“Rihanna is barely even in this song.” That was the primary major complaint after PARTYNEXTDOOR, 26, released “Believe It” on Mar. 27. The track was billed as “featuring Rihanna,” but to some, the 32-year-old singer is less a “feature” and more of an “enhanced cameo.” She sings on the chorus, delivering, “Best make me believe it / Believe you won’t deceive me.” She also added background vocals to PND’s first verse — “The floor is yours” / “Hey, either believe me or you don’t” / “Choose To Believe me or you won’t” / “I’m dead, baby” / “You told me” — but, that’s it. And some fans were kind of underwhelmed.
“I thought this was a feature not a Rihanna barely sings during the whole song and only does backing type of feature. But then again thank you [eyeroll emoji],” one tweeted. “LMAOOOO nah Rihanna is really a criminal for giving us five words.” “i cant believe Rihanna played us like that looool she said u want my voice? here’s five words now stfu.” “Rihanna after whispering five words on the #partynextdoor track. I think RiRi hates us lol #PARTYMOBILE” “Rihanna literally repeating FIVE words in Believe it with PARTYNEXTDOOR but imma take those crumbs anyways.”
It’s true. A lot of the Rihanna NAVY was happy to “take those crumbs,” with some saying that they will spend the “rest of quarantine listening to Rihanna repeat the same 5 words on Party’s album.” Others were not so forgiving. “Riri Fan: we want an Album. Rihana 4years later: here’s a chorus, make it work.” Rihanna’s last album was 2016’s ANTI. After that, she appeared on three other tracks: N.E.R.D’s “Lemon,” Kendrick Lamar’s “Loyalty,” and “Wild Thoughts,” the DJ Khaled-produced track featuring RiRi and Bryson Tiller. PND helped write the song, and he also collaborated with Rihanna on writing her tracks “Work,” and “Sex With Me.”
— olawale (@Olawaleelija) March 27, 2020
Since releasing Music of the Sun in 2005, Rihanna has been incredibly prolific. In fifteen years, she has released eight studio albums, two compilation collections, two remix albums, and 71 singles. Yet, fans still want more, and continue to plead for her to release R9, the temporary name they’ve given her ninth album. For context, JAY-Z, the man credited with discovering Rihanna, has only put out thirteen albums since his 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt.
When R9 is dropped, it might not be what fans are expecting. This ninth album is rumored to be Rihanna’s reggae record. “I like to look at it as a reggae-inspired or reggae-infused album,” Rihanna said to Vogue in October. “It’s not gonna be typical of what you know as reggae. But you’re going to feel the elements in all of the tracks.”