Rihanna might be the hardest working woman in music. For all the inappropriately sexy photos she produces, the 25-year-old has released seven albums in seven years, earning 12 No. 1 singles in the process.
Her failure to produce a follow up to Unapologetic in the last 12 months, however, brings her signature breakneck pace to a halt. This rare absence on the New Releases charts suggests she’s tired of constantly churning out other people’s songs or simply needs a chance to unwind. Or both.
As her 777 tour wound down last week, “Diamonds” became Rihanna’s 12th chart topping single, making Rihanna the pop star with the most No. 1 singles ever, an unusual honor when you consider that she had yet to put out a chart topping album to match. But this week that’s changed, as Unapologetic lands atop the charts this week, earning the star yet another plaque for her wall and her first ever No. 1 album. Seventh time’s a charm?
#Rihannaplane landed last night in New York, and while we wait on the final dispatches from our brave colleagues who were onboard, we thought we would take a moment to start looking at the album that has inspired the whole thing but been seemingly tucked a back seat pocket for the duration of the seven days. Who has time to talk dub-break downs when there’s Ace to be sipped and buses to catch! We get it.
But Unapologetic marks Rihanna’s seventh turn, and it brings to the table much to be reckoned with regarding quality and quantity and he-who-shall-not-be-named. There is also Rihanna’s confidence and swaggering deviance, and of course: “Diamonds.”
How ironic. Today is the release of Nicki Minaj‘s The Re-Up and Rihanna‘s Unapologetic. It’s not the first time the two pop stars have found themselves unintentionally gunning for the same trophy. At September’s VMAs Nicki won over Rih for Best Female Video to which Rih Rih sat by idly without offering one single hand clap. But Rihanna took home the biggest award of the night winning the VMA for “We Found Love.” But where was their camaraderie? Read more…
A needed break from those Rihanna club bangers, “Half Of Me” is only a bonus track, but perhaps one of the most honest Rihanna’s ever sang. Written by singer/songwriter Emeli Sandé, a You Oughta Know artist whose track “Heaven” hit the top of the U.K. charts a few months back, “Half Of Me” starts almost where “Diamonds” left off — with Rih in her finest octave, singing about the pitfalls of a life in the spotlight.
Perhaps an allusion to Rihanna’s famous Instagram antics, she sings, “You’re entitled to your opinion, sitting shake your head at my decision/ I guess the kind of songs that I’ve been singing, make it seem as if I was winning/ But you saw me on the television… but that’s just the half of it.” Yep, those commenters can be harsh.
But if you know Rihanna like we do (BFFs, for life) you know that won’t stop her from doing her, no matter the consequences: “You know me/ Everybody knows that I’m crazy/ Sticks and stones, they never break me/ And I’m the type who don’t give a f*ck /And that’s just the half of it.”
Quick! Hit play before this disappears. The long-awaited Rihanna and Chris Brown duet has leaked its way onto YouTube and with confirming previous evidence, that it is indeed good. Playing off Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel”, the two extract the hook “Ain’t nobody’s business but mine and my baby’s”, wrapping it around an infectious dance beat. Unlike “The Way You Make Me Feel”, however, these two are way past the wooing stage. Chris and Rihanna take turns spitting love odes for each other, even offering ”Let’s make out in this Lexus” — an uncomfortable phrasing considering the very real life situation the two were in that took place in the front seat of Chris’ car in 2009.
History aside, the song speaks for itself and it’s a good one. Check it out before it possibly gets whisked off the web til next week.
Everyone except the 150 media people traveling with Rihanna on her #777tour are brewing with jealousy today. If you’re one of Rihanna’s 26 million Twitter followers, or read any entertainment site on the Internet, you’re aware of the promo Rihanna and her team put together for her 7th album, Unapologetic. VH1 has a front row seat to the 7 days, 7 cities, 7 shows extravaganza; and today Rihanna hopped on the plane to say hello to the press in a way that only Rihanna would. “Theres an emergency. Code 777. Everybody buckle up your seat belts! LETS GET DRUUUNK!” she said over the plane’s intercom. Read more…
Rihanna was on Saturday Night Live over the weekend to perform her blindingly bright new single “Diamonds” and then new and truly beautiful Unapologetic track called “Stay.” On the album she’ll be joined by space-y singer/songwriter Mikky Ekko, but she stood alone on the SNL sound stage, with only a spare piano line and the occasional cymbal flourish to back her new-found voice.
“Stay” is a rare Rihanna ballad, and a patient and particularly emotive one at that. With the past few records, Rihanna’s found her grove with the sort of literally dazzling dance track that “Diamonds” is, tracks that make good on her unique but not not exactly impactful voice. But when “Diamonds” came out, we noticed that she was experimenting with her vocals and sounding at times almost like Sia or Lana Del Rey. She took that one step further with “Stay,” a song that finally has her really singing. And so she might still be singing about Chris Brown (“Not really sure how to feel about it / Something in the way you move / Makes me feel like I can’t live without you / And it takes me all the way / I want you to stay.”), but at least she’s doing it in a different way. We just even more excited about Apologetic‘s release next week.
Rihanna has never been shy about her preferred method of kicking back — in fact, she fully embodied it for Halloween this year — but we hadn’t anticipated that her habits might be rich as this. The brand new video for “Diamonds,” the first single off of Unapologetic, which is out November 19th, finds the Bajan hottie rolling-up a blunt’s worth of the shiniest diamonds we have ever seen and smoking them. An #unapologetic move if we’ve ever seen one, the diamond high has her floating in some crystalline waters and spinning in a wide opened field; running down dark roads and galloping alongside racing horses; throwing sneaky Roc-diamonds and hand holding with a curiously familiar tatted up fellow. So, uh, how do we get ourselves some like this? That deluxe box set comes with at least a crystal or two, right? Read more…