It started off so well. Ariana Grande released her hit ode to her various exes, Thank U, Next, three months ago. The song was an instant hit, dominating the end of the year charts. Grande released Imagine on Dec. 14, 2018, which did well. The song was no instant hit, but it was in the United States Billboard Top 100. Her newest song 7 Rings dropped only 4 days ago, and is already massively popular, however it’s also been highly controversial. Where did Ari go wrong? Here is the hot tea on the Ariana Grande 7 Rings scandal.
Ariana Grande 7 Rings controversy explained
As soon as the song dropped, some fans argued on whether the hit song was cultural appropriation. Unfortunately, this tradition usually involved white people adopting elements of black culture, but it can be about any culture that is exploited. In the case of the Ariana Grande 7 Rings scandal, the music video promo featured Asian lettering with no obvious ties to Grande nor the song.
Many fans speculate it was done for the “aesthetic.” Buzzfeed reported that one fan tweeted it was “exploiting Japanese/East Asian culture.” Grande’s song also includes the lyric,“You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it,” which struck fans as appropriating weaves, a cultural tie specifically done by African Americans.
not to be rude but could ariana pls stop using asian language as an aesthetic? pls and thanks
— fran ? (@expensiveyves) January 15, 2019
Black artists such as Princess Nokia, Soulja Boy and 2Chainz accused Grande that her song sounded similar to their own songs. Mine, Pretty Boy Swag and Spend it, respectively. The accusation that Grande is appropriating music from black artists is a particularly sensitive topic, given that stealing music from black artists is where the tradition of cultural appropriation started.
Ariana Grande responds to 7 Rings controversy
After the backlash, Grande re-posted a screenshot on Instagram of Aminatou Sow. “You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it, white women talking about their weaves is how we’re gonna solve racism,” writes Sow. Grande interpreted this compliment as genuine, when it was perhaps meant to be sarcastic.
She later deleted her repost, which another Instagram account known as The Shade Room caught anyway. This only exacerbated the problem as many of her fans thought that Grande was inferring that a white woman would solve racism.
Ariana Grande’s apology for 7 Rings
After The Shade Room reposted her photo, Grande wrote an apology. “Hi hi,” the singer writes. “I think her intention was to be like… yay a white person disassociating the negative stariotype [sic] that is paired with the word ‘weave’… however I’m so sorry my response was out of pocket or if it came across the wrong way. Thanks for opening the conversation and like… to everyone for talking to me about it. It’s never my intention to offend anybody.” Her apology garnered different reactions from fans. Some fans thought there didn’t need to be an apology, others found the apology lackluster.
What do you think of the Ariana Grande 7 Rings controversy? Is Grande appropriating or are people overreacting? That is up to you to decide.