Hello, I’m MusiCommentator, and with the way the charts have been looking this past month, it looks like Ariana Grande is about to be as big in 2019 as Drake was in 2018, and by that, I mean she will completely dominate the charts and control the sound of music for pretty much the whole year! Maybe I’m over-exaggerating, but she started the year off with a number one hit and now already has a second one. So, I decided to see if this song is worth all the hype.
I’ve covered Ariana Grande’s music in the past on this blog. My first encounter with her (on this website) was her single “God is a woman“, which I deduced to be a pretty good song. The dark trap beat matched the darkly sensual tone of the song, and Ariana’s vocals worked well with the over-the-top narcissistic lyrics. Her other single that I reviewed, “thank u, next” (which is a single off the album “7 rings” is supposed to be a single for), was a song I wasn’t as fond of. The production was bland, and while the track had a lot of hype, it boiled down to a generic “screw my exes” track with a few notable name drops. In my opinion, it’s not one of her good songs, and it definitely should not have reached as high as it did on the charts. However, maybe this new song will make me believe her fame is deserved, so let’s see what “7 rings” has to offer us.
“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”
…Wow, there’s a lot to unpack here already. Where do I start?
The first thing I noticed was that the vocal melody is from “My Favorite Things” from the hit musical “The Sound Of Music”. I actually think this melody is really cool for a dark, ominous track like this, but something about it feels off. Maybe it’s because I’m so connected to the original version that hearing it sung like this is off-putting, but I guess whether I truly like the decision to use this melody is still up in the air.
What I can say for certain I do not like, though, is the lyrics. Not only does it sound like she is buying girls with tattoos (which, you know, is illegal, because you can’t buy people) and the entirety of Tiffany’s when she says “Buy myself all of my favorite things”, but this is pretty much a picture-perfect example of “white girl rap”. And, yes, I don’t really want to use that term, because I don’t think hip-hop is a gender-specific or a race-specific artform. There have been plenty of great female & multi-racial hip-hop artists that I have enjoyed and have made quite an impression in the music world. Heck, I saw a bunch of asian rappers in concert last year–see that post here–so I’m not trying to say she can’t rap just because she’s a white girl. However, the things she is bragging about are, for a lack of a better word, really cringey. I’ve never heard any rapper brag about their “lashes”, and there’s a good reason for that: it sounds stupid! And, how believable is it when she says she’s a girl with tattoos who likes getting in trouble? Yeah, pop-starlet Ariana Grande is surely a controversial figure who always gets herself in trouble with the media (if you couldn’t tell, I was being extremely sarcastic there)! The last time I remember her being in hot water was the doughnut licking incident, and that was years ago, so this “bad girl” image is not working well.
“Been through some bad sh*t, I should be a sad b*tch
Who woulda thought it’d turn me to a savage?”
Uuuggghhh, theses lyrics are so groan-worthy! Not only does the term “sad b*tch” sound laughably dumb, but I don’t think anyone with any real credibility has ever called Ariana a “savage” unironically.
“Write my own checks like I write what I sing, yeah”
I usually like Ariana’s vocals, but they did not sound good here for some reason.
“My wrist, stop watchin’, my neck is flossy”
I’ve never heard anyone use the term “flossy” before. Does that mean I’m out of the loop, or does that mean this lyric is stupid?
“You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it”
First of all, buying your hair is probably something you don’t want to brag about because, especially with how marketable Ariana’s hair has been (for some reason), you wouldn’t want to say that one of your most establishing features is fake. Secondly, I think this is another reason why the term “white girl rap” works so well to describe this song, because these are only things white girls would brag about. Again, being a white girl doesn’t mean you can’t rap well, but when you start to imagine all the ten year old little girls singing this line out with their friends thinking their the baddest girls in the world, this lyric starts to feel terrible.
“Think retail therapy my new addiction”
I’m pretty sure therapy can’t be an addiction. I’ve never heard someone say “I just gotta get back in that therapy chair, man, it feels so good!”
“Whoever said money can’t solve your problems
Must not have had enough money to solve ’em”
Okay, I’ll admit it: I actually like this line a lot.
“Happiness is the same price as red-bottoms”
So that’s why the youth is so depressed these days. They just don’t have a thousand extra dollars to spend on shoes. Why, let’s just give every teenager a pair of red bottoms and maybe the suicide rate with drop. You’re a genius, Grande!
“Yeah, my receipts be lookin’ like phone numbers
If it ain’t money, then wrong number”
Oh, no, oh, no, her voice sounds so bad here. Please don’t do this high-pitched sing-rapping, my ears beg you!
“Black card is my business card”
Yes, because if I know one thing that rich people do, it’s have a credit card to help them go into debt.
“When you see them racks, they stacked up like my ass”
Honey, I’m not trying to body shame you, but you do not have a big butt. Don’t flaunt what you don’t have.
“Make it all back in one loop, gimme the loot”
No, Ariana, referencing Biggie lyrics doesn’t give you street cred.
Overall, this is…not a good song. I know Ariana Grande has a large, loyal fanbase, so me saying this is like poking a bear with an electric cattle prod, but this song is just something else. I didn’t talk about it before, but the beat on this is bad. It sounds like what a bunch of staunch record executives think hood rap sounds like, even if I do like the harmonized hums that pop up in the background every once in a while. Ariana’s lyrics on here are flaming hot garbage. She has a couple good lines in here, but most of it is incredibly cringey, incredibly shallow bragging that has almost no wit to it whatsoever. And while I’m almost always fine with Ariana’s voice, there are spots in this song where it is unbearable. I can’t even compliment her on her flows. As I already discussed, the verses take the melody from “My Favorite Things”, but she’s also been accused by multiple people of stealing their flows on the other parts of this song (namely rappers Princess Nokia, 2 Chainz and frickin’ Soulja Boy!). For all that, this song is going to be a 1 out of 5 from me. Do you agree?
Thank you for reading my “7 rings” song review. If you liked this review, make sure to follow my website, Twitter, and Instagram, like this post, and be sure to check in to read my future reviews. Also, if you have something you want to see me review, tell me in the comments. Until then, keep on listening to good music! I know I will.