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Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Kanye West Debut ‘FourFiveSeconds’

Now here’s an odd duck trio.  Paul McCartney, Kanye West and badgalriri, Ms. Rihanna herself, have debuted their latest single, “FourFiveSeconds.”

First of all, let’s pause.  Former Beatle Paul McCartney is suddenly breaking into hip-pop. Not that he hasn’t done so before; Sir Paul dipped his toe into hip-hop earlier this year with “Only One,” his collabo with Kanyeezy earlier this year. Way to stay relevant, icon.

But back to Rihanna and this group. The trio look hella 50’s glam rock in their B/W denim in RiRi’s latest images for the song.  As for the song itself, the acoustic country blend features Rihanna’s stripped back vocals, Kanye West speaking (instead of rapping), and the former Beatle on guitar. It’s really a chill road song.  Feels like Rihanna’s channeling her inner Bob Marley, because with all that chattering in the background, you get the sense that the trio folk-sang it live in some backwoods shack in Jamaica, as opposed to recording it on their MacBooks.

Rihanna’s usually polished vocals are raw and shredded.  McCartney’s guitar and organ add a touch of majesty.  But Kanye’s rapping seems a bit out of place.  Doesn’t mesh well.  The lyrics are pretty light, about a frustrated girl about to wild out in four or five seconds.  Hey, where the party at?  Still, it may be coming from an emotional place, as it gets heartfelt when Rihanna sings, “All of my kindness is taken for weakness.”  Overall, it’s hard to categorize this song, as it sounds like hip-hoppers suddenly breaking into road tunes – but I guess that’s just the touch of the Beatle.

“FourFiveSeconds” gives us a taste of Rihanna’s new direction for her upcoming eighth album (since 2012’s Unapologetic).At 26-years-old, this girl just don’t stop!  An excited RiRi tweeted:

The trio will perform “FourFiveSeconds” at the 57th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, February 8th at the Los Angeles Staples Center. The show will air on CBS, and the upcoming appearance is being unofficially billed as a comeback for Rihanna (I didn’t know she went anywhere). As reported on HipHopDX: “Rihanna’s seriously pleased to have bagged a big slot at The Grammys and two huge names to kick off her comeback.”  Hey good (odd) things come in threes.

“FourFiveSeconds” can be downloaded on iTunes. Please visit Rihanna’s website: www.rihannanow.com.


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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Mic check 1,2,1,2. Not the words you expect to bust out of Orange County, California, but that's where Deborah Jane found her funk. Daughter of Guyanese immigrants, Deborah grew up in an all-white suburb where she was one of the only black kids in her school. (Fun fact: She didn't make her first black friend until attending Stanford University). Hip-hop gave her a voice and helped her discover her roots. Now she is an emcee and writer who both spits raps and writes editorials, TV shows and films - especially hip-hop musicals!

At Stanford, she wrote and produced an award-winning hip-hop musical, Strange Fruit: The Hip-Hopera (www.strangefruithiphopera.com) - now in development as a feature film. Deborah also launched her hip-hip theatre webseries, The HOTT (www.youtube.com/TheHOTTtv), published in Urban Cusp Magazine. Currently, she is penning her first hip-hop album, Do You Love Me Deborah Jane? And do you? She truly hopes you all love her.

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