In a world overwhelmed by half-hearted basicness and major label boardroom-curated mediocrity, Rihanna is our only hope. (Well, aside from Madonna. And Britney, whenever she decides she’s not too busy in Vegas.)
Just think about it for a moment: Every single is pop perfection. Every album track, too. Is that open to debate? No. It’s objective science. When it comes to her lead singles, especially, she’s never disappointed. Surprised? Quite often. But ultimately, she’s only delivered greatness…and a supreme lack of #phucks to those who might disagree.
It’s been two long years since 2012’s Unapologetic — DECADES in RiRi time. To be fair, she did give us several singles off of the album, including “Pour It Up” and “What Now,” as well as that Shaki-RiRi duet at the beginning of 2014 that nobody remembered to forget to remember.
But the real Rih-turn is nearly upon us: There are loud rumblings now that the lead single from Rih’s eighth album, temporarily dubbed R8, is coming very soon.
Let us now rih-member why RiRi is our most necessary Navy commander and Illuminati princess, year after year.
From the very first single in 2005, she was a goddamn star.
…and she only got better within a year’s time…
…to the point where, by 2007, she’d already delivered her first genuinely iconic song. Proof? Just say the word “Umbrella” in a crowded room and wait for someone to inevitably echo back: “Ella, ella, ey…” It’s ubiquitous.
With her fame reaching an all-time high by 2008 (that Rihanna reign would, ultimately, never let up), RiRi started to explore her sound and style, getting edgier and delivering more visually compelling videos than ever before.
When things suddenly turned grim in her personal life, the music followed suit. An aching power ballad? Not exactly popular on the radio at the time of “Boom Boom Pow” and “Poker Face” — she made it popular.
…And when she let the light in a year later — beginning with her playful Rated R smash “Rude Boy” and leading into her most joyous record Loud, the entire world danced along.
By 2011, she delivered one of the greatest dance-pop records of the past decade (not hyperbole); a record that strangely refuses to grow tired. No matter how much radio overplayed the song, no matter how many times it bumped from the club speakers, “We Found Love” is as euphoric as the day it premiered.
And, as Top 40 radio eventually worked itself up into a frenzied ‘EDM’-fueled tizzy of LMFAO and Flo Rida, she swerved left once again: “Diamonds” delivered epic drama, massive vocals and chills for days.
Here we are now, two years later — and it’s about to happen again. You ready for the next chapter of Rih’s reign?