Last week, Ariana Grande dropped a new blockbuster single, “7 Rings.” But where fans saw a Sound of Music-interpolating flex-fest, three rappers—Princess Nokia, Soulja Boy and 2 Chainz—saw plagiarism.
In a tweet directed at Grande, Princess Nokia pointed out the similarities between “7 Rings” and her song “Mine,” from her mixtape 1992. “Wait, ain’t that the little song I made about brown women and their hair?” she said in a video. “Hmm, sounds about white.”
But the New York rapper later deleted her tweet after the producer Krs. pointed out that the melody of “Mine” was “stolen” to begin with, from a sample pack he had made with fellow producer Oshi. Oshi later clarified the claim of theft: “The point was that [Princess Nokia] made a video claiming Ariana bit her style not realizing that she was being a hypocrite because someone remade my sample in her own song.” Fans also separately pointed out Princess Nokia’s vocal melodies in “Orange Blossom” are also highly similar to Colombian artist Kali Uchis’ singing in “Honey Baby.”
Soulja Boy—whom you might recall proclaimed himself the “godfather of hip hop” on The Breakfast Club last week—also had words for the Sweetener star. He accused her of biting his flow on the 2010 track “Pretty Boy Swag,” demanding Grande “stop stealing my swag” and “give me my credit.” Later, he followed up with a simple yet damning tweet: “You’re a thief.”
Soulja’s insistence Grande credit him seemingly inspired 2 Chainz, who appeared to endorse fans’ observations that the all-pink house in the “7 Rings” video was similar to the pink ‘trap house’ he set up to promote his 2017 album, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music.
“Tryna figure out if I should Big Draco @arianagrande ??,” he wrote on Instagram, alluding to Soulja’s “Young Drako” moniker. “Y’all tell me in the comments ? #bigdracovibesall2019”
Grande has not addressed these accusations directly, though she did tell fans to “shift [their] attention” to the friends and fellow musicians who inspired her on “7 Rings,” saying “they are who you should be talking about.”
shift your attention here. these women are impeccable and they are who you should be talking about. ? love.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) January 19, 2019
Take a listen to all the songs in question below, and see what you make of the three rappers’ allegations:
“Pretty Boy Swag”: