3. Rihanna, “Rudeboy” (Barbados/the World)
Say what you like, “Rudeboy” was the moment that Rihanna proved that “Pon De Replay” was no fluke; Caribbean riddim was not just a one-time strategy to break a new artist but an integral part of her global star power and persona. Call it Ouch Girl meets Gossip Girl. The aesthetic might be even better expressed in the Federation refix of “What’s My Name?” f. Vybz Kartel–but it’s not listed here cause we’re pretty confident it’s going to be the anthem of 2011. We called it here.