Bad Gal Business: A History of Island-Flavored Bashment Bangers From Rihanna

Intro 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Honorebel Mention
November 29, 2011

5. “If It’s Lovin’ That You Want” (2005)

For this standout track from Music of the Sun, producers Poke and Tone of Trackmasters gave Rihanna a beat that was a perfect blend between hip-hop and reggae. While the boom-bap drums (and fleeting KRS-One vocal sample) harkened back to Golden Era rapโ€”a fact seized upon in a hook that borrows its phrasing from Boogie Down Productions’ “The Bridge is Over” (“Deedeedeedoddidoddideedeedoddidayyyy”)โ€” the dub guitar echoes and organ flourishes gave it the feel of Sly & Robbie-era Grace Jones. The corresponding video played up Rihanna as an almost innocent island-girl next doorโ€”about as far of a cry from the whip-wielding dominatrix of today as one can get.