Rihanna has been having a great year. Featured on Kendrick Lamar’s song Royalty, she proved herself a unique rapper with an irresistible flow, a rare accomplishment for a major singer. Could you imagine Katy Perry or Ariana Grande rapping on a song? Only Rihanna is capable of making the genre switch look so seamless.
Even feminist and hard-to-please cultural critic Camille Paglia called Rihanna the new Princess Diana back in 2013. Paglia praised Rihanna for refusing to allow pesky romantic triangles bring her down or confine her, and it seems that has held true. Turns out that Rihanna is just above that stuff.
Her 2009 hit, Umbrella, is a classic record. It features some of the brightest and most artistically solid pop music of the 2000s. Jay-Z’s opening declaration that she is a “good girl gone bad” introduced her with a royal decree, and throughout the video, Rihanna alternates between sex appeal, mystery, and feminine subtlety.
Her last record, ANTI, is a foray into fractured experimental pop that was wildly successful, and proved that Rihanna is not content to stay in one place. Her song Work, as you well know as a living denizen of planet Earth, was a galaxy-tier hit all throughout 2016. But with all this shine, there are plenty of people out there trying to make her feel bad about herself.