Alya Mehrtash staff writer
“I don’t think I could EVER know there are children starving in the world then go ahead and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on jewelry. I’m an Ariana fan but this puts a bad taste in my mouth.” (@dawndizzle8)
“Why is everyone worshipping this song? It’s literally about how rich she is.” (@californiamountainsnakee)
“Used to love how grounded she seemed, now she sounds like a brat in this song.” (@eden__)
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Above are comments under Ariana Grande’s promotional Instagram post for her new song, “7 rings.”
After the release of her newest pop single, Ariana Grande has come under unfair criticism regarding the flaunting of her wealth.
“Whoever said money can’t solve your problems must not have had enough money to solve ‘em,” Grande sings in the second verse. “They say, ‘Which one?’ I say ‘Nah, I want all of them.’ Happiness is the same price as red bottoms.”
Many critics of Grande saw her boastful lyrics as selfish and egotistical. While this is understandable, it is not in the slightest bit fair to criticize it would be unfair to attack Grande when many male rappers are glorified for doing the same thing without any consequences.
“You can get the biggest Chanel bag in the store if you want it…I bought a new Patek, I had the watch, so I two-toned ’em,” the rapper said. “Diamonds dancin’ in the dial like this s**t is a parade…Drip too hard, charge it to the card. Designer to the ground, I can barely spell the names.”
On one of his latest tracks, popular rapper 21 Savage boasts about his wealth, as well.
“How much money you got? A lot,” he says.
None of these rappers have come under the same fire that Grande has. One of the major criticisms that Grande has faced since the release of “7 rings” revolves around the idea that she is unnecessarily flaunting her wealth. But if other artists are not going to be held to the same standard, then that criticism is simply invalid. Critics can only attack Grande for such lyrics if, and only if, they do the same to all other artists.
This criticism reflects an unacceptable double standard in our society today. For decades, male artists have been writing and rapping about their wealth, yet none of them have come under the same fire as Grande has. In the male-dominated rap industry, the few women that flaunt their wealth through their music are often seen as arrogant. Male rappers, on the other hand, are able to do the same exact thing without suffering any consequences. There is absolutely no valid reason for female artists to be judged in a way that male artists are not. It’s not fair and it’s not right.
All artists, regardless of their gender, should be able to show off their hard earned wealth. A young, successful woman like Grande has every right to be proud of the wealth that she worked hard to earn.
However, the song did have other faults: the most undeniable being its uncanny resemblance to Princess Nokia’s “Mine.” Many Instagram users flooded Grande’s post with comments accusing her of copying the song. Princess Nokia, herself, took to Twitter to post a now deleted video where she played both “7 rings” and “Mine.”
“Does that sound familiar to you?” She asked, referring to Grande’s new song. “Because that sounds really familiar to me…Ain’t that the little song I made about brown women and their hair? Sounds about white.”
Twitter user @CAMOFLAUGEDON said that Grande’s new song “plagiarizes flows, words, bars from [Princess] Nokia…millions of dollars and a team of people to make and write your music, yet they still steal.”
Ima big @princessnokia fan… AG’s new album literally plagiarizes flows, words, bars from Nokia… yo what a shame, millions of dollars and a TEAM of people to make and write your music…. yet they STILL STEAL https://t.co/7xa4zvk2ue
— CAMOUFLAGE DON (@CAMOUFLAGEDON) January 18, 2019
This is very true. With a team of songwriters, Grande should be either writing more original music or giving credit to other artists where credit is due. Certain lyrics and beats in “7 rings” very closely mirror that of Princess Nokia’s “Mine.”
When referring to her hair, Princess Nokia raps, “It’s mine, I bought it,” repeatedly. Almost too similarly, Grande sings, “I want it, I got it…You like my hair? Gee thanks, just bought it.”
Grande is an extremely talented artist. She should be taking advantage of her musical ability in order to create something more authentic to her own style.
“7 rings” has received an overwhelming amount of criticism on multiple issues. While some of these criticisms are justified, much of it is unnecessary. If people are going to hold Grande to a standard that is solely enforced among female artists, then their argument is simply invalid. At the same time, if people are going to criticize “7 rings,” they should be trying to prove more valid arguments, such as its uncanny similarity to Princess Nokia’s “Mine.”
Despite its success, “7 rings” is not Grande’s best work. Hopefully, she makes a comeback with her newly released album “thank u, next.”