Considering Rihanna has already released seven albums in her ten-year career, it’s no surprise that she’s somewhat bored of performing the same hits that once felt fresh, but now feel tired. With this in mind, Rihanna stated of her next record, “I just wanted to focus on things that felt real, that felt soulful, that felt forever… I wanted an album that I could perform in 15 years. Not any songs that were burnt out.”
With this sentiment as the prelude to hearing her first single, not so timelessly titled “Bitch Better Have My Money,” it seems unlikely that such lyrics as, “Bitch better have my money/Pay me what you owe me” will sound as “evergreen” fifteen years from now (though it’s reassuring that she’s aiming to have a career as long as Madonna’s, who will have already single-handedly fought the ageism against female pop stars by then).
While the song itself is in true Rihanna form in terms of declarative independence and a beat you can dance to (the track was produced by Deputy), it is certainly not enduring in a lyrical sense–though the theme will probably become more resonant as there are fewer jobs in the future. Being that Rihanna has released a new album practically every year since 2005, there seems to be a bit more pressure to be “mature” on R8, as it’s been three years since her last record, Unapologetic, came out. And by mature, one means a lot of Agent Provacateur.