On Thursday evening, Ariana Grande released the latest single, “7 Rings,” from her upcoming album Thank U, Next. While the song is being received well by many, some fans have pointed out that the new track bears striking similarities to Princess Nokia’s 1992 rap song “Mine,” as well as tracks by Soulja Boy and 2 Chainz. Princess Nokia herself even took to social media on Friday to call out Grande, Entertainment Tonight reported.
Nokia (a.k.a. Destiny Frasqueri) posted a video to Twitter of herself listening to “7 Rings” and “Mine.” She tagged the pop star in the tweet.
“Does that sound familiar to you? ‘Cause that sound really familiar to me. Oh my god!,” Nokia said. “Ain’t that the lil’ song I made about brown women and their hair? Hmm … sounds about white.”
Nokia, an Afro-Puerto Rican rapper, wrote “Mine” song about women of color and their hair. In one line, she sings about her hair blowing in the wind, stating “It’s mine / I bought it” several times.
Since the release of Grande’s “7 Rings” and the accompanying music video, many social media users have stated that the 25-year-old pop star, who is Italian, appropriated black and Hispanic culture.
In her song, Grande sings a similar line about her hair, saying, “You like my hair? / Gee, thanks, just bought it.”
Some Twitter users did agree with Princess Nokia’s argument, but others fired back by pointing out a few tracks from Nokia that match other rap songs. For example, someone said that Nokia copied “Honey Baby” by Kali Uchis.
— amaru? (@kencric) January 18, 2019
Nokia’s video calling out Grande appears to have since been deleted, but not before triggering a war of comparisons. Another Twitter user pointed out that the “flow” of “7 Rings” sounds just like that of Soulja Boy’s 2010 hit “Pretty Boy Swag,” according to Vulture. The user shared a video of someone playing the music videos for each track back-to-back.
Meanwhile, another rap fan stated that the house featured in Grande’s video “is plucked straight out of” 2 Chainz’s pink “trap house” in Atlanta.
In an effort to end the arguing, one user noted that the flow of Grande’s song has been commonly used in the past by several rappers, and a single artist cannot take sole ownership.
“7 Rings” is already known to have been heavily inspired by the song “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music, as the opening notes of the track are identical to the musical’s tune, People reported. Grande also previously explained that she drew from her tumultuous experiences in 2018, such as her split from ex-fiance Pete Davidson. According to Grande, the song is based on a day in New York City with her best friends, where she bought everyone matching rings.