Hitmaker. Chart-topper. The best selling digital artist PERIOD. 14 #1 singles. Fashion icon, LEGEND. That is Robyn Rihanna Fenty. It is she.
Depending on who you ask, the term legend is defined in so many ways. When you hear someone say “Rihanna is a legend,” some people will laugh and say she isn’t..or that she isn’t a legend yet. What makes someone a legend? Years of being in the industry? Their vocal capabilities? The impact they make on the industry AND the world? Well sweetie, Rihanna is a legend because of all of those things then. Debate with your mama. 🤷🏾♂️
Rihanna’s discography is EASILY one of the most versatile, & most compelling out of the new generation of artists..& it is not always about her voice. Rihanna’s ear for music is stellar. She knows how to make catchy songs that stand the test of time (Umbrella, We Found Love, Only Girl (In The World,) Diamonds, Work).
She knows how to reel you in with ballads that make you so emotional (Stay, Love on the Brain, Cold Case Love, Love The away You Lie Pt. 2,) Unfaithful). She knows how to switch it up & discuss social issues + other American issues through her music 👇🏾
& her voice is amazing!! There’s numerous occasions where she served vocals (Google is free, sisters). No one is saying Rihanna is the next Whitney or Mariah..no one wants her to be. She can only be Rihanna. BUT, what I am saying is that her voice is extremely unique, in its own lane & IS one of the most influential voices in this new generation of music artists. I mean, we can turn on the radio and listen to a plethora of chicks who sound just like Rihanna, but what do I know? 🤷🏾♂️ people even create & write songs with Rihanna in mind..so what does that tell you?
2017 was a great year for Rihanna! 3 of the best singles from 2017 that Rihanna was featured on were Loyalty, Wild Thoughts & Lemon.
Loyalty with Kendrick & Rihanna shows her rapping, & her flow on this song is just immaculate!
Wild Thoughts is the song of the YEAR in my eyes. Rihanna, Bryson Tiller & Dj Khaled was a great collaboration..but Rihanna shines in this sultry hit. Sampling Carlos Santana’s Maria Maria, Wild Thoughts is an unforgettable bop!
Rihanna channels her inner rapper on N.E.R.D.’s Lemon. Need I Say more? 🤗
Well, let’s take a look at her discography..& why our good sis from the left side of an island called Barbados is worthy of her flowers. 🤗
Music of the Sun (2005):
Favorites: Pon De Replay, Here I Go Again, If It’s Lovin’ That You Want, The Last Time, That La La La,Willing To Wait, Rush, There’s a Thug In My Life.
Rihanna’s debut album pays homage to her island roots. My review of this album gives you in detail the meaning behind it..& why it’s important to add it into her collection of best albums (Music of the Sun – Review) .
A Girl Like Me (2006):
Favorites: SOS, Kisses Don’t Lie, Unfaithful, Final Goodbye, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, We Ride, P.S. (I’m Still Not Over You,) A Million Miles Away.
I feel like Rihanna’s earlier albums were the definition of underrated. Her songs are always radio friendly, but this record has plenty of dancehall inspired pop bops. The touching ballad Final Goodbye always gets me in my feelings. Some of her best songs rest here: Break It Off, Kisses Don’t Lie, Crazy Little Thing Called Love & “P.S.”
Good Girl Gone Bad/Reloaded (2007/2008):
Favorites: Rehab, Umbrella, Push Up On Me, Breakin’ Dishes, Don’t Stop The Music, Hate That I Love You, Say It, Sell Me Candy, Lemme Get That, Question Existing, Take A Bow, Disturbia.
The album that made Rihanna an international superstar turns 10 years old this year! Her signature song Umbrella rests here, & sets the tone for the remainder of the album: a range of emotions from Rihanna..dance club pop jams, self reflection ballads, breakup anthems & lovely tunes that you can jam to with your lover.
Rated R (2009):
Favorites: Wait Your Turn, Stupid In Love, Rockstar 101, Russian Roulette, Fire Bomb, G4L, Te Amo, Rude Boy, Cold Case Love, The Last Song, Hole In My Head.
Rated R was developed during a tough period in Rihanna’s life, so it wasn’t a surprise that a lot of the music showcased how Rih felt. The painful ballad Stupid In Love, the underrated Cold Case Love & The Last Song shows how much she had TIME!
Rated R is very dark compared to her previous work, but Rihanna had to squeeze a pop bop inside of the album (Rude Boy,) & where she channeled into a bad ass (Wait Your Turn, Rockstar 101, Fire Bomb, G4L). Before ANTI came along, I felt as if Rated R was her most important album to date. Get into it!
Favorites: S&M, What’s My Name, Fading, California King Bed, Man Down, Complicated, Skin, Love The Way You Lie Pt. 2.
Loud is EASILY one of my favorite albums and eras. It’s her biggest commercial album next to Good Girl Gone Bad & with good reasons. Every song is memorable, & timeless (YES I SAID TIMELESS). The most meaningful song on this album is Man Down, which had a video that showcases a rape victim murdering her attacker.
It caused a lot of controversy, but discussions about domestic violence/rape are extremely important to have..& through music, Rihanna highlighted how important it is to show what women go through.
There are light moments on Loud: the playful S&M, the coy What’s My Name, Raining Men & the sensual Skin. An all around great album, Loud is an album that HAS to be in your album collection.
Talk That Talk (2011):
Favorites: Where Have You Been, We Found Love, Cockiness, Birthday Cake, We All Want Love, Drunk on Love, Roc Me Out, Watch N Learn, Farewell, Red Lipstick, Do Ya Thang.
Talk That Talk has so many bops! This is a Rihanna album that you can listen to with zero skips. Bad gal riri showed her soft side on wonderful ballads like We All Want Love & Farewell..& the great bops Birthday Cake, TTT & Cockiness is perfection. & don’t get me started on the playful dance jams Watch N Learn, Where Have You Been & We Found Love. Iconic!
Favorites: Phresh Out The Runway, Diamonds, Numb, Pour It Up, Loveeeeeee Song, Jump, What Now, Nobody’s Business, Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary, Stay, Get It Over With, Lost In Paradise, Half of It.
Unapologetic is one of my favorite eras. Why? Well it was the first time I’ve ever had the pleasure to see her live, but her musical growth on this album is amazing. Compared to her best albums, Unapologetic stands alone with no apologies. Greatness.
I think her best vocal moments rest here (Diamonds & Stay). When she performs Diamonds & Stay live, she gives them her all. Those have to be her favorite songs to perform (Look up the Concert for Valor & SNL performances).
Even the non-album singles are greatness.
Favorites: Consideration, Kiss It Better, Work, Desperado, Woo, Needed Me, Yeah, I Said It, Same Ol’ Mistakes, Love On The Brain, Higher, Close To You, Sex With Me.
ANTI has its own review that I wrote last year (ANTI Review)
…BUT! I will say that ANTI is a strong contender for Rihanna’s magnum opus. This was an album where Rihanna took risks..& excelled in industrial R&B, Neo-Soul & numerous other genres. I’m eager for what’s next to come because fave does not disappoint.
Rihanna has a long career ahead of her, but for what she has done so far..is worthy of being called “legendary.” To break so many records by the age of 29, makes you wonder what’s next to come. As time progresses, Rihanna improves vocally & musically, & it is quite impressive to see. Give Ms. Fenty all of her flowers. She’s paid her dues. In my eyes, she’s literally the only girl in the world.