A Review Of Rihanna's 'Anti'

A Review Of Rihanna's 'Anti'

Why the pop princess' torment will establish her as a true artist
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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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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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13 Quotes For All Of Us Empowered Female-Identifying People Out There

For the days when you need to be reminded that you are really doing the dang thing and doing it well.

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For the days when you need to be reminded that you are really doing the dang thing and doing it well.

1. Do you really need someone else's permission, acceptance, wink, or nod, or are you ready to give these to yourself? -The Universe

I get notes from the Universe everyday and all of them are so amazing and inspiring. There might be a few of them on this list. You can sign up for your own notes from the universe here.

2. The princess saves herself in this one. -Amanda Lovelace

The quote is based off a book called The Princess Saves Herself In This One, which is a collection of poetry about resilience, you can get the book here.

3. I'm made of more than you think. -Snow White, Mirror, Mirror

4. Other people's perception of you ain't none of your business. -Lisa Nichols

CLAPPING HANDS EMOJI.

5. Do you realize how many events and choices that had to occur since the birth of the universe leading to the making of just exactly the way you are? -Mrs. Which, A Wrinkle In Time

I love this because it really hits home how so many right and wrong decisions led to the creation of you and how you should appreciate the good and the bad because without either of them you wouldn't be exactly who you were supposed to be.

6. You can't stop what's done to you. You can only survive it. -Rachel, Georgia Rule 

This brings up an important theme of my life that I'm still trying to figure out. The only thing you can control in your life is how you react to what happens to you.

7. Don't let anyone ever make you feel like you don't deserve what you want. -Patrick Verona, 10 Things I Hate About You

8. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -Queen Clarisse, The Princess Diaries

9. No trifling of the past, no matter how great, can tarnish the brilliance of eternity. -The Universe

10. People who are insignificant to your future shouldn't have an impact on your present.

Someone once told me this, and although I can't remember the person, this quote has always stuck with me.

11. Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before. -Lady Gaga

You know what... I think she was talking about you.

12. Tell yourself it's easy. Tell yourself often. Make it an affirmation. Eat, sleep, breathe it, and you life shall be transformed. -The Universe

13. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. -Mark Twain 

Go on then, be empowered and trust your instincts, you've got big things coming... I can tell.

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