Released: May 31, 2007
Label: Def Jam • SRP
Genre: Pop • dance-pop • R&B
Producer: Carl Sturken • Evan Rogers • Neo Da Matrix • J.R. Rotem • Stargate • Christopher “Tricky” Stewart • Shea Taylor • Timbaland
The closest thing to a Thriller that 2007/08 is likely to produce.-Nick Levine
Rihanna is pop royalty. The Bajan beauty came onto the scene in 2005 with her debut album Music of the Sun and the 2006 follow up, A Girl Like Me. She struck gold with early hits like Pon De Replay, If It’s Lovin’ that You Want, Unfaithful, Break It Off & her first chart topper SOS.
In 2007, Rihanna began work and released her third album Good Girl Gone Bad. GGGB was a MOMENT okay! Everything about this era was iconic. The records, the new bob haircut Rihanna rocked that sparked many haircuts across the world, the LOOKS served in music videos and everything.
A dance-pop and Pop/R&B album which is influenced by music from the 1980s, GGGB is the most thrilling teen pop album you’ll get from Rihanna from a lyrical standpoint. Rihanna discusses life, love, heartbreak, trust issues, the highs and lows of success and much more. One thing I love about this album is how she mentions that she was influenced by Brandy’s 2004 Afrodisiac album, because the influence is THERE!!!
Good Girl Gone Bad made Rihanna not only a household name, but an international superstar. When Rihanna debuted on the scene, she was viewed as a teenage pop princess, & shed the innocent pop star image for an edgier look and sound.
Rihanna was 19 years old when Good Girl Gone Bad dropped, and showcased artistic growth very early in career and would continue to do so over the years. Following the likes of Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Madonna and many more pop stars, the growth with each era of new music was evident and truly set her apart from her peers at the time.
Good Girl Gone Bad debuted and peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 chart, while peaking at number three on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Album chart! Selling 162,000 copies in its first week, the album eventually became her best selling album in the United States and is to this date with more than 2.8 million copies. The album also has sold over 9 million copies worldwide, cementing Rihanna’s stature as pop’s IT girl for years to come.
Ladies & gentlemen, I present to you: Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad.
Umbrella featuring Jay-Z
Written by Christopher Stewart, Terius Nash, Kuk Harrell & Shawn Carter
YOU WANT TO KICK OFF YOUR NEW ALBUM WITH A TIMELESS HIT!
Umbrella is the perfect pop record. It utilizes the formula made popular by Mariah Carey in the mid to late 90s: a record with R&B & hip-hop influences, featuring a hip-hop icon (Jay-Z) & an infamous hook.
From a lyrical perspective, Umbrella gives the singer’s partner comfort in knowing that she will be there for him in times of good and bad. The umbrella is basically a metaphor for her support. You know how umbrellas are created to protect us from getting wet while it is raining? Rihanna sings about being that support for her significant other.
Umbrella became Rihanna’s second number one single in the United States, topping the charts for seven consecutive weeks and being the second best-performing single of 2007 behind Beyoncé’s Irreplaceable. Also, in the UK the song topped the charts for eleven consecutive weeks. It has been certified 6x platinum by the RIAA and is considered one of Rihanna’s most signature songs. Umbrella was nominated for 3 Grammy Awards (Record of the Year, Song of the Year & Best Rap/Sung Collaboration,) winning the latter.
The song has been sampled by artists like Lil’ Wayne & ASAP Rocky.
Push Up on Me
Written by J.R. Rotem, Mekeba Riddick, Lionel Richie & Cynthia Weil
Push Up on Me is a slow dance record that sees the singer meeting a man at a party and immediately falls in love, wanting to desire a relationship with him. The song contains a sample of Lionel Richie’s Running With The Night.
Don’t Stop The Music
Written by Tor Erik Hermansen, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tawanna Dabney & Michael Jackson
Don’t Stop The Music is truly one of the best highlights of Good Girl Gone Bad. Lyrically, the song is about leaving the stressful life at home and dancing the night away. Selling over four million copies in the United States alone, the song peaked in the top 5 in the US & UK..peaking at number three and four respectively.
The song contains a sample of Michael Jackson’s 1983 single Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ from the immaculate Thriller album.
Written by Christopher Stewart & Terius Nash
Breakin’ Dishes is a song about the singer confronting her man about cheating on her, and will not stop pressuring him until he tells the truth. The song wasn’t released as an official single, but it did peak at number four on the Billboard Dance charts.
Shut Up and Drive
Written by Evan Rogers, Carl Sturken, Stephen Morris, Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner & Gillian Gilbert
I love Shut Up and Drive! It is a new wave record that is pretty straightforward lyrically. The singer is looking for a qualified “driver” and wants to know if he has what it takes to be with her. she’s saying don’t say you can, prove it!
The song was a top 20 hit for Rihanna on the Hot 100 charts, and peaked at number five on the UK singles charts.
Hate That I Love You featuring Ne-Yo
Written by Shaffer Smith, Tor Erik Hermansen & Mikkel S. Erichness
Hate That I Love You is a beautiful duet from Rihanna and Ne-Yo, who wrote Rihanna’s Unfaithful record from her 2006 album A Girl Like Me. Released as the third single from the album, the lyrics discuss a very complicated relationship. The song peaked in the top ten of the pop charts, and top twenty of the R&B charts.
Written by Makeba Riddick, Quaadir Atkinson, Ewart Brown, Clifton Dillon, Sly Dunbar & Brian Thompson
Say It is truly one of the album’s gems. Built around a sample of Flex by Mad Cobra, the ballad is about her and someone she is friends with..and the pair is struggling to admit that they have feelings for each other. Rihanna goes on to tell her friend if he says what’s on his mind, open up and admit his feelings, and they can build a relationship from there.
Sell Me Candy
Written by Terius Nash, Makeba Riddick & Timothy Mosley
Sell Me Candy is definitely a fan favorite of Rihanna’s!!! After reading the lyrics, what I get from this song is that “selling candy” is a metaphor for taking charge of her in the bedroom. She is literally craving that physical intimacy 100%. A classic by The-Dream, Timbaland & Mekeba Riddick!
Lemme Get That
Written by Terius Nash, Timothy Mosley & Shawn Carter
Lemme Get That is a SONG okay! From a lyrical standpoint, the singer speaks of knowing her worth and if you want to know what I got up in my jeans, you gotta cough up some cash! Like Rihanna said “nothing is free in this world!”
Written by Justin Timberlake, Timothy Mosley & Hannon Lane
I gotta check into rehab, cause baby you’re my disease…Rihanna, 2007
Rehab is a really beautiful yet painful song about the complexities of love. Throughout the song, Rihanna speaks of how awful her lover treats her, and that no matter what..the love for this person is extremely strong. She can’t shake him. Metaphors are rampant on this album, and Rihanna stating she has to go to rehab..proves that love can be an addiction as well.
Written by Shaffer Smith, Shea Taylor & Shawn Carter
Dear Diary, it’s Robyn.Rihanna, 2007
Question Existing has Rihanna speaking on trust issues, life and how success and being in the music industry has changed her. The song was sampled in Wale’s Contemplate.
Good Girl Gone Bad
Written by Shaffer Smith, Tor Erik Hermansen, Mikkel S. Eriksen & Lene Martin
The original version of the album closes with the title track. Good Girl Gone Bad sends a message to men that it is not hard for the good woman you took advantage of and didn’t appreciate can move around with no hesitation. It was also a clear indication that she wanted to shed her “good girl” image and we saw that with 2009’s Rated R..which had a more darker and sexual tone than what we were used to from Rihanna.
Bonus tracks from Good Girl Gone Bad Reloaded: The reissue of the album was released a year later, with three additional songs added to it.
Written by Brian Kennedy, Christopher Brown, Robert Allen & Andre Merritt
Written by Rihanna’s then boyfriend Chris Brown and his team, Disturbia is an uptempo dance-pop record about experiences of anguish, anxiety and confusion. The dark musical tone makes the song stand out and is truly one of Rihanna’s best records. The song became Rihanna’s fourth number one single in the United States, and was certified 6x platinum by the RIAA.
Take A Bow
Written by Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen & Shaffer Smith
If you play Rihanna’s Take a Bow and everyone doesn’t recite the lyrics word for word, read the room. Expeditiously. Take a Bow is such an iconic record and is another fan favorite. The R&B ballad is about the singer not being too keen on rekindling her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, who was disloyal and unfaithful to her during their relationship. The song became Rihanna’s third number one single, and was certified 4x platinum by the RIAA.
If I Never See Your Face Again featuring Maroon 5
Written by Adam Levine & James Valentine
A pop and R&B record, If I Never See Your Face Again is a collaboration with Rihanna that was originally supposed to be with Janet Jackson for her Discipline album, but label issues occurred and Adam asked Rihanna to sing on a remix version of the song. The song hit the top 10 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 charts.
Good Girl Gone Bad was a huge and significant moment in Rihanna’s career thus far. The 19 year old transformed from a teen pop princess to a full blown superstar and sex symbol. Singers reinvent their sound and look all of the time, but when Rihanna did it? It was MAJOR. Good Girl Gone Bad not only made Rihanna a household name, but began a legacy that no one can ever touch. To this day, Rihanna is still one of the biggest names in pop culture, and while we wait for her ninth studio album: we can go back down memory lane and say that we’ve appreciated her greatness!! -MJ