As proudly hinted at and teased by Kanye West this past week, Rihanna has new music including a song released Saturday that is a collaboration with West and Sir Paul McCartney. The single, now available on iTunes, is the first new music released by the 26-year-old, Barbados-born singer in more than two years.
Called FourFiveSeconds, the long-rumored musical alliance (of which the single is presumably the first item) features a mellow bare-bones sound. McCartney, who worked with West on his new ballad Only One released earlier this month, reportedly accompanies on both guitar and keyboards. West and Rihanna handle the song’s vocals, including a duet on the chorus.
“I think I’ve had enough,” Rihanna sings on the track. “…I say what’s on my mind / I might do a little time / ‘Cause all of my kindness is taken for weakness.” West then jumps in and adds, “Woke up an optimist/ Sun was shining, I’m positive/ Then I heard you was talkin’ trash.”
FourFiveSeconds is the first track being shared from Rihanna’s upcoming eighth studio album, the title of which has not been announced. Her last album, 2012’s Unapologetic, featured two massive worldwide hits – Diamonds and Stay.
Since her debut single in 2005, Pon de Replay, was a global hit for the then teenager, Rihanna has had dozens of hits and sold more than 150 million records, making her one of the best-selling artists of the past decade. The Caribbean beauty and the 37-year-old West have worked together on several songs through the years, including Run This Town and All of the Lights, so a third pairing is not surprising. But the addition of Paul McCartney, the 72-year-old former Beatle who is known for, among other things, his pop sensibilities, is a departure for both Rihanna and West.
McCartney publicly expressed his appreciation for West’s music and that he is a fan two years ago. In a social media questions and answer session, the superstar commented that the last albums he bought included ones by Kanye West and Jay Z. That comment led to a collaboration between the two men.
McCartney and West began working together early last year in Los Angeles, initially with a simple brainstorming session. Reportedly, on Only One, the two improvised with McCartney on keyboard with West delivering a stream of consciousness vocal stream to shape and refine his ideas into songs. When Only One was released, the press materials indicated that it was the first recording to be made available from what they called a “prolific musical collaboration between these two legendary artists.” The full range of songs to come out of the sessions have yet to be released and it is not known if the new Rihanna single is part of their creative output.
West amused the crowd at the IHeartRadio Summit music industry gathering in Los Angeles this past Thursday with a long, top-of-mind speech about his “responsibility to innovate” that touched on his interactions with McCartney. When he was wrapping up his pontifications, Kanye played FourFiveSeconds out of his computer to whet the audience’s appetites for the soon to be released new collaboration with Rihanna and Sir Paul.
By Dyanne Weiss