Made public in 2007, Rihanna and Chris Brown’s relationship added to the tremendous media attention and success the two had lately been enjoying. Fans called it a “match made in heaven,” as the two R&B stars were young, attractive and at the top of their game. However, things are not always as they seem: in 2009, Brown was charged with assault after violently and repeatedly punching Rihanna during a fight in his Lamborghini. As his career plummeted and Rihanna struggled to get back on her feet, the music industry and fans of both singers tried to make sense of the event. Through the chaos and confusion the incident had caused, most were sure of the fact that the Barbados-born beauty and “Breezy” would never talk again, let alone collaborate on music. Well, proving again that most things in the celebrity world are incredibly temporary, Rihanna and Chris Brown recently released a couple of new songs, which are co-written, co-performed, and anything but conservative.
“Turn Up the Music” is a catchy dance beat that is mostly Brown’s own work. Rihanna joins him about halfway through the song, singing her own verse and then acting as a background voice until the end. It is just a typical, fun club song, probably requiring little emotional attachment on the part of either artist. Jennifer Lopez and B.O.B could definitely have done just as good of a job. “Birthday Cake,” on the other hand, is a different story. Sung mostly by Rihanna with Brown on side vocals, there isn’t really a single line that is appropriate enough to be featured in an Inkwell article. Nor is it right for a dance studio, T.V. show, almost all radio stations….even playing the ‘unclean’ version at a club would be very bold, to say the least. A song like this requires some degree of comfort between the two performers; it would otherwise be extremely awkward for everyone involved. Well, maybe Nicki Minaj would do it.
Besides provocative songs and rumors of a “secret” (not really because everyone knows about it) relationship, other clues point to a renewed romance between Rihanna and Chris Brown. News has been leaking that the two might be sharing the stage for a duet at the SupaFest music festival in Brisbane, Australia this summer. While the international community seems to have gotten over the violent incident that led to the singers’ split, fans in the US are still a little apprehensive about them being together. However, as new, upbeat collaborations by Rihanna and Chris catch on, my feeling is that the events of the past will soon be forgotten– one iTunes download at a time.