Although Chriannagate is officially over, that hasnâ€™t stopped the media from attackingÂ our Barbados beauty. When sheâ€™s not walking down red carpets or spotted hitting the hottest clubs from New York to Paris, Rihanna is dispelling rumors-that along with her mentor, Jay-Z, she is a “devil worshipper.”
This phenomenon started after the release of her second album, Good Girl Gone Bad.On the cover Ms. Ri Ri sports a short crop hairdo and black fingernails. A prediction of what was to come? Not hardly.
Â Itâ€™s a fact that when the album came out, Rihanna ushered in a new phase of dressing, and styling your hair. The crop became the â€œthingâ€ to do and every woman recognized Ri Ri as a woman on her way to fashion icon status. The black nails, was a â€œfashion doâ€ of 2007.
So when exactly did her â€œlegionsâ€ of fans start to turn on her. Was it that they simply couldnâ€™t understand that the 15-year-old girl, who was originally marketed as the â€œnew Beyonceâ€ had grown up and came into her own, or was it that, instead of singing about puppy love and dancing, she started singing about real things, like falling in and out of love; a concept-they couldnâ€™t accept?
For those who have paid close attention to Rihannaâ€™s evolution as an artist, her use of life and death metaphors shouldnâ€™t come as a surprise. Delving back into Ri Riâ€™s past, itâ€™s evident that all of her older works were in fact a direct forewarning of what was to come. On her sophomore album, A Girl Like Me, Rihanna recorded a song titled “Unfaithful.” In it she says that she doesnâ€™t want to be a murderer. Is she saying that sheâ€™s committing murder-hell no! What she is in fact saying (if you take the time to read the lyrics) is that, â€œthe fact that he knows sheâ€™s cheating/being unfaithful, is killing him inside.â€ Hence the hook, that reads:
â€œAnd I know that he knows Iâ€™m unfaithful/And it kills him inside to know that I am happy with some other guy/ I can see him dying/I donâ€™t wanna do this anymore/I donâ€™t wanna be the reason why/Every time I walk out the door/ I see him die a little more inside/I donâ€™t wanna hurt him anymore/I donâ€™t wanna take away his life/I donâ€™t wanna be a murderer.â€
Letâ€™s press play, and fast track to her Good Girl Gone Bad album, and dispel the myths correlated to her infamous â€œDisturbiaâ€ track. The video, if nothing else was creepy, disturbing, and weird, but so were Beyonceâ€™s â€œRing The Alarmâ€ and Ashantiâ€™s “The Way That I Love You.” They were meant to catch you off guard, talk about them, and comment on the fact that each female served her purpose-to look and act psychotic and crazy! Itâ€™s called entertainment for a reason!
However, the lyrics of Rihannaâ€™s song mean something completely different. Sheâ€™s not the crazy female who saw her husband/boyfriend cheating on her-contrary; Rihanna is instead acting like a mentally ill person.
The song starts off with her saying, â€œWhatâ€™s wrong with me? /Why do I feel like this? / Iâ€™m going crazy now.â€ Sheâ€™s telling you exactly what the song is about, but people are so caught up in the video, that they canâ€™t even hear what sheâ€™s saying. Coincidentally, the song has nothing to do with demons, devil worship, or any other occult concoction people might want to come up with. Instead the song is speaking on mental illness and the affects of it.
â€œNo more gas, in the red, canâ€™t even get it started/ Nothing heard, nothing said, canâ€™t even speak about it/On my life, on my head, donâ€™t wanna think about it/Feels like Iâ€™m going insane, yeah/ Itâ€™s a thief in the night to come and grab you/It can creep up inside you and consume you/A disease of the mind, it can control you/Itâ€™s too close for comfort.â€
Itâ€™s no secret that Ne-Yo is the driving force behind many ofÂ Rihanna’s greatest hits. In fact,Â Ne-Yo wroteÂ numerous songs on her new album Rated R, including the â€œcult classicâ€, no pun intended, â€œRussian Rouletteâ€, and the murderer song, â€œUnfaithful.” In fact-he writes the majority of all of her songs, on every album. Are you serious, you ask? Very! A lot of the â€œso-calledâ€ songs in which bloggers and spectators are condemning Rihanna for, werenâ€™t even written by her. For example, Chris Brown wrote “Disturbia,” and much of her Rated R album was written and produced by men, including: Justin Timberlake, The Dream, Tricky Stewart and will.i.am; with that said, the album itself is dark. Not because sheâ€™s a devil worshipper, but because when the album was made, she was going through her issues with Chris Brown; hence why many of the songs have to do with her process of reclaiming her life. The album- if nothing else is a complex portrait of a femaleâ€™s emotional process after enduring abuse.
In a review by the Los Angeles Times, writer Ann Powers says, â€œRated R belongs to that lonely figure, a self-styled X-Girl taken aback by her own vulnerability. After an intro that immediately cops to its maker’s agitation — it’s called “Mad House” — the album unfolds in quick turns, alternating acts of aggression with confessions of sorrow and confusion.â€ Continuing, Powers suggests that:
Â â€œWhen she sings, “What you did to me was a crime,” in “Cold Case Love,” co-penned by Justin Timberlake, what comes across isn’t recrimination. It’s regret. The songs on “Rated R” never have their singer apologize for the man who so seriously wronged her, but they do acknowledge the other emotions that come with separation, even from a partner who’s also a perpetrator. Those feelings include regret, tenderness and deep sadness.
By allowing herself to express the whole range of what an abused woman goes through, Rihanna has given those young fans for whom she feels responsible the greatest gift art can give: a portrait of lived experience that doesn’t step back from what’s hardest to admit.â€
That doesnâ€™t sound like â€œdevil worshipperâ€ music to me.