Ariana Grande’s ‘Problem’ Has More Than A Few Unexpected Throwbacks

From J.Lo to the Ying Yang Twins, did you hear all the references?

Ariana Grande released her new track “Problem” featuring Iggy Azalea on Monday, and the song is refreshing in the midst of the anthemic rock, emotional ballads and selfie songs that are currently inhabiting the airwaves.

The song is so excitingly new but also decidedly so retro — the kind of ’90s-era R&B sound that Ariana has admitted to striving for. The cranky sax, the whispered chorus, the airy harmonies and Iggy’s snarky feature &#8212 all tied in with a juicy modern beat.

While “Problem” is probably the freshest pop song of the moment, little tidbits from the track draw reference to songs we loved 10 years ago. If parts of the song sound familiar, it may be that Ariana and her team pulled bits and pieces from hits of days’ past. It’s not a vintage throwback for the 20-year-old, seeing as she’s only going back a few years for inspo, so let’s call it her mini-throwback.

Here are a few songs where Grande may have gotten her groove for “Problem.”

1. “Get Right” – J.Lo
When it comes to saxophone loops, J.Lo’s “Get Right” was all over it. It’s the same notes over and over, but its attitude doesn’t let you zone out, reaching out and pulling you right into the song if you’re someone who tends to drift away. (I remember first hearing the song on my bus ride to school in 2004 and thinking that the sax had no place in pop/hip-hop music. I was wrong.)

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