Making amends. Ariana Grande is apologizing to fans for her controversial response to backlash over her latest track, “7 Rings.”
The single, which was released on Friday, January 18, was criticized by rapper Princess Nokia for its similarities to a tune she released on her 1992 mixtape called “Mine.” The “Tomboy” MC, 26, took issue with one verse in particular: “Make big deposits, my gloss is poppin’ / You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it / I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it (Yeah).”
“Does that sound familiar to you?” Princess Nokia (real name Destiny Frasqueri) asked in a video posted to Instagram and Twitter on Friday. “‘Cause that [sounds] really familiar to me. Oh, my God! Ain’t that the lil’ song I made about brown women and their hair? Hmm … sounds about white.”
The “Breathin” singer, 25, initially responded with a now-deleted Instagram Story about why she felt the lyric was justified.
“You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it!!!! White women talking about their weaves is how we’re gonna solve racism,” she wrote.
Fans were upset with the clapback, however, suggesting that the Grammy nominee had missed the point of why Princess Nokia felt the line was problematic. “It takes a white person to make weave ‘cool’ or ‘positive,’” one commenter wrote on a repost of Grande’s Story to The Shade Room’s Instagram on Sunday, January 20. “And her statement just trivialized how complex racism is. White ppl always think taking things from our culture and trying to make it hip and trendy and ‘theirs’ is going to ‘solve racism.'”
“Yeah, that rubbed me the wrong way,” another wrote. “She was better off not even saying that.”
The pop star later took to the comments section of the post to explain herself. “Hi hi,” she wrote. “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 if 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.”
Grande previously shared the premise behind the song in a response to a fan who inquired about it on Twitter in December 2018. “Well …………. ‘twas a pretty rough day in nyc. my friends took me to tiffany’s. we had too much champagne. i bought us all rings,” she wrote. “It was very insane and funny. & on the way back to the stu njomza was like ‘bitch, this gotta be a song lol’. so we wrote it that afternoon.”
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