How 7 Rings by Ariana Grande Shows the Dark Side of Materialism | Teen Ink

How 7 Rings by Ariana Grande Shows the Dark Side of Materialism

March 14, 2020
By robinliu1906 BRONZE, Fremont, California
robinliu1906 BRONZE, Fremont, California
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When "7 Rings" was first released, the eerie shallowness of the song struck a chord in me. For an artist like Ariana Grande, who's emotions tend to shine through her tracks (such as "Get Well Soon"), "7 Rings" seemed like a giant blunder. The hollow, repetitive lyrics ("I want it, I got it") in the chorus almost seemed sterile, with no emotion or conviction whatsover. The music video didn't help either, as it was just a three minute long flex, with Ariana and others revelling in luxury. For an artist who's always held such a close connection with her fans, Ariana suddenly became unrelatable, another rich celebrity living the high life that almost none of us would ever be able to reach.

But the more I listened to the song, the more sad and dark it got. She equates happiness to materialistic pleasures ("Happiness is the same price of red-bottoms") constantly throughout the song, and repeatedly reaffirms her wealth in the chorus. But the repetitiveness, combined with her monotonous voice, makes the song seem as if Ariana was trying to convince herself of her own happiness. The phrase "I want it, I got it" became Ariana's mantra, repeated throughout the song to try and persuade herself that her excess of money is something to be happy about. However, no matter how many times Ariana repeats her mantra, cracks begin to form. Not only does Ariana use shopping as a form of happiness, but also as a way to cope with her own issues ("Whoever said money can't solve your problems, must not have had enough money to solve them"). Ariana thus fully delves into materialism, using cash and jewelry as a method of escape from her issues. She even admits to it in the song, calling "retail therapy" her "new addiction", which further shows the dangers of materialism. For Ariana, her use of luxury as a crutch begins to consume her, leaving only a hollow husk of herself, a person with no values except for the shallowest form of happiness.

On the surface, "7 Rings" is just another pop song, boasting about riches and luxury. But underneath the glitter and gold, it hides a deep and dark message: the emptiness of materialism. "7 Rings" emboides the husk that remains once one resorts to hedonistic pleasures, and remains purposefully hollow to serve as a warning to all. 

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