Before she became the bonafide music icon we all know her for today, baby Rih was spitting bars on her 2005 debut album Music of the Sun. She kept things cool, calm and collected as she instructed her friend to back up off her man in the club. While we're in throwback mode, take it back to 2006 where Rihanna remembers a simpler Barbados life before fame with Fuse.
I hope you take this as a lesson learned
This ain't that kind of party, so just let it burn
The next time you see me act like you know
I don't play those games
Don't take me for a joke
Over a compelling production courtesy of Timbaland and The-Dream, Rihanna revealed all of the things she needs before you decide to start dating her. The singer laid down the relationship rules way before "New Rules," if we're being honest!
I bought me a benz
You buy me the yacht
A girl need a lot
The girl need some stocks
Bonds is what I got, bonds is what I got
This gnarly cut off 2009's Rated R immediately grabs you thanks to Rihanna's braggadocio and extremely confident bars that came a few months after a tumultuous time in her life. But, like she says in the song, she never forgot the power her name holds around the world. And you better not either!
I pitch with a grenade
Swing away if you're feeling brave
There's so much power in my name
If you pop off and you say it
Stadium gon' do the wave
The confidence continues on Rated R's "Hard" as Rihanna raps about being the baddest bitch in the game. Eight years later and that title still rings true!
That Rihanna reign just won't let up
All-black on, blacked-out shades, blacked-out Maybach
I'mma rock this shit like fashion, as in going til they say stop
And my, runway never looked so clear, but the hottest bitch in heels right here
Nicki Minaj may have been the actual rapper on this Loud deep cut, but Rihanna one-upped her with her cheeky verses. But it's fun to hear the two ladies trade bars about how men just can't get enough of their sex appeal.
All you need to know that I’m a 2 times 5
Load it, cock it, aim it, baby, boom bye-bye
Set your standards lower, baby, you’re aiming too high
Matter of fact your friend looks better, so goodbye
Sometimes controversy makes for the best lyrical moments! Rihanna teamed up with Chris Brown to finally give fans the extended version of "Birthday Cake" that we'd all been waiting for. Rihanna's new verse was equal parts sexy, sassy and bossy.
Sweeter than a rice cake
Cake worth sipping
Kill it, tip it, cake, fill it
Rihanna went straight hood for this opening track from 2012's Unapologetic, where she completely trades in singing for rapping. She's definitely been confident before this era but with "Phresh Out the Runway" you had no choice but to bow down to her Manolo Blahnik-heeled feet.
How could you be so hood
But you so fucking pop
How could you be so fun
And sound like you selling rocks
"Pour It Up" quickly became a radio and fan favorite frankly because it's a unfiltered stripper anthem. Rihanna's slick, laid-back flow on this track was the first sign of her coming into her own as a budding rapstress.
Who cares how you haters feel and I still got mo' money
Call Jay up and close a deal, I still got mo' money
My fragrance on and they love my smell, I still got mo' money
Rihanna's angsty attitude on "Bitch Better Have My Money" was all the fuel we needed to shout every lyric in the club, the car, at your attorney, in the face of your broke ass ex-boyfriend...
Louis XIII, and it's all on me, nigga, you just bought a shot
Kamikaze, if you think that you gon' knock me off the top
Shit, your wife in the backseat of my brand new foreign car
The singer channeled her inner Future (fun fact: this song was originally meant for him) as she elevated the too-cool vibes she previously had on "Pour It Up." Hearing Rihanna spit about money like its her lover is incredible.
Ayy, I put the money in the ground like my nigga Frank Luke
Got a turbo Porsche and I don't even move it
I'm back on the green, it's so hard not to use it
I'm continuously winnin', my n-gga, I can't see me losin'
This bonus cut from 2016's ANTI fits right in with the mumble rap theme that is currently taking over hip-hop. So while "Pose" is a ratchet nonsense anthem, it does showcase Rihanna's versatility.
All my haters so so broke
All these n-ggas so so broke
So so broke
Rihanna had to slow down her cadence to mesh with Kendrick Lamar's signature flow and it worked perfectly. "Loyalty" was their first collaboration, and it proved the pair needs to work together more often in the future.
Been a bad bitch way before any cash came
Hundred carats on my name
Run the atlas, I'm a natural, I’m alright
You know the nasty "OH SHIT!" face you make when a dope bar drops in a song? Well that feeling is the embodiment of Rihanna's latest rap collaboration on N.E.R.D.'s "Lemon" where she goes harder in both the ever-changing flows and lyrics than she's ever done before.
And the truck behind me got arms
Yeah, longer than LeBron
Just waitin' for my thumb like The Fonz
Woo! This beat tastes like lunch
But it's runnin' from veneers and it's runnin' from the fronts
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