Listen to Rihanna versus Prince "Sexxtroversy" (Club Clique Fix)
Who would have ever thought that Rihanna could sound so incredibly funky? Listen to a mash up that was put together by the savvy soundboard folks of Club Clique who mixed up Prince's classic "Controversy" and Rihanna's unreleased "Sexuality." Produced by Stargate, "Sexuality" was recorded for Rihanna's "Rated R" but was left on the cutting room floor during the final compilation of the album.
This dirty romp between two chart icons is oozing with the dirty smear of '80s bass-driven funk that places Rihanna directly besides Prince protégés Appolonia Six and Sheila E. Lick it up! And this very special rendezvous may very well give us an early taste for a collaboration between the two for the 53nd GRAMMY Awards next February. Hot.
Listen to Rihanna "Rockstar 101" (Chew Fu Teacher Pet Fixxx)
It looks like Chew Fu has made a career out of turning Rihanna into a hot, sizzling dancefloor queen with his remixes for the pop star. All of his revamps are now bundled on a very special Rihanna "Rated R" remix compilation that was released on iTunes this week. Listen to Chew Fu's latest greatest remix of Rihanna's new single "Rockstar 101" below (MP3 right here). Many people and critics weren't feeling "Rated R" when it first dropped but with a strong aesthetic (courtesy of Roisin Muprhy's hubby Simon Henwood) and a strong musical point of view, I still believe this is the entertainer's best effort to day. Can't wait her to see her live show this summer.
Rihanna Works With Simon Henwood on Creative Direction for "Rated R"
Here's a little tidbit about Rihanna you may not know about...
None other than Roisin Murphy's partner Simon Henwood is the creative force behind the brand and styling concept of Rihanna's new album "Rated R." Henwood is a celebrated painter, filmmaker, set designer and brand visionary who was enlisted by Rihanna's team to be the overall creative director for the pop star's global imaging.
Henwood conceived the look and feel for the logo, album, videos and TV spots - and is now working on Rihanna's forthcoming world tour, including the show's stage design, costumes and background visuals.
Rihanna and Henwood worked closely together in the months leading up to the album release. "We talked extensively for months before the album's release,
and looked at every aspect of the campaign- from styling to stage ideas
and visuals," he tells ArjanWrites.com. "Everything comes from the music, and this is her most
personal album to date - so everything draws from it in one way or another."
"There is a great story that will unfold through the campaign, and finally reveal on the tour.. partly inspired by the film - The Omega Man and of course ideas from the songs - as well as Rihanna's personal visions."
One of the most captivating element of the "Rated R" branding is the "R" logo. "The logo is a two edge sword (literally)," Henwood explains to me. "One side symbolizes strength and the other vulnerability. I designed it as a 3D object first that changes form in rotation as an animation - It forms the logo shape at the end of the loop. "
"I also designed it as a physical object that translated to a "badass" solid silver bracelet - that she wore for the album shoot.
Art publisher Rizzoli will release a photo book documenting Henwood’s work for the pop star in 2010
Rihanna Speaks Her Truth on "Rated R"
As one of the most celebrated entertainers in the world, Rihanna is no stranger to making headlines. But nothing compared to the intense media scrutiny that followed that dark day in February. After being thrown into the 24/7 public spotlight, the singer had to deal with issues that were intensely personal and had many far-reaching implications.
That is where the story of "Rated R" starts.
After releasing three albums filled with troublefree pop hits, Rihanna clearly wasn't in the mindset of creating something similar to please fans and critics. She had bigger issues on her mind. "Rated R" turns out to be the singer's ultimate effort to cope with the pain, anger and soul-searching that followed the violent breakup with Chris Brown.
This new record is filled with conflicting emotions that clearly demonstrate how torn she was while working on this album. Sometimes she lets anger get the best of here ("Mad House," "G4L") and then there are times her music is soaked in heartache and disappointment ("Stupid In Love"). Balancing between confidence and vulnerability, the gritty "Rated R" shows off a more mature Rihanna who is more multi-faceted than I imagined.
She meticulously analyzes her toxic relationship with Brown on "Cold Case Lover" that she co-wrote with Justin Timberlake. She sings, "I don’t need proof. I’m torn apart and you know it. What you did to me was a crime. And I let you reach me one more time. But that’s enough. Should have investigated. But love blinded eyes."
Musically, this is record does not pack as many straight up hits as her previous releases. But artistically, this is her best effort to date. On "Rated R," Rihanna doesn't hold back and she doesn't pretend. Instead she uses music as an outlet for her hope, pain, frustration and anger. She had to get it out of her system in order to move on the brighter times.
Rihanna speaks her truth no holds barred. In a time when authenticity rules, there isn't possibly anything more that you could want from an artist.
New Rihanna Demo "Wash My Hands (Of You)"
Listen to this brand-new demo track that Jackie Boyz recorded for Rihanna. It's a major tune that has mega hit written all over it. Should she take it you think?