Ariana Grande Turns a Classic into a Trap-Fest?

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the classic movie The Sound of Music starring the well-renowned Julie Andrews who has also appeared in other films like The Princess Diaries. And if you are not familiar with the movie, how about the song 'My Favorite Things'? It goes like this: "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Brown paper packages tied up with strings. These are a few of my favorite things." The movie takes place in Austria during World War II and is a heart-warming story about a governess who takes care of seven children of a recently widowed naval captain. As time passes, she brings happiness and the love of music into the family. 


The song 'My Favorite Things' from The Sound of Music takes place during a scene in which there is a storm and all of the children are afraid. The children come into the governess's room one-at-a-time, eventually admitting that they are afraid of the thunderstorm. In an attempt to comfort the children, Maria tells them that whenever she's afraid, she thinks of her "favorite things." She then goes on to list some things that the children can think of in order to take their minds off of the storm. This happens all while she's singing this song. It's a very touching and fun scene to watch. 


Now, how does Ariana have anything to do with this? Well, her new song '7 Rings,' which was released on Youtube on January 17, 2019, uses the melody and tune of 'My Favorite Things.' You'll notice this from the opening verse:

Yeah, breakfast at Tiffany's and bottles of bubbles

Girls with tattoos who like getting in trouble

Lashes and diamonds, ATM machines

Buy myself all of my favorite things

I'm not accusing Grande of anything, because I'm sure many people recognize the melody of 'My Favorite Things,' but it is a controversial topic. The reason I say this is because she turns an innocent song about comforting children, into a song about getting whatever she wants, and does that along with materialism and sexualization. The lyrics of this song gives the impression that excessive money is the top priority of Grande's and that it should be for others as well. 

Whoever said money can't solve your problems

Must not have had enough money to solve 'em

They say, "Which one?" I say, "Nah, I want all of 'em"

Happiness is the same price as red-bottoms

In this verse, Grande is saying that money, in fact, can solve all of our problems. She even says that whoever said that it can't solve our problems, must have not had enough money. She then goes on to say that she doesn't choose, she just takes everything because she can afford everything. She makes a huge statement about money being the essence of happiness.

In addition, the '7 Rings' music video is extremely sexualized. Grande wears a sexy bodysuit, a lot of jewelry, and glittery horns on her head. She twerks and is on the kitchen counter moving her legs in a sexual way while she sings to the melody of 'My Favorite Things.' She is showered with glitter, diamonds, and fur coats. In one clip, there is even a statue of sexualized bodies with bunny ears on top of each other in the background. These statues portray Ariana's "look" which was first seen in her song "Dangerous Woman." Black bunny ears and a black mask, along with a black bodysuit portrays a sort of "playboy" look. 


Although I have to admit that it is quite catchy to hear a new style from Grande, I also have to say that I don't agree with the message this song is giving. It's even more problematic for younger listeners who have been anticipating a new song after her recent hit 'Thank U, Next.' In order to use such a classic melody, one must at least associate the lyrics with something less "trap-like."  There are many controversies about "stealing" lyrics and melodies in this song. People are even claiming that some of her lyrics are racist when she says, "You like my hair, gee thanks, just bought it." You can find an article about this controversy here. Although we can't say that Grande is the one who came up with the lyrics and the "sampling" of such a classic song, I can say that it's a little troubling.