Ariana Grande’s latest single, “7 Rings,” is doing quite well: On its release date of January 18, the song broke the record for the most Spotify plays in a 24-hour period, with 14,966,544 global plays. That said, the song isn’t without its controversy: Grande has apologized after the song received multiple criticisms for alleged cultural appropriation.
Some have accused Grande of “using Asian language as an aesthetic,” with one Twitter user writing the Grande is exploiting “Japanese/East Asian culture and language for nothing other than aesthetic purposes.”
Meanwhile, an Instagram user posted the song’s lyric, “You like my hair? Gee thanks, just bought it,” and added the comment, “white women talking about their weaves is how we’re gonna solve racism.” Grande re-posted that image and said “thank you” to the user before removing the post. The Shade Room re-posted the image, and Grande took to the comments to apologize, writing, “Hi 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 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.”
Fellow musicians have also shared their thoughts about the song: Princess Nokia believes the song sounds strikingly similar to her own track, “Mine,” while Soulja Boy fans think both “7 Rings” and “Mine” are derivative of Soulja Boy’s “Pretty Boy Swag.”