New York rapper Princess Nokia has a question for Ariana Grande after hearing her new song “7 Rings,” which dropped last night with much fanfare after a lengthy countdown of teasers to build anticipation. In a video posted to Twitter, Nokia plays a portion of “7 Rings,” interjecting a few quizzical responses as she bops along to the trap-inspired tune. Then she plays her own song “Mine,” from her 2017 album 1992 Deluxe, saying “Oh my god. Ain’t that the little song I made about brown women and their hair? Hmmm. Sounds about white.” You can see the comparison video for yourself below.
Pop music has been grappling with the cultural appropriation for years, with stars like Post Malone, Justin Timberlake, and Miley Cyrus being criticized for affecting hip-hop-inspired slang, fashion, and beats in an effort to boost sales and cultural cachet.
The allegation comes at an interesting time, as Ariana isn’t the only being accused of copying styles to blow up. “Crank That” rapper Soulja Boy made a splashy return to the headlines this week when he said that Drake bit his flow back in 2010. However, while paying homage and duplicating flows is something that’s been intrinsic to hip-hop since the beginning, it doesn’t seem likely that Princess Nokia will be accepting that explanation anytime soon.
Listen to both songs below and decide for yourself if you hear the similarities.
Update: Oddly enough, now Soulja Boy’s fans are stirring the pot as well, claiming that both “Mine” and “7 Rings” duplicated his flow from “Pretty Boy Swag.”
While there does appear to be a similarity between all three songs, they do all seem different enough to avoid any royalty battles. But credit where credit is due, Soulja’s claim of being one of hip-hop’s most influential figures is beginning to ring eerily true.