Rihanna caused quite the commotion with her last single Russian Roulette (mostly because of its quasi-porn picture), but despite all the attention Roulette hasn’t exactly blazed up the charts. Undaunted, Rihanna’s back to try again with the aptly-named Hard, a track that finds the usually sugar sweet Rihanna taking a much more street-oriented approach. Emphasizing the new gritty side of Rihanna is atypically somber production work from the usually bouncing production duo of The-Dream and Tricky Stewart - Umbrella this is not - and an appropriately dark verse from the gravel-voiced Young Jeezy. But the real story here is Rihanna, who officially kills any memory of the once innocent young girl she once was with a obscenity-laced performance. Ironically, Hard will likely be too hard to become a mainstream radio smash, but I have to give it up to Rihanna, it sounds like she’s really taking some risks on her upcoming album Rated R, due out Nov. 23.
Written by Nathan S. on 11/3/09
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"Umbrella ft. Jay-Z" (2007)
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