Here's Everything You Need to Know About Ariana Grande's Latest Track

With her fresh and iconic single, “thank u, next” peaking at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100—also holding the longest streaming week for a female artist ever—it’s safe to assume that Ariana Grande has definitely earned her title as our generation’s pop princess. Her latest album "Sweetenergraced the pop music industry with universal hits like “no tears left to cry” and “God is a woman.”

Behind the scenes, Miss Grande even advocated for mental health awareness and “use[d] her privilege [as a music icon] to help educate” listeners on the struggles of dealing with anxiety in her tracks “breathin” and “get well soon.” It’s no wonder Ariana Grande was titled Billboard’s Woman of the Year in 2018, and now, she’s back with yet another smash to dominate the charts: “7 Rings.”

Released on January 18, “7 Rings” involves even more pink, powerful and feminine energy following the concept of her previous singles. It seems she has traded her one engagement ring (from ex-fiancé, Pete Davidson) for seven rings from Tiffany’s to share with her fellow femme fatale friends—which is quite the upgrade if you ask me! 

In preparation for the release, Grande assured her fans that “7 Rings” would be a "friendship anthem" whereas “thank u, next” was the step of her journey that involved accepting failed relationships and learning to grow from them, rather than letting them drag her down. “7 Rings” is the next chapter of her story that evolves from this reflection, but in the form of a "flex" with a hip hop vibe. The song embodies the notion that even after the worst of break-ups, you'll be okay as long as you have friends who have your back (or if you have enough money to buy multiple diamond rings carried in little blue boxes with a white bow, that might work too!) When Grande sings lyrics like "I want it, I got it" and "happiness is the same price as red bottoms," it's clear that she would much rather spend her energy on indulging herself and her friends then feeling sorry for herself and her love life. 

Though many see "7 Rings" as a female anthem inspiring others to treat themselves to the finer things in life, others see the song as more of a slap in the face. Since its release, Grande has received criticism due to the appropriation of both Black and Japanese cultures. The melody and styling of her vocals have been brought to attention for sounding remarkably similar to Princess Nokia's song "Mine." Nokia even posted her own comparison video between the two songs, which she eventually removed due to the overwhelming response on social media. But Nokia isn't the only one who feels as if her work has been cheated. Soulja Boy also shared his own complaints of plagiarism as he called Grande a "thief" for "stealing [his] swag" from one of his well-known songs titled "Pretty Boy Swag." 

There has also been a lot of backlash for Grande's use of mixed Japanese characters as a part of her aesthetic for promotional posts on her social media. Though Grande has always shown her love for Japan and its culture, many believe she should not use a language that is not her own to solely decorate her concept. While critics discuss the possibility of her stylistic choices appearing offensive, some Japanese fans have responded rather positively as their language and culture is admired by such a distinguished American artist. 

There's definitely a lot of mixed feelings when it comes to "7 Rings," but I guess that's just what you have to expect when you make big changes as an artist. In an interview prior to "7 Rings," the singer stated that she was done feeling like she had to fall in line within the industry, as she didn't want to “conform to the formula” anymore. Pop artists are expected to prepare a single and album in advance, as a package deal, in order to hype up the public for their release. But with Ariana’s incredible vocal talent, unique and catchy tunes, and overall admirable delivery, there’s no need to doubt her abilities as an artist extremely capable of holding her own. If you're able to look past the flaws intertwined within the music, the song genuinely is a "feel-good" hit—but it's also important to think about these things as they shouldn't be ignored just because we don't agree with others or because it doesn't personally affect us. It's important to separate the artist from the music because, yes, even our faves make their share of mistakes. Fortunately, Ariana Grande is especially well-known for owning up to her mistakes as she recently stated it was "never [her] intention to offend anybody" and thanked people for "opening the conversation." 

Needless to say, Ariana is an artist who makes major waves in the music world. As someone who has been supporting her from the sidelines since her first hit single “The Way,”  it’s exciting to see her evolve as an artist who isn't afraid to stray from the norms of the pop industry. 

You can check out “7 Rings” on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and other streaming services now! 

(Orlando fans: See Ariana Grande in concert May 29 at the Amway Center!)

Images: 1,2,3,4 Sources: Rolling Stone | Billboard | People