since been taken down, I would assume after legal threats from Ari’s team (all they have to do is issue a copyright infringement, right? This is just an assumption) so here’s a YouTube version.
The two songs don’t sound close to me but the lyrics definitely do. This particular lyric similarity may not be Ariana’s “fault” at all, she surely works with a team of producers and it’s possible someone heard this song, totally forgot about it, and jacked the lyrics without realizing it. I do wonder if she’s going to address it at all or if she’ll stay quiet, likely on the advice of her legal team. I don’t know what the answer is to this but I also don’t think Princess Nokia has the means to sue Ariana for this similarity. It’s not easy to get into a whole legal battle over copyright issues, especially with someone with Ariana’s resources, unless you have a lot to gamble.
People are also saying that 7 Rings sounds like Soulja Boy’s “Pretty Boy Swag” and that the video aesthetic is way too similar to 2 Chainz’s “Pink Trap House.” Holy crap I really hear the Pretty Boy Swag similarity. Both of those are below. [via Dazed Digital]
— Demetria Obilor (@DemetriaObilor) January 18, 2019
justice for 2chainz pic.twitter.com/zGABTTE7BW
— amaru? (@kencric) January 18, 2019
Ari has been accused many times of blackfishing, which is pretending to be black and appropriating black culture for personal gain. I really see her doing that with these lyrics about buying her hair.
Also, she posted a very questionable Instagram story (update: she reposted someone else’s story, this didn’t originate with her) claiming that “White women talking about their weaves is how we’re gonna solve racism.” WTF? So dumb, clueless and offensive. Then she followed up with a comment trying to explain herself. She apologized but it was an “if” apology, not a straight apology. The original post was really bad and she needs to step back for a while. She really is appropriating and thinking it’s ok and justified. This is her thought process.
Here’s Princess Nokia’s Mine live
obviously nothing is original now and beats and samples from songs are used over and over, but my point to this is that Princess Nokia is way too good and should be more well-known. Ariana is doing great things and I lov her but we should be raising more and more female artists
— desirée (@desigay_) January 18, 2019
Lol stop stealing my swag. Word https://t.co/jIMnD5m5U8
— Soulja Boy (Young Drako) 💲🔌🔫 (@souljaboy) January 19, 2019
So I’m not an Ariana fan or princess Nokia, but I don’t hear the similarities as much as her fans do. The flow wasn’t anything original and even the lyrics….
Like do you got more “plagiarized” verses to show or was it literally those few lines in 7 rings
— 슙이~ syubb (@syumoni_) January 18, 2019