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December 09, 2009  | by: Jecquea Howsie


Although Chriannagate is officially over, that hasn’t stopped the media from attacking our Barbados beauty. When she’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.

 It’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 “thing” to do and every woman recognized Ri Ri as a woman on her way to fashion icon status. The black nails, was a “fashion do” of 2007.

So when exactly did her “legions” of fans start to turn on her. Was it that they simply couldn’t understand that the 15-year-old girl, who was originally marketed as the “new Beyonce” 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 couldn’t accept?

For those who have paid close attention to Rihanna’s evolution as an artist, her use of life and death metaphors shouldn’t come as a surprise. Delving back into Ri Ri’s past, it’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 doesn’t want to be a murderer. Is she saying that she’s committing murder-hell no! What she is in fact saying (if you take the time to read the lyrics) is that, “the fact that he knows she’s cheating/being unfaithful, is killing him inside.” Hence the hook, that reads:

“And I know that he knows I’m unfaithful/And it kills him inside to know that I am happy with some other guy/ I can see him dying/I don’t wanna do this anymore/I don’t wanna be the reason why/Every time I walk out the door/ I see him die a little more inside/I don’t wanna hurt him anymore/I don’t wanna take away his life/I don’t wanna be a murderer.”

Let’s press play, and fast track to her Good Girl Gone Bad album, and dispel the myths correlated to her infamous “Disturbia” track. The video, if nothing else was creepy, disturbing, and weird, but so were Beyonce’s “Ring The Alarm” and Ashanti’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! It’s called entertainment for a reason!

However, the lyrics of Rihanna’s song mean something completely different. She’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, “What’s wrong with me? /Why do I feel like this? / I’m going crazy now.” She’s telling you exactly what the song is about, but people are so caught up in the video, that they can’t even hear what she’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.

“No more gas, in the red, can’t even get it started/ Nothing heard, nothing said, can’t even speak about it/On my life, on my head, don’t wanna think about it/Feels like I’m going insane, yeah/ It’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/It’s too close for comfort.”


Rihanna & Chris Brown

It’s no secret that Ne-Yo is the driving force behind many of Rihanna’s greatest hits. In fact, Ne-Yo wrote numerous songs on her new album Rated R, including the “cult classic”, no pun intended, “Russian Roulette”, and the murderer song, “Unfaithful.” In fact-he writes the majority of all of her songs, on every album. Are you serious, you ask? Very! A lot of the “so-called” songs in which bloggers and spectators are condemning Rihanna for, weren’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; with that said, the album itself is dark. Not because she’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 female’s emotional process after enduring abuse.

In a review by the Los Angeles Times, writer Ann Powers says, “Rated 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.” Continuing, Powers suggests that:

 “When 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.”

That doesn’t sound like “devil worshipper” music to me.

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