Words by Jesse Serwer
Rihanna has had an interesting career trajectory, as far as her connection to the Caribbean. Released at the tail end of the early-2000s dancehall explosion, her debut album Music of the Sun (2005) positioned her as a sunny island pop star: She versioned Dawn Penn with Vybz Kartel, hired Max Glazer as her DJ, and generally repped her Bajan roots to the fullest. But as Robin Fenty grew from A Girl Like Me to a Good Girl Gone Bad, she left the sun for the darkside, becoming a full-fledged rockstar with a combination of European style club hits, monster ballads and a dutty, boss-bitch makeover. The last two years have seen the “Sexiest Woman Alive” bogle-ing her way back towards the Caribbean, though, with tunes like “Rude Boy” and “Man Down,” her Bajan accent creeping back in to her interviews. Released last week, her latest, Talk that Talk, doesn’t have any pure bashment heaters but her (literal and figurative) Bajan accent is there throughout, if you know where to look. To celebrate just how much we appreciate Rihanna in full island gyal mode, we’ve compiled a list of her tunes most likely to draw forwards in the dancehall.