Ariana Grande's Sweetener is less than six months old, but Thank U, Next the announced title of her fifth studio album, is already in the books. Ari moves into her next era or abandons the old-school sensibilities of the eras – not unlike other pop juggernauts like Beyoncé, Rihanna and Lorde. "I do not want to stick to the pop star agenda," she said early last month Billboard expressing her yearning for something much simpler. "I just want to talk to my fans and sing and write music and drop it as these guys do." As with "Thank U, Next," the intimacy with the fans was the key to the release of "7 Rings" over a few weeks, leaving notes on Twitter and Instagram. The song and video coincided last Friday and were streamed live on Youtube at midnight (ET). The running chatbox in the corner – like Twitter and probably many group chats – was a party. "We did it," said one user; "That's all right, omg," said another, only 34 seconds. When the song was playing its beat another user threw in: "Rap game she coming."
The music video for "7 Rings" as in Grandes' other The recent collaborations with director Hannah Lux Davis ("Into You", "Breathin", "Thank U, Next") are shiny, cool and scenic, leaving a germ from an idea – in this case – the reality -life of a tipsy Tiffany shopping spree – unfold in a rotating set of panoramic vibes and Lewks . Pink sheen and pink Cadillacs, neon-lit interiors, biscuits, an allusion to James Turrell and plenty of champagne – just to name a few of the video's most popular things.
But when Friday started seriously, some of the more eye-catching features of "7 Rings" – both song and video – raised some eyebrows. The cheeky hook, the "ayy" flow, and the general mood of the trap made people wonder what was new in the artist's sound. The prismatic visuals of the video, which have all traces of rapper couture and baby girl aesthetics, seem to reinforce the discontinuity. In a video released on Twitter and Instagram, New York rapper Princess Nokia showed the resemblance between "7 Rings" and the song "Mine" from the 2017 album of the rapper 1992 Deluxe . "Does not that sound familiar to you? "Because this sound is really familiar to me," she says to the camera. "Is not that the song I made about brown women and their hair? Sounds like white. (Not long after, Toronto producer Krs accused Nokia of having stolen the same hook himself.) 2 The Chainz fans also noted the hook's similarity with 2011's 2011 Chainz song "Spend It." 7 Rings' video is akin to his pink Fallenhaus installation, which was used to promote his 2017 Pretty Girls Like Trap Music album and render it on the cover. Others noticed a cadenza near "Pretty Girl Swag", the song also came back by chance thanks to a viral meme. Soulja Boy, already in a crisis of undervalued influence, asked for credit for the post on Twitter. "Lol, stop stealing my prey. Word, "he said, quote tweeting Grande directly. " You are a thief ." The "A Word" – the curse of pop culture existence since those fateful 2013 VMAs – came to its dreaded return. Is this an act of appropriation or, worse, theft?
The appropriation or not is the wrong question. If the question is whether "7 Rings" owes to appropriation or not, then the answer is "yes" and thankfully – the answer will always be a "yes" version for each song, as long as we all live on in society , If the question is whether "7 Rings" owes its appearance and sound to the vibration of black and brown and East Asian (Japanese) aesthetics, then the answer is yes. Whether one of these gestures should become an offense is a slippery affair.
Since the 1980s, the striking acceleration of interpolar practices in recorded music – rap – has left a seemingly dried-up legitimacy. If you use it, delete it or spend a lot of money if you want. This remains the truth – artists or their label still need to be released to even try a fraction of another person's song for themselves. Crucially, however, the permission is granted by the one who owns the song rights (who may be the ones in charge) creation). During the sloppy rollout of Queen Queen last summer, Nicki Minaj asked fans to harass Tracy Chapman on her behalf to clear a rehearsal for the song. Although it was taken off the album, "Sorry" with nas and samples was promoted by Chapman's "Baby Can I Hold You" and played on Hot 97, allegedly with the blessing of the Nicki team. Chapman returned with a lawsuit. At about the same time, TMZ reported that rapper M.O.S. sued Migos and Capitol Records for violating the song "Walk It Like I Talk It" with Drake. In an interview with XXL Quavo dismissed the claim. "Man, that's an old saying, man. We said, "Go, talk, talk."
And if the question of sampling is still not absolute, this makes the entire palette of reproducible lyric devices and phrases, portable rhythms, and even dubious hallmarks unclear sound characteristic called flow . What is copyright in an atmosphere? As the New York professor Jeff Peretz told Vulture the gray area becomes more controversial – the 2015 ruling against Robin Thicke and Pharrells "Blurred Lines" implies the practice of rhythms reconstruction without sampling means that Pharrell apparently mimicking Marvin Gaye's song "Got to Give It Up" (1977). Until this case, according to Peretz, "the rhythm was not taken so seriously [in copyright law]." Melodies are absolutely processual, but the style is hard to copyright
What leaves the moral and cultural question as usual: appropriation or "esteem"? Ultimately, these labels describe the same gesture and differ in perceived intent and public taste. In both cases, something was borrowed, perhaps with no intent or, as in the age of Internet everywhere, knowledge of where it came from.
Ariana is no stranger to the merging sound. In their debut Victorious the singer and songwriter stuck their aesthetic commitments firmly into the genre of R & B-folded pop, with idols like Gloria Estefan, India.Arie, Whitney Houston, Brandy, and Mariah Carey, she named in an interview in 2012 "[her] the most popular person on the planet". These influences can be seen in the year 2013 Yours Truly an album that includes several experienced and aspiring R & B songwriters and producers, including Babyface, Sevyn Streeter, Lonny Bereal, Jordin Sparks, J. Que, Harmony Samuels, and Brenda Russell (in addition to Grande herself). While she's probably the most memorable in her second year My Everything venturing into electronic influences on singles like "One Last Time" and "Break Free" (with Zedd), the album remains True to Grande's R & B inclinations found in songs like "Best Mistake", "Be My Baby" and "Break Your Heart Right Back" (starring Childish Gambino and acclaimed songwriters Bernard Edwards, Nile Rodgers, Stevie J Biggie Smalls, Diddy, and Ma $ e for the sample of "Mo Money Mo Problems," which in turn tastes Diana Rosss "I'm Coming Out." [DangerousWoman was what really stood out as her figurehead should be known, advised and the best of various genres and sound traditions in a uniquely smooth (yet divaistic) vocals – seamless cooperation with Nicki Minaj ("Side to Side"), Lil Wayne ("Let me dear "), Macy Gray (" Leave me alone "), and future (" everyday life "). Sweetener strengthens the recipe by integrating additional ayy-like flows, trap rhythms and quick conversations with a vernacular, as digital as urban ("When you try to come for me, I always flourish continue to ") al.). Unlike Miley or Sam Smith, however, pop acts play the story of playing fast and loose with black musical traditions that feel bad. There is no hug here. Similar to another superstar whose R & B isms merge with his musical ear for a long time, Grande has a longstanding relationship with black music of a kind . Not only their credits, but also their cadences and harmonies and vocal flourishes testify to study and commitment. In this regard, "7 Rings" could point to an evolution or deviation in their sound as popular black music evolves and deviates. In a tweet that was broadcast the day after the release of the song and video, Grande praised his friends and collaborators Tayla Parx, Victoria Monet, NJOMZA and Kaydence, without whom she would not have "made this solemn Bop." 7 Rings was »like any music worth listening to, not just a work of love, but a collective effort.
Admittedly, the merger is not as coherent as in the past. The malicious bitch sometimes stays like a multicarp pile. Certain lyrical expressions like "If you see them with racks, they pile up like my ass," seem to be of a bombastic size for someone. Although Grande made the long ponytail, but the Rapunzel weave paired with the hotly contested lyric "gee thank you, just buy it", does not sound particularly because white girls do not buy their hair, but because they did not do it. maybe – formed a language to talk about, preferring to live in illusion (but I think we all know what is what.)
And yet it's hard, " 7 rings "compared to chastising fewer or unforgiveable counterparts heard these days by Meghan Trainor or Taylor Swift or Katy Perry. The truth is that in the new millennium, the aesthetics of pop, woman empowerment, shimmer, fining, poppin & # 39; s no longer distinguishable from the look, sound, and language of hip-hop culture.
At least the song is good and fun. Call it a " appropriation bop ", if you're inclined to. (But are not they all?)