Throw shade first, then apologize, right? Ariana Grande has officially addressed the backlash she has received from her new single “7 Rings.” While she hasn’t responded to allegations she copied fellow artists such as Princess Nokia and Soulja Boy, she has clarified her initial response to the controversy.
After the new track dropped Thursday, Princess Nokia posted a now-deleted video to social media calling out the similarities between “7 Rings” and the rapper’s own “Mine.”
"Does that sound familiar to you? Because that sounds really familiar to me,” Princess Nokia said in the video. “Ain't that the little song I made about brown women and their hair? Hmm. Sounds about white.”
While some fans were confused about the reaction to Grande’s reference of wearing a weave, others noted how when women of color wear fake hair it’s looked down upon, while white women are glorified.
One Twitter user wrote, “When black women wear weave it’s ghetto and trash and we’re bald but now miss Ariana says that corny ass line everyone and their mom is hype ab it. I love Ariana but bitch NO.”
Another pointed out why it’s obvious appropriation, saying, “@ArianaGrande i love you but 7 rings ain’t it...listen to your fans when they tell you it’s blatant appropriation of black, latinx, and asian culture not to mention a white woman ripping off a song empowering woc hair and making it about her white woman weave... #sevenrings.”
@ArianaGrande i love you but 7 rings ain’t it...listen to your fans when they tell you it’s blatant appropriation of black, latinx, and asian culture...not to mention a white woman ripping off a song empowering woc hair and making it about her white woman weave... #sevenrings— celene machen (@celene_machen) January 19, 2019
It didn’t help that Grande’s first response to this backlash was perceived by some as racially insensitive. In a now-deleted Instagram story, the singer re-posted a clip story from Aminatou Sow, co-host of the podcast Call Your Girlfriend and a woman of color. Sow quoted “7 Rings” followed by a joke that the lyrics in the latest bop would solve racism. “‘You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it’...White women talking about their weaves is how we’re gonna solve racism.”
The post was taken down, but not before The Shade Room captured it. Grande commented on their post to offer an apology for her “out of pocket” response.
“[H]i hi i think her intention was to be like… yay a white person disassociating the negative [stereotype] that is paired with the word 'weave'… however I’m so sorry if my response was out of pocket or if it came across the wrong way,” Grande wrote in the caption. “[T]hanks for opening the conversation and like… to everyone for talking to me about it. It’s never my intention to offend anybody.”
While her quips nor apology address whether Grande pulled some, er, “inspiration” from her peers, that doesn’t seem to be hurting the track’s success. Grande’s manager Scooter Braun announced on Twitter that “7Rings” now holds “the Spotify all time record for most streamed song within its first 24 hours with 14,966,544.”
Official numbers are now in- @ArianaGrande's #7Rings now has the Spotify all time record for most streamed song within its first 24 hours with 14,966,544 streams!! 4 million more than the former record holder! History is being made! Congrats to the team & @ArianaGrande bravo!— Scooter Braun (@scooterbraun) January 19, 2019