ICYMI, there’s a Rihanna single. It’s called ‘FourFiveSeconds’, features Kanye West and Paul McCartney, and sounds very ‘vibey’. It’s not on YouTube, so here’s a video of a very excited Rihanna after it went onto iTunes:
I was stood in the crowd at Heaven last night and at least three other people were losing their shit cos new Rihanna. It’s a good N18 comedown song, btw (although I thought I was in a dream to be honest).
But what’s it for? Let’s examine the ‘evidence’.
There’s a Rihanna/Kanye West/Paul McCartney album on the way
It’s a bit weird that Rihanna has dropped a song with these two just weeks after Kanye dropped a song with Paul. I mean, it could just be the McCartney influence, but it would be odd to hear two ‘left-field’ songs from two different albums that sound very similar.
Equally, there’s this photo Rihanna put on Instagram, which looks a lot like the cover of Kanye’s ‘Only One’.
And then there’s ‘Kiss It Better’, which is produced by Jeff Bhasker, who has produced a lot of Kanye’s albums post-‘808’s’. It sounds a bit like ‘FourFiveSeconds’, but does so in a way that sounds more like a single than a “P!nk Track 9” (Thanks Popjustice for the perfect description).
Another ‘notable’ thing is that Rihanna and Kanye have been together in the studio. Which means very little – they could have been working on this one song – but they too could have been putting the final touches to the collaborative album.
This could be really good, but only if they have a triple-collab as good as ‘Bang Bang’.
It’s for the ‘Home’ soundtrack
It’s unlikely, but we still know very little about the soundtrack. The film’s out in two months time, so I guess we should have heard something by now. Imagine if this was it. At least it’s better than ‘World Peace’, which sounds very ‘Home’.
It’s a one-off
Perhaps this is not for a thing. Perhaps the album is wall-to-wall bangers, and ‘FourFiveSeconds’ doesn’t really fit on. Rihanna obviously really likes the song, so she could have just thrown it out there as a single so that it wasn’t wasted. You know, in the same way that Marina and The Diamonds didn’t put ‘Radioactive’ on the standard version of ‘Electra Heart’.
More artists should do one-off singles, tbh. Sometimes music shouldn’t be made-for-radio, but it still warrants a great music video. That’s what is so good about the last Beyonce album. No one would necessarily want a video for a song like ‘Mine’ or ‘Heaven’, but both have very good videos.
The new album is just ‘vibey’
Here’s the thing: as much as there could be a Kanye/Rihanna/Macca album on the way, ‘FourFiveSeconds’ is released under Westbury Road Entertainment, which is Rihanna’s own label. The Kanye one is released under Good Music.
Therefore, perhaps since starting her own label, Rihanna just wanted to make an album that she really liked. The last two albums derailed because she didn’t put much effort into promoting them.
It’s like when Janet Jackson moved to Virgin and released ‘The Velvet Rope’. It sounds nothing like anything she had done before, and works as a cohesive album (it’s one of my favourite albums btw – I heard ‘Go Deep’ out earlier this week for the first time and it was perfection). Rihanna might just be getting ‘artsy fartsy’.
Take the newly registered song ‘A Night’, for example. It samples ‘Only If For A Night’ by Florence + The Machine. Which could be incredible, because hey, that Florence + The Machine song is really good. Do you know what would be good though? Rihanna covering ‘Never Let Me Go’.
Oh, and then there’s the cover art for ‘FourFiveSeconds’. The double denim is very similar to that of the one she wore on the ‘R8’ photoshoot. I mean zzzzzzz if she’s churning out double denim again, but the picture itself looks like something a rockstar would release (or at least a GAP ad campaign). Maybe she’s just going rock. Let’s hope there’s something as good as ‘Fire Bomb’ on there.
It’s all a joke
Well, the song is ‘FFS’ after all.