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Ariana Grande’s ‘7 Rings’ courts controversy

Ariana Grande/YouTube

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Ariana Grande dropped a new song on Friday, but she’s already facing backlash. Rapper Princess Nokia says that the chorus of Grande’s latest song sounds suspiciously like her own track, “Mine.”

“7 Rings” is an ode to economic independence, female friendship, and retail therapy. Since her very public breakup with Pete Davidson, Grande has released a steady stream of empowering, self-love-focused hits, starting with “Thank U, Next.”

In a now-deleted tweet, according to Complex, Princess Nokia (whose real name is Destiny Nicole Frasqueri) pointed out the similarity to her own song, which celebrates the diversity of women of color’s hairstyles.

“Ain’t that the little song I made about brown women and their hair? Hmmmm… sounds about white,” Princess Nokia said in the video.

Indeed, the flow is similar, as are the lyrics. Grande’s version states, “You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it/I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it,” while Princess Nokia’s is, ”Flip the weave, I am a stunner/ It’s mine, I bought it/It’s mine, I bought it.”

But then Princess Nokia herself came under fire. Twitter user @producedbykrs pointed out that the beat of “Mine” was actually created by producer Joshua Brennan, better known as Oshi.

Others pointed out that Princess Nokia’s own “Orange Blossom” sounds very similar to Kali Uchis’ track “Honey Baby.”

Others pointed out that both “Mine” and “7 Rings” owed debts to 2 Chainz’s “Spend It” and “Pretty Boy Swag” by Soulja Boy.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsywGAVA0pw/

“7 Rings” also takes melodic inspiration for “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music.

As Business Insider reported, some argued that it wasn’t just the flow and the lyrics, but the concept of Grande, who is white, buying hair in a way that’s culturally specific to women of color.

To reinforce that point, Princess Nokia posted a video on her Twitter account Saturday, discussing how white women spend millions of dollars to approximate the looks of women of color—looks they once criticized.

“I believe in the preservation of our beauty, culture, narrative and sound and dismantling anything that compromises or dares to interfere in the likeness of our sacred expression,” she captioned the video.

Grande has yet to comment publicly on the controversy.

H/T Complex

Ellen Ioanes

Ellen Ioanes

Ellen Ioanes is the FOIA reporter at the Daily Dot, where she covers U.S. politics. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Center for Public Integrity, HuffPost India, and more.