Rihanna’s “Unapologetic”

Released: November 19, 2019

Genre: Pop ∙ synth-pop ∙ R&B

Label: Def Jam ∙ Roc Nation ∙ SRP

Producer: Benny Blanco ∙ Brian Kennedy ∙ Carlos McKinney ∙ Chase & Status ∙ David Guetta ∙ Elof Loelv ∙ Flippa123 ∙ Future ∙ Giorgio Tuinfort ∙ Justin Parker ∙ Labrinth ∙ Luney Tunez ∙ Mex Menny ∙ Mike Will Made-It ∙ Mikey Mike ∙ Mikey Ekko ∙ Naughty Boy ∙ Nicky Romero ∙ No I.D. ∙ Pop & Oak ∙ Parker Ighile ∙ Stargate ∙ Terius “The-Dream” Nash


By 2012, Rihanna was one of the biggest stars in the world. With 11 number one hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart under her belt at the time, she was tied with Whitney Houston (since then it has gone up to 14 and she is the second woman after Mariah Carey to have the most records that shot up to the top spot).

Not bad for the good girl gone bad. She’s possibly released some of the greatest soundtracks of our lives from her prior studio albums Music of the Sun (2005,) A Girl Like Me (2006,) Good Girl Gone Bad (2007/2008,) Rated R (2009,) Loud (2010) & Talk That Talk (2011).

Rihanna’s seventh studio album was titled Unapologetic, and was released on November 19, 2012. With elements of pop, synth-pop, electronica, new wave, R&B, hip hop, EDM, dubstep and reggae, Unapologetic had a similar sound from Rihanna’s prior albums Rated R & Talk That Talk. One thing about a Rihanna album is she gives us versatility 1000%. We never get a genre specific album from her, and I’ve always appreciated that from her.

I honestly think Unapologetic is one of Rihanna’s most vulnerable and confident albums out of her catalog. We focus on her most career defining albums (Rated R, Anti & Good Girl Gone Bad) when more emphasis should be on this one. She’s in her confident bag, giving us a glimpse of what it is like to be one of the industry’s stars and her “I don’t give a f*ck mantra.” She’s not going to apologize for being the woman she is. You have to take it or leave it. That’s what Unapologetic means to me.

Unapologetic debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, with 238,000 copies sold first week, giving her the best-selling debut week of her career..and her first number-one album! That Rihanna REIGN WON’T LET UPPPPPP!!!! The album has since been certified 3x platinum by the RIAAThe album gave the singer her fourth consecutive number one album on Billboard’s Top R&B albums charts as well, and has sold over four million copies worldwide.

Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you Rihanna’s Unapologetic.

Phresh Out the Runway

Written by David Guetta • Giorgio Tuinfort • Terius Nash • Robyn Fenty

The album opens with the club banger Phresh Out The Runway, and it is a song! From a lyrical perspective, the song is Rihanna at her most confident ways at the time. She definitely was in her rapper bag and talking her shit! I guess she really does talk that talk. 😜 Phresh Out The Runway contains a distorted sample of Joey Beltram’s Mentasm, which is a classic rave record. The song also peaked at number 21 on the Billboard R&B songs charts.


Written by Sia Furler • Benjamin Levin • Mikkel S. Eriksen • Tor Erik Hermansen

Diamonds was the lead single from Unapologetic, and rightfully so because the ballad has become one of Rihanna’s signature songs. Written by Sia, Diamonds was different from ballads Rihanna would normally do. The pop, R&B & electronica influences in the production was mesmerizing as well. Rihanna emulated Sia’s singing style so much in the song, that Sia thought it was the demo version she recorded! Just iconic af.

Diamonds was a smash hit for out Bajan beauty, peaking at number one on the US AND UK pop & R&B charts! It also was Rihanna’s twelfth chart topping single on the Billboard Hot 100 at the time, tying her with The Supremes and Madonna for the fifth act with the most number one hits. The song has also been certified 7x platinum by the RIAA. The remix featuring Kanye West is amazing too!!!

Numb (featuring Eminem)

Written by Sam Dew ∙ Warren Felder ∙ Andrew Wansel ∙ Ronald Colson ∙ Robyn Fenty ∙ Marshall Mathers ∙ Connie Mitchell ∙ Kanye West ∙ Aldrin Davis

Numb is a song I didn’t appreciate until I saw her performing the song live at the Diamonds World Tour and later the Anti World Tour. The elements of alt hop hop & R&B influences are met with the lyricism of getting high. A collaboration with rapper Eminem, the song contains an interpolation of Kanye West’s Can’t Tell Me Nothing.

Pour It Up

Written by Robyn Fenty ∙ Michael Williams ∙ Theron Thomas ∙ Timothy Thomas ∙ Justin Garner

TRAPANNA HAS ENTERED THE CHAT! Pour It Up is essentially a record that is a declaration of independence. I love everything about PIU: it has become a strip club anthem and I know this record went CRAZY in the clubs when it dropped. Lyrically, Rihanna also brags about her wealth throughout the song, pulling out her dollar bills, turning up and having a good time. The song was a top 5 hit on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, peaking at number six…and was also a top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at nineteen.

Loveeeeeee Song (featuring Future)

Written by Nayvadius Wilburn ∙ Denisea Andrews ∙ Robyn Fenty

Loveeeeeee Song should be one of your favorite songs on Unapologetic and that is that on THAT! The first collaboration we get from Rihanna and trap rapper Future, Loveeeeeee Song is a slow R&B record with a sci-fi like sound and themes of love and affection. The song peaked at number fourteen on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.


Written by Kevin Cossom ∙ M.B Williams ∙ Mikkel S. Eriksen ∙ Tor Erik Hermansen ∙ Saul Milton ∙ Will Kennard ∙ Elgin Lumpkin ∙ Stephen Garrett ∙ Timothy Mosley

Jump is a song I totally relate to, because sometimes you just want to JUMP on some [redacted] 🙂😂. But on a serious note, Jump’s dubstep influences and the interoplation of a Ginuwine classic like Pony, it is totally one of the highlights on the album. The song was released as the sixth and final single from Unapologetic, being a huge success in Australia.

Right Now (featuring David Guetta)

Written by Terius Nash ∙ Robyn Fenty ∙ David Guetta ∙ Mikkel S. Eriksen ∙ Tor Erik Hermansen ∙ Shaffer Smith ∙ Giorgio Tuinfort ∙ Ester Dean

Right Now has the singer singing about living life in the now and to the fullest. With EDM & pop influences, of course Rihanna collaborated with David Guetta, Stargate and Kuk Harrell on the record. Released as the album’s fourth single, the song peaked at number one on the Billboard Dance Club charts…and has been certified Gold by the RIAA.

What Now

Written by Olivia Waite ∙ Robyn Fenty ∙ Parker Ighile ∙ Nathan Cassells

What Now is my MF SONGGGGGGG y’all! When I went to the Diamonds World Tour, it was one of my favorites that she performed because it goes so hard in an arena. Like omg! With pop rock, R&B and electronic influences, What Now is lyrically about what’s next in life. The song gave Rihanna yet another top 40 hit, peaking at number twenty-five. The song has also been certified platinum by the RIAA!

Stay (featuring Mikky Ekko)

Written by Mikky Elko ∙ Justin Parker ∙ Elof Loel

Funny you’re the broken one, but I’m the only one who needing saving.

Cause when you never see the light, it’s hard to know which one of us is caving.

Rihanna and Mikky Ekko, Stay, 2012

Stay is a mf classic, and that’s on period. From a lyrical perspective, Stay is a song that is about the temptation and failure of resisting true love. The piano ballad is Rihanna at her most vulnerable on this record..raw emotion and the display of melancholy makes this duet with Mikky Ekko a remarkable event.

Stay was released as the second single, becoming Rihanna’s twenty-fourth top ten hit..peaking at number three. In my house, it was number one for sure. The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2014 Grammys, and was certified 9x platinum.

Nobody’s Business (featuring Chris Brown)

Written by Terius Nash ∙ Robyn Fenty ∙ Carlos McKinney ∙ Michael Jackson

Nobody’s Business is one of the standout tracks on the album. The song gained controversy for Chris Brown being featured on the song, given their past. However, the song is amazing for the lyricism of literally minding your business about the duo’s love for each other. The production is STELLAR: disco-pop and Chicago house vibes all throughout the song. The song contains an interpolation of Michael Jackson‘s The Way You Make Me Feel. Nobody’s Business was a hit on the UK R&B charts

Love Without Tragedy/ Mother Mary

Written by Terius Nash ∙ Robyn Fenty ∙ Carlos McKinney

I’ll be a star, you keep directing me. Let’s make the best scene they’ve ever seen! Let’s capture the moment, cause even forever ain’t forever.

Rihanna, Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary, 2012

Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary is an integrated song of electronica and new wave & is the standout track on the album. The first half of the song is a somber tale about love and a confession from the singer about a moment in her life that she regrets that it happened, and could be possibly about her domestic violence alteration with former partner Chris Brown in 2009.

The second half of the song is an inspirational piece from Rihanna where she wants to change and to live in the moment cause we don’t have forever to be here on Earth. It’s a humbling piece from Rihanna because she didn’t think she would even be the superstar that she is. A beautiful song from Rihanna altogether.

The Diamonds World Tour was my very first time experiencing Rihanna live, and she sung Mother Mary as her opener on the set list and I literally cried cause she sounded so great performing it! I was truly amazed. The song has been compared to songs by The Police and the group’s lead singer Sting.

Get It Over With

Written by James Fauntleroy ∙ Robyn Fenty ∙ Brian Seals

Get It Over With is a song of Rihanna’s that I’ve grown to adore in recent years after its release because it is a slow chill soul record that tells us that everything we go through in life needs to be released in some way. It’s not good to keep emotions bottled up and stay stressed.

Sometimes we just need to roll up some weed and relax in the clouds. It’s one of those songs that uplifts us and say that it’s not going to be dark and full of sadness forever. The sun will come out! It is a song that was written by Brian Seans, James Fauntleroy and Rihanna..and it’s one collaboration with Fauntleroy that I enjoy because he brings something out of Rihanna that I love. Their work together is top notch. Always.

No Love Allowed

Written by Sean Fenton ∙ Robyn Fenty ∙ Alexander Izquierdo ∙ Ernest Wilson ∙ Steve Wyreman

No Love Allowed is a songggggggggggg. Like literally one of Rihanna’s best records of all time. With elements of reggae fusion and electronica, No Love Allowed is a song where the singer is fed up with the lies, hurt and pain her lover puts her through.

There’s no coming back especially when refers to him as a murderer metaphorically because he murdered any chance of a healthy love with her. Definitely a song you have to experience live to capture the essence of how beautiful of a song it is.

Lost in Paradise

Written by Ester Dean ∙ Robyn Fenty ∙ Timothy McKenzie ∙ Mikkel S. Eriksen ∙ Tor Erik Hermansen

The standard edition of the album closes with the electronic and house influenced Lost In Paradise. From a lyrical perspective, the singer speaks on how she doesn’t know how she should cope with the pain she feels in her heart, and while she knows it may be wrong to be in love with her lover, it still feels right to love him unconditionally, hence being lost in paradise.


Half of Me

Written by Emeli Sandé ∙ Shahid Khan ∙ Mikkel S. Eriksen ∙ Tor Erik Hermansen

The deluxe edition of the album has a bonus track titled Half of Me, which sounds like an entry to Rihanna’s diary. I love everything about this song: the chamber pop influences, the way Rihanna pores her soul into the song and the lyrics resonate so well with how Rihanna was seen by the world. She’s basically telling us that what we see and hear about her is just half of the story!

Unapologetic was one of the best albums to come out of 2012, and I’m standing on it. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album, and I swear she was so deserving of it. It was one of Rihanna’s most amazing albums. That Rihanna reign just won’t let up!!! -MW.

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