Ariana Grande became one of the biggest pop stars of her generation thanks to her powerful voice, but is rapping one of her many talents?
Ariana Grande can rap, but it’s up for debate how good she is. The Grammy-winning singer collaborated with several acclaimed hip-hop artists but also tried rapping on her own, most notably in “7 Rings”.
Take a stroll down memory lane as we remember Ariana Grande’s best hip-hop collaborations, and learn more about her rapping skills.
Grande’s Hip-Hop Collaboration
Ariana Grande’s discography includes several songs with hip-hop influences, but she usually relies on other artists to do the rapping segments.
Nicki Minaj is one of Grande’s most frequent collaborators, and they recorded several hit songs together over the years. It all started with the 2014 smash hit “Bang Bang”, also featuring Jessie J, which reached the top ten in numerous countries around the globe.
Grande almost passed on this song, but she was impressed after hearing Nicki Minaj was involved and decided to give it a try. This was just the beginning of their amazing friendship, and Grande and Minaj started referring to each other as “lil’ sis” and “big sis”.
Several other hit singles followed, starting with “Side to Side”, which reached no. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. They also collaborated on songs “Get On Your Knees”, “The Light Is Coming”, “Bed”, and “Bad to You” featuring Normani.
Back in 2019, it was rumored that the two stars might be feuding after Minaj dropped the song called “Bust Down Barbiana”. Grande addressed the speculations saying, “there will never be anything but love between us ever.”
The Grammy-winning artist also collaborated with Mac Miller on several occasions, starting with the 2013 song “The Way”. They later dated for two years, went through many ups and downs together, and Grande described him as her “dearest friend” after his tragic death in 2018.
The singer discussed their relationship with Vogue in 2019 and said she spent years worrying about Miller as he struggled with substance abuse and depression. She admitted their relationship wasn’t perfect but added that “he didn’t deserve the demons he had.”
In addition to Minaj and Miller, Grande also recorded songs with hip-hop stars Future, Big Sean, Lil Wayne, and many more. She also managed to reach no. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2014 after collaborating with Australian rapper Iggy Azalea on “Problem”.
The “7 Rings” Drama
After collaborating with numerous hip-hop artists, Ariana Grande tried to prove the world she can do it all on her own with “God Is a Woman” and “7 Rings”. They were heavily influenced by hip-hop music and contained rapping segments performed by Grande.
“7 Rings” went on to become one of her biggest hits to date – but also one of the most controversial. Shortly after she dropped this song, several artists came out accusing her of plagiarizing their work.
American rapper Princess Nokia posted a video accusing Grande of copying her song “Mine”, saying “Ain’t that the little song I made about brown women and their hair? Sounds about white.” She later deleted the clip, but the damage has been done.
Hip-hop fans also noticed that Grande borrowed the flow of “7 Rings” from Soulja Boy’s “Pretty Boy Swag” and 2 Chainz’s “Spend It”. Instead of feuding with Grande, 2 Chainz joined her on a remix of “7 Rings” and they recorded a new track “Rule the World” together.
“What kinda points do I get off snapping on Ariana Grande or dissing her? I don’t get anything off that. Imagine me going through, what are some of the groups now? I can’t do it. It won’t work for me like that,” the rapper told Genius.
Even if you think these plagiarism accusations against Grande aren’t convincing, “7 Rings” isn’t 100% original. It borrows the melody of “My Favourite Things” from The Sound of Music, and 90% of its royalties went towards the estates of songwriters Rodgers and Hammerstein.