What’s Going on with Rihanna?

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If Taylor Swift is our Type-A princess, Rihanna’s our DGAF queen. And that’s great, even if – personally – I am about twenty six times closer to Swift. The Swifts of the world (no matter how successful they become) will always look longingly at the laissez-faire Rihannas. It’s why Marnies will always be Marnies, and Jessas will always be … kind of annoying, but annoying in a cool way. So that partly answers why Rihanna’s latest promotional campaign started off with a bizarro-twang three-way with Kanye and one quarter of the Beatles and is now entering its second, proper stage with Bitch Better Have My Money. Have you heard BBHMM (I actually like how it’s been stylised as that)? It was kind of difficult to on Thursday, because you had to download an app to be able to listen to three separate ten second samples of it. That’s a new level of bewildering. And the whole thing? It’s aggressively fine, for a filler track on the second half of an album. As a lead single? It’s no We Found Love. And that’s fine; not every lead single can start with an immortal reference to yellow diamonds. But as the premier pop stylist du jour, it means that Rihanna sets trends for the pop-star circuit and if everything is going to sound like a watered down version of BBHMM which NYMag calls ‘Ratchet Heaven’ – I do not know how excited I can feel about pop music’s prospects this summer. We Found Love spawned Ellie Goulding’s I Need Your Love; it was responsible for mainstreaming EDM from 2011 to early 2014. BBHMM‘s legacy seems less appealing (it also sounds like Rihanna does Kanye, and Rihanna does not – and should not do – refried). Let’s hope the third (!) single will be a little more digestible, because summer is just around the corner and there are no immediate contenders yet (unless Swift releases New Romantics as a single which – ha!). FWIW, I enjoy FourFiveSeconds because ‘all of my kindness is taken for weakness’ is something more people need to hear on Top 40 radio:

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA About Henry Wong

Sometimes, I write about music. Pretty cool. You can follow me on Twitter @henellenthorpe, find on Instagram @hennnners or even go old school and e-mail me at henry@canyouhearthis.co.uk

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