Music

Ariana Grande's '7 Rings' Music Video, Explained  

Maggie Clancy
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If there's one thing Ariana Grande is the queen of, it's using social media to hype up her releases. The singer unleashed her single "7 Rings" late in the evening on January 17, 2019, and prior to its release, Grande posted hints and snippets of the "7 Rings" music video. These included snaps of her and her pup Toulouse surrounded by women bathed in fuchsia lighting. Fans could barely contain their excitement for the video, and once she released it, theories abounded as to what exactly "7 Rings" means. 

After the release of the video, Grande revealed a new tiny tattoo on her palm which was meant to read "7 Rings" in Japanese characters. Fans quickly pointed out that the tattoo in fact reads "shichirin," a type of barbeque grill. Apparently, the pop star couldn't stand the pain and intentionally left out a few key symbols. Luckily, Grande is actually a "huge fan of tiny barbeque grills." 

Like the "thank u, next" video, "7 Rings" is laden with subtext. Using the melody from The Sound of Music's "My Favorite Things," Grande flaunts her riches, singing, "I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it." She hints at her ability to provide for herself and whatever man happens to be on her arm - like she did with Pete Davidson - and she does it looking her best.

Grande Took Friends On A Jewelry Shopping Spree After Her Split With Pete Davidson
Grande Took Friends On A Jewel... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Ariana Grande's '7 Rings' Music Video, Explained
Photo:  Ariana Grande/YouTube

After Grande and Davidson ended their whirlwind romance, Grande took six of her best girl friends out shopping for rings. Five of the six recipients - Tayla Parx, Victoria Monet, Njomza, Alexa Luria, and Courtney Chipolone - make a cameo in the video. The squad got matching rings from Tiffany & Co.  after Grande ended the engagement. 

"You know how when you’re waiting at Tiffany’s they give you lots of champagne?" Grande asked during an interview with Billboard at the end of 2018, "They got us very tipsy, so we bought seven engagement rings, and when I got back to the studio I gave everybody a friendship ring."

She Might Be Making A Jab At Ex Pete Davidson
She Might Be Making A Jab At E... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Ariana Grande's '7 Rings' Music Video, Explained
Photo:  Ariana Grande/YouTube

"I bought a crib just for the closet, both his and hers, I want it, I got it, yeah," Grande sings. While this could be viewed as a straight flex, it could also be interpreted as a small slight towards her ex, Pete Davidson. 

When the two were together, Davidson often joked about how she paid rent on their $60,000 a month New York City penthouse while he was simply in charge of stocking the fridge. Could Grande be brushing off Davidson and suggesting that she didn't buy the place for them, but rather simply for the ample amount of closet space? It isn't an outright callout, but given the two's penchant for making subtle jabs at each other, it isn't out of the realm of possibility. 

Grande Hints At The Drama At Her Life - And Rises Above It
Grande Hints At The Drama At H... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Ariana Grande's '7 Rings' Music Video, Explained
Photo:  Ariana Grande/YouTube

As the song opens, Grande sings, "Been through some bad sh*t, I should be a sad b*tch/ Who woulda thought it'd turn me into a savage?" This is an obvious nod to her tumultuous private life. In May 2018, Grande broke up with longtime boyfriend Mac Miller and quickly started dating SNL regular Pete Davidson. Miller lost his life on September 7, 2018, after an accidental overdose, and in October 2018, Grande and Davidson broke off their engagement. 

Grande seems to have risen like a phoenix from the ashes - or at least that is what her lyrics tell us. At one point she croons to the tune of The Sound of Music's "My Favorite Things," singing, "Wearing a ring but ain't going to be no missus/ buy matching diamonds for six of my b*tches/ I'd rather spoil all my friends with my riches/ Think retail therapy's my new addiction."

Njomza Convinced Grande To Write The Song
Njomza Convinced Grande To Wri... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Ariana Grande's '7 Rings' Music Video, Explained
Photo:  Ariana Grande/YouTube

After Grande and her friends went on their Tiffany's shopping spree, Grande's friend Njomza suggested that she write a song about the experience. A fan on Twitter asked Grande about the song, and she explained part of its origin, saying, "it was very insane and funny. & on the way back to the stu njomza was like ‘b*tch, this gotta be a song lol’. so we wrote it that afternoon."

The massive champagne tower acts as a reference to the fun-filled, bubbly-fueled shopping trip. Njomza also worked with Grande's ex, Mac Miller, before he passed away in September 2018.