Original or Remix: Ariana Grande’s 34+35

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Ever since Ariana Grande released her album Positions last October, some songs on the tracklist have received more buzz than others, especially the album’s second track, 34+35. 34+35 received rave reviews from Grande’s fans at the album’s release with multiple trends arising on social media, from TikTok dances to aspiring musicians putting their own verses on the songs to disk jockeys mixing the song with their other favorite Ariana hits.

Then, a reckoning came. In January 2021, Grande released the song’s remix with rap icons Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion. Originally, Grande planned to release the original 34+35 with Doja Cat on the song, but later scrapped the idea. Most fans were disappointed, while others claimed Ariana Grande did right by not releasing the original with Doja Cat on the track and preferred Doja’s feature in the third track of Grande’s album, Motive.

With many 34+35 debates going on, students at DePauw gave their input on whether they preferred the original or the remix.

“I honestly haven’t heard the remix besides once, but I listen to the original version all the time because it’s in my playlist. I honestly don’t have a reason [to not listen] because the remix has three great female voices,” junior Kimberly Bello-Ross said. 

According to sophomore Brandise Newell, “Both are great, but I prefer the original because I specifically like Ariana’s third verse and also feel like the original flows better.”

“I have mixed feelings about both. I like the original because it’s Ariana Grande, but I do like Doja and Megan as a whole, but I feel like they are repeated rappers, and I need different rappers and voices,” sophomore Juli Guillen said. “Nonetheless, I will sing and rap to Doja and Megan’s verse because they slap.”

“[The] remix is giving more! It’s honestly better in my opinion,” junior Laura Alejandre said. 

“The original because I’m still having mixed feelings on Doja after the controversy and I was having a hard [time] resonating to Megan’s voice on the track…I love her, but I don’t know if that was a good track for her to jump on,” said junior Diamond Rebeiro. 

Doja Cat found herself in hot water over the summer in 2020 after news surfaced of her participating in racist chat rooms along with a song she created in 2015 that used a racist term that originated on 4chan. Doja Cat has apologized and denied all allegations against herself since then and has continued to once again bounce back from cancel culture.

In essence, Ariana’s original has the typical Ariana flair all of her fans love with the rhymes hopping from line to line, the natural flow from the chorus and managing to keep the same energy as the previous verses. While the original is superior to the remix, Doja’s verse stuck out more than Megan Thee Stallion’s verse and didn’t seem misplaced or seemed as if it was thrown into the song at the very last minute. Though listeners have mixed feelings about Doja Cat after her scandal online and Megan is making a steady rise in the rap game, her verse flowed better with the song than Megan’s.