April 6, 2015


Rihanna Mixes Chants, Piano & Swirling Synths on "American Oxygen"

Joey Foley/WireImage
Joey Foley/WireImage

Update (4/16): Watch the "American Oxygen" video and get Fuse's take on the politically charged video right here.

Update (4/6): Breathe in, breathe out: Rihanna's "American Oxygen" is here in full.

In what may be the most pop-sounding track from her upcoming album, the new track grows from an emotional piano-chord opening to a chant-heavy pounder of a track that evolves to incorporate unexpected dark, whooshing synthesizers and a fuzzy electronica production. The tribal chants and piano elements are epic, but the electronic embellishments sound a little out of place and ultimately feel like last-minute additions to make the song more "unique," but ultimately leaves it feeling a bit sloppy.

After "FourFiveSeconds" and "Bitch Better Have My Money," Rih's latest is yet another sonic departure for the pop star, making us further wonder what will her new album sound like?!?

Update (3/17): As March Madness approaches, so does Rihanna's new song "American Oxygen." The track is being used in promos for the NCAA tournament and appears in a new one-minute ad that features more of the epic tribal beat we heard in the initial snippet plus a few new lyrics ("Every breath I breathe / I'm chasing this American dream").

Check out everything else we know about the track, including what its superstar producer had to say about it, below, and spin the new clip below.

Original Story (3/6): After teasing us with a new song called "Higher" yesterday, Rihanna is previewing yet another sparkly track in a TV commercial. Listen below.

Rih recorded a slot promoting the upcoming March Madness NCAA tournament and gave a taste of "American Oxygen." While "FourFiveSeconds" and "Higher" aimed to show Rih's raw vocals, this new track feels a little more like the fun-loving Rih we've heard in the past. The percussion-heavy, tribal beat goes hard. She sings lyrics like, "Breathe in / This feeling / American, American oxygen / This is the new America." Fitting stuff for one of our country's biggest sports pastimes, no?

It's too quick of a snippet to tell what the song is really about, but it seems like "American Oxygen" could be a pump-up track for anyone—from basketball stars to those of us that need a little motivation to get to the gym.

The track appears to be the work of Alex Da Kid, the producer famous for Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive," Nicki Minaj's "Bed of Lies," Eminem and Rih's own "Love the Way You Lie" and more. He went on Twitter and teased, "Get Ready!!! Big sh*t coming..." 

Ahead of the commercial's reveal, Rih also tweeted the hashtags, "#AmericanOxygen" and "#R8," the latter tag being the rumored title of her upcoming album. So look out for the full song on her upcoming LP!