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The Rihanna who audiences first fell in love with is a far cry from the sometimes scary, overly sexual singer that she is in 2012, with alleged connections to the Illuminati. When Rihanna was first taken under Jay-Z's wing and signed to Def Jam Records in 2005, her lyrics were bubblegum cheerful, meaningless but catchy. Her early singles like "Pon de Replay" and "If It's Lovin' that You Want" created island rhythms that were safe to be played around children. And even when she upped the ante, performing slightly more provocative songs on her third studio album "Good Girl Gone Bad" in 2007, Rihanna was still loveable. Somewhere along the path she took a wrong turn and ended up here, with lyrics so vulgar at times, one can't help but cringe.
Perhaps it was coincidence or perhaps it was the trauma she suffered after being beaten by then-boyfriend Chris Brown in 2009, but the past three years have brought demise to Rihanna's music. The good girl gone bad is truthfully just bad. From a single about sadomasochism in 2010, to 2011's "Cockiness" where she requests a sex slave and then a crude ode to birthday cake in 2012, Rihanna is becoming unlistenable.
Rihanna's new image is angsty, foxy short dyed-hair to go along with her sassy songs. But where her goal was be edgy, she has instead gone off the deep end. On Nov.19 Rihanna will be releasing her seventh album "Unapologetic." She is gearing up for her 777 tour, performing seven different concerns in seven different countries in seven days. With all this publicity, it would seem that Rihanna is bigger than ever. Yet as her lyrics get more and more crude her audience is increasingly limited. Whereas her new songs cater to a select adults-only crowd, fans yearn for the "Rih-Rih" who anyone could dance along to, for her lyrics that didn't have to be repeated in a whisper.
Rihanna has undeniable talent, a voice that rivals Beyoncé and a sense of fashion akin to Lady Gaga. Yet at the rate her lyrics are going her career will be cut short, plagued by vulgarity that is barely able to be radio censored. "Diamonds," currently number five on Billboard's Hot 100, is the first single off of "Unapologetic." The song is reminiscent of the Rihanna of yesteryear, complete with a Caribbean accent and a positive message of pure love, on a track that anyone can hum shamelessly.
Perhaps "Diamonds" is an indicator of the type of music to come from Rihanna, or perhaps it's an anomaly. Either way, I'll be waiting for the good girl gone bad, to once again go good.
Mimi Verdonk. More »