A Review Of Rihanna's 'Anti'

A Review Of Rihanna's 'Anti'

Why the pop princess' torment will establish her as a true artist

I've always maintained that Beyoncé is like that one cousin who acts like she's better than the rest of the family while Rihanna is the cousin who shows up to Thanksgiving with a bottle of Patrón and a box of fireworks. Queen B is the paragon of pop perfection, a carefully curated assemblage of what her publicists believe we want. RiRi, on the other hand, is the accessible one, a pop artist of the people, and if you don't believe me, just look at how she doesn't let her fame stop her from dragging people on Twitter.

When's the last time you saw a picture like this of Bey?

On January 28th, Rihanna released her highly anticipated 8th studio album "Anti," her first release since 2012's (subpar) "Unapologetic." While her music in years past, despite its commercial success, has been dismissed by critics as little more than club fodder, curiosity was peaked by the singer's four-year hiatus.

Rihanna's last seven albums very obviously catered to the listening public, offering a bevy of pop hits that, while giving Ri an impressive 13 #1 songs (a feat tied by the King of Pop himself and surpassed by only Mariah, Elvis, and The Beatles), left little in the way of a truly substantial repertoire.

Rihanna, demonstrating remarkable growth as an artist, has made the leap from dance floor staple to a veritable artiste. "Anti," described as "the very antithesis of what the public expects," offers a starkly different view of the superstar. The overall implications of the album are existential, stripping away the veneer of fame to prove her humanity. The overall result is a talented and tortured singer who interpolates a wide range of musical influences while simultaneously creating something fresh, exciting, and vaguely unsettling.

"Consideration" both starts the album and establishes its overall theme; RiRi is going through self-discovery and she wants her art to reflect that. The song has a swaggering and pulsating Reggae-flavored beat and a catchy chorus by featured artist SZA, but it is Ri who draws most of the attention when she pleads to the listener (to her fans? to herself? to a lover? all of the above?) "I needed you to please give my reflection a break / From the face it’s seeing now / Darling would you mind giving my reflection a break / From the pain it’s feeling now?" This overt expression of dissatisfaction with herself lends a humanity to this artist which we've never seen.

"Love On the Brain," a track with roots in doo-wop, finds Ri meandering through meaningful lyrics, demonstrating her vocal range while explaining how she's "fist fighting with fire / Just to get close to you." From a sensual whisper to a wailing falsetto, Ri proves she can hold her own.

"Kiss It Better," the standout track of the album, is a blend of Rihanna's aggressive and hypersexual (both in delivery and content) vocals, 80s guitar riffs, and synthesizers. The result is a catchy ballad that sounds equal parts Prince and Journey, but make no mistake about it, Ri's soaring voice steal the show and makes this song undeniably hers, guitar riffs and all.

Rihanna's new album is powerful, sensuous, evocative, and above all else, intimate. While her past hits such as "S&M" and "Umbrella" have kept us at arm's length, "Anti" throws open the emotional floodgates, setting Rihanna's recent melancholia to music and offering the public a rare insight into the conflicted mind of one of the century's most successful artists. "Anti" lacks the danceable hits which made her a star, yet, despite this change of pace, stands as Rihanna's greatest album to date.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.vivelohoy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/AFP-Getty_Rihannas-8th-Album-Artwork-Reveal-849x600.jpg

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.

Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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10 TV Shows You Need To Watch On Hulu

Hulu is slept on


I have recently moved to watch shows and movies on Hulu and Netflix. Hulu has a lot of great shows and movies to offer that aren't on Netflix. While Netflix is still great, Hulu is definitely starting to grow on me. Here are some shows that I have watched or have started watching on Hulu that I think are pretty great!

1. 11.22.63


If you love James Franco and Stephen King, you'll love this show. The first episode is a bit long, but all the other episodes are only 45 minutes. The plot line is pretty interesting. I also like that it doesn't tell you everything, it shows it to you and you piece things together.

2. The Act

The fact that this show is based on a true story is just insane. The acting is really great, especially if you watch actual videos of Gypsy, Joey King does a great job.

3. Castle Rock

Another Stephen King masterpiece. This show is riveting and really makes you think about what the truth is in the context of the story, and brings in some ethical questions.

4. Future Man

I've only recently started this but it's pretty interesting and funny.

5. The O.C.

The O.C. (TV Series 2003–2007) - IMDb


This show was great. Sometimes it was a bit annoying, but it is a classic show from the early 2000s. You really become invested in all the characters and your opinion may change on some characters because they grow and develop throughout the show.

6. The Handmaid's Tale

If you've read the book, you should definitely watch the show.

7. Obsession: Dark Desires


I just love true crime stories and this really dives deep into crime stories and the darkest parts of humanity.

8. Intervention

This show can be really sad or frustrating, but I think it's good for people to see the reality of addiction.

9. Smallville

Smallville (2001-2011)


I also started this one very recently and I've always wanted to watch it. It can be cheesy but it's pretty entertaining.

10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine


This is a great show if you want to laugh. I love all of the characters and everything they bring to the table.

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