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.
First DJ Booth Appearance:
"Umbrella ft. Jay-Z" (2007)
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