All Articles Tagged "Rihanna"
For the past week, the internet has been buzzing with rumors of Rihanna’s signature Puma Creepers getting an upgrade with a trio of new colorways. Plus, there were plenty of leaked photos that were making headlines.
Puma and Rihanna both have finally shared the first official image of the new colorways and they are just as fly as we expected. There’s an all-black pair with what looks like a satin fabrication, a forest green pair with a rubber gum sole, and an all-white, patent leather pair because with summertime in swing it’s a serious must-have.
According to Racked, the Creepers will be priced at $120, which is the same price as the original pair that sold-out instantly.
The new PUMA x FENTY Rihanna Creeper colorways are set for release at select retailers on May 26.
I saw a piece in my timeline and felt it was worth discussing.
It’s from two months ago, and it bravely raises the idea that Rihanna -at least on screen – is a misandrist
I know right: what are those?
A quick Google search will tell you that a misandrist is “a person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against men.”
But in my opinion, a misandrist is something that does not exist outside of a theory because there is no structural power in place to actually support women in positions of power over men. Sure, there are some folks who believe that women are superior to men, and some of those folks are women. But when you think about it, misandry is usually just a term that folks like to throw around whenever they are trying to disarm people, woman mostly, from seeking resolution from what oppresses them. Sort of like when some people claim they are a victim of reverse racism…
However, I know folks may believe differently, particularly Fusion writer Kelsey McKinney who, in a piece entitled “Rihanna’s music videos are a master class in misandry” argues that the “Work” singer hates men.
More specifically she writes:
“This isn’t Rihanna’s first murder. She walks through a strip club’s red velvet curtains in her new (and NSFW—again, this is a strip club) music video “Needed Me,” holding a gun with a silencer. She has a practiced hand. In the backroom, she hits her mark, a man who throws a wad of cash towards her. One shot and he crumples. Two, he falls to the floor. She fires a third for good measure.
“Didn’t they tell you that I was a savage?” she sings earlier in the song. But nobody had to tell us. We know Rihanna—at least, the music video version of Rihanna—is bad. Just last year, we watched her kidnap a rich man’s wife and torture him to death in the “Bitch Better Have My Money” video.
Because of its violence (and also, to a lesser extent, its blatant sexuality and drug use), the reception of Rihanna’s “Needed Me” hasn’t been all positive. The Daily Beast questioned whether it was unnecessarily gratuitous. So did The Atlantic. But Rihanna’s been accused of these things before: too sexual, too violent, too powerful, too everything. Her “Man Down” video—in which she shoots down a rapist—was condemned by the Parents Television Council in 2011.
Though these depictions of murder are the most explicit crimes against men committed therein, Rihanna’s entire visual discography is actually a master class in misandry. Not in how to hate men, per se (and certainly not in how to literally murder them), but in how to act like they really, truly could not matter less to you. If there’s anything Rihanna doesn’t give a fuck about in her videos, it’s men.”
McKinney then goes on to break down Rihanna’s alleged pattern of misandry, in particular how she tends to be both impatient and contemptuous to them in her videos. For instance, she cites the 2010 video for “Only Girl in the World,” in which Rihanna is singing about how she prefers to be loved by a man, even though there are no men around in the actual video.
And in the 2009 video for “Unfaithful,” where Rihanna threatens violence against the man who cheated on her (“I might as well take a gun and put it to his head / Get it over with.”). Also in the video for “Work,” where McKinney claims that Rihanna is flat-out dismissive to Drake, who also co-stars in the video, adding: “He’s never the center of the shot. And Rihanna’s sexiness doesn’t even seem to be directed at him so much as at the viewer, at her own reflection in the mirror.”
She also adds:
“Rihanna isn’t preaching a kill-all-men sermon. Her misandry is subtler than that. It’s built on a canon of songs where men have fucked up, where they’ve made women feel subservient and powerless, like victims in their own lives. “All of my kindness / Taken for weakness,” she sings in “FourFiveSeconds.”
But there’s nothing weak about where Rihanna is right now as a pop star. She’s a powerhouse, with the number one song in America. On tour, she’s nice to her fans. She’s relatable in her banter and her interviews. But in her videos, she’s a misandrist with no time for games. You can silence her guns, but you sure as hell can’t silence her.”
See? See, what I mean about misandry, in practice, being bulls**t?
For real, I don’t see how the act of not centering men in your life makes you a misandrist. If anything, it makes you a pretty dynamic feminist. Likewise, fighting back against the men who abuse and otherwise mistreat you does not mean you hate men; that means you just hate what’s being done to you by these men. And more importantly, you would like them to stop doing it.
And to me, this is what’s most interesting about McKinney’s analysis; it’s how the context around Rihanna’s action in these music videos has been compartmentalized or even stripped away, in favor of an emotionless killer. If we were to go solely by McKinney’s thoughts, we are lead to believe that there is no agency for Rihanna’s action. Rihanna is violent because she is just violent. And she kills and acts dismissively towards these men because it’s Monday and why the hell not?
For instance, in the music video for “Needed Me,” McKinney noted that the pop star looked “incredibly bored,” as she pulls the trigger on a gun and killed a man. And this bored look is supposed to be an example of her disdain for men.
However McKinney curiously glosses over how this supposed misandrist’s act is happening inside of a strip club (which is graphically shown in the video). You know, the place where women perform for the male gaze? A place where women are faceless, characterless and reduced down to their body parts? And the place where patriarchy still very much reigns supreme?
Likewise, before Rihanna shoots her victim, who is in the middle of getting a lap dance, she holds a gun on him and offers him a chance to repent. But like bored-face Rihanna, her victim seems peculiarly unfazed. Perhaps it is arrogance or maybe it is all the weed he is smoking. Regardless, he does not take her threat of violence seriously. And to prove how little regard he has for her, he dismissively throws money in her face.
If we were to look at things critically, the scene itself is very nuanced. He throws money at Rihanna the same way he likely had at strippers who bounce around on his lap. It’s the same sort of dismissiveness that men have been conditioned to give women regardless of their profession, class, status or emotional state. It doesn’t matter if she is pleasing him or being disagreeable; he treats and regards all women in the same exact way. So when Rihanna kills him, she also not only sets herself free but she also aids the other woman – the exotic dancer who she does not kill– by freeing her from the entire strip culture itself.
In fact, Rihanna’s penchant for justice can be seen elsewhere in her visual catalog. In “Man Down,”Rihanna seeks out and kills the rapist and in “Bitch Better have My Money,” she kills the accountant who stole from her.
In every instance that Rihanna “kills” a man in a video she does so to free or empower herself from their oppression over her – be it romantic or economic. Rihanna is premeditated but she is not predatory. She is vengeful, but not irrational. She is not scared to enact violence against men, but she does not seek to punish men, just because. There is a difference.
And how we label the tone of her violence matters. When we remove the context from her violence – and then call her a misandrist – we are basically saying that there is never a legitimate reason to be upset. Or to not want to dismiss a dude from her presence. Or to fight him. And in some instances, put a bullet in his head.
Granted, violence is not always the answer. However sometimes it is unavoidable. And women in particular need to know that it is an option.
Earlier this month, Rihanna announced that her Clara Lionel Foundation will include a Global Scholarship Program. The program will help pay the tuition of natives or citizens of Brazil, Barbados, Cuba, Haiti, Grenada, Guyana or Jamaica who will be attending an undergraduate institution in the United States.
The scholarship awards range from $5,000- $50,000 and can be renewed for up to three academic school years or until the recipient receives his/her degree.
“Scholarship finalists are selected on the basis of academic performance, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, work experience, a statement of educational goals and objectives, unusual personal or family circumstances and an outside appraisal,” the Clara Lionel Foundation website notes.
When I first learned about Rihanna’s charitable effort, I thought it was brilliant but not for obvious reasons. The program offers those who grew up in similar circumstances as Rihanna, the opportunity to fulfill educational goals that are often left untouched due to circumstances beyond their control. Despite education being of life or death importance in Caribbean and Latino cultures, it’s not always accessible in the United States because of family dynamics or systematic red tape.
Growing up, I observed the road blocks that kept my own relatives from pursuing their education. If they were of high school age, some of my cousins had to repeat grade-level work they already completed because it was assumed that immigrants were academically behind their American peers. Others were not able to attend college because their parents encouraged them to find a job to help with the household responsibilities (especially if other children in their family unit were already enrolled in college).
Although this may not be the narrative of all Caribbean and Latino immigrants, Rihanna’s scholarship adds to the list of opportunities for those who grasp the idea that finances should no longer defer the dreams children of immigrant families, as they embark on their own Manifest Destiny.
For more information on the Rihanna’s Global Scholarship Program, visit the ScholarshipAmerica.Org
It’s a lot to live up to being considered the next big thing in the music business. And that is how the industry is looking at Berlin-born, L.A.-based singer/songwriter Bibi Bourelly.
And why not?
Bourelly is the pen behind Rihanna hot tracks “B-tch Better Have My Money,” “Higher,” and “Yeah I Said It.” You can hear Bourelly lending her distinctive vocals on Usher’s “Chains” as well as on Lil Wayne’s “Without You.” She was featured in (and co-wrote) Nick Brewer’s “Talk to Me” and Bourelly also co-wrote (with Chris Braide) Selena Gomez’s “Camouflage.”
Even though she’s young and relatively new to the professional music game, Bourelly already has an intriguing and confident swagger about herself. You’re more likely to get a “you should know me” attitude from her than a wide-eyed smile.
Now signed to Def Jam Recordings, the 21-year-old “It Girl” is about to release a two-part EP. “Free The Real: Part #1” dropped May 6. She’s already released two singles in 2015, the unapologetic “Riot” and “Ego.” “Riot” landed on Spotify Viral Charts for several nations, peaking at #2 in the U.S., #8 in the UK, and #4 on the overall global charts. The video for “Ego” was filmed in Bourelly’s hometown of Berlin and was directed by her stepmother, Branwen Okpako. Her latest single, “Sally,” has a throwback soulful vibe with a modern party feel.
Of Moroccan and Haitian descent, Bourelly was born into music and art. Her father, Jean-Paul Bourelly, is a noted jazz musician/guitarist, and her late mother, who died of cancer when Bourelly was just six years old, was an artist and head of the Art Department at Berlin’s House of the World’s Cultures. Bitten early by the musical bug, Bourelly started writing songs at the age of four often went to her father’s concerts. So why is Bourelly considered next up for stardom? Critics say her music is not only raw, but real. True to her astronomical sign of Cancer (born July 14th, 1994), she is no stranger to the full spectrum of human emotion–and they all flood into her songs. Itching to move beyond her European borders, one day as a teen Bourelly up packed her suitcase and moved from Berlin to Los Angeles — she was just a tenth-grader.
Bourelly attended high school in Maryland but it didn’t take long for the musical prodigy to realize her path wasn’t confined to the halls of high school, she needed to make music. While in Maryland, Bourelly started working with producer Paperboy Fabe, which is how Bourelly landed in the studio with Kanye West in Los Angeles. Meeting Kanye led to Bourelly writing Rihanna’s “Higher,” which she drafted in a mere 30 minutes. In turn, Rihanna got to hear Bourelly’s “B-tch Better Have My Money, which she released as a solo single in 2015.
On the heels of alll that success, we caught up with Bibi Bourelly as she prepares for a promotional whirlwind for her EP and talks to us about the transition from songwriter to solo artist.
MadameNoire (MN): You were young when you decided to come to the U.S. Why did you want to move?
Bibi Bourelly (BB): I felt it was time, time for me to be somewhere else. I kind of like to move around. You kind of have to know when you have to do something, when you have to pack your sh-t and be like, f-ck it, I’m gone.
MN: When did you realize it was music you wanted to pursue?
BB: I just didn’t understand the concept of the school curriculum. I didn’t think high school was cut out for people like me. I had never been successful in school, the only option was to pursue music. So I just said let me f-cking do it, you know. When I decided I need to go after music with all I had, I moved to Los Angeles. I knew it was there that I could make something happen in business.
MN: Why music?
BB: I have been making music my whole life. My family is in music. Music has always been part of my life. I think that when you know what you love and you have a passion and you know what makes you happy, that’s what you should be doing. I know it’s a f-cking cliché, but it’s so true–do what you f-cking enjoy. For me, I relate to music more than I relate to English; music is what dominates me. It dominates my thoughts; music is how I have conversations with people.
MN: Do you ever need to get away from music? Does it ever overwhelm you?
BB: No. When you do something that you have been doing since, like, you were three, and you do it very day, almost all day, and your parents do, it it’s just part of your life. Sometimes it gets to be an obsession, and it’s my life.
MN: Does it every get draining since it is your life and your career?
BB: It’s draining to people who aren’t born to do this. For me it’s draining when I’m not doing it. When I am not doing something in music, I feel useless.
MN: So what advice would you give someone wanting to enter the music business?
BB: It’s another cliché, but it’s really true–just do it. When you, like, work your a– off and you get to a certain point and you really f-cking want something, you will be successful and attract people around you who will help you get to the place you want to be.
MN: What was that experience like being new to the industry and going into the studio with Rihanna?
BB: I wasn’t even thinking like that, I was focused on making sure I was taking advantage of my opportunity. I was focused on doing a f-cking good job.
MN: Tell me more about your EP.
BB: I have five songs on there, including a song I wrote when I was just 19, “Ego.” It’s about me being me, fighting to be me. “Ego” I wrote in Berlin, drinking cheap wine and was just driven to write from that guitar riff.
MN: You must be excited about the is next stage in your career.
BB: I was born to do this. I was born to create music for the world. I was made for song.
We’ve all had a celebrity crush or two (or three or four) at some point in our lives. That actor whose movies we HAVE to see just because they’re in them. Heck, we’d pay to watch them read the dictionary from A to Z. How about that singer whose silky-smooth voice can melt our hearts with a single note? Needless to say, most of us will never meet our celebrity crushes, let alone have our fantasies about them come to life. But there’s one special group of people for whom celebrity crushes just might turn into real-life romance: actual celebrities. Stars meet each other at parties and award shows all the time. One celebrity’s people call another celebrity’s people to make meetings, deals and hookups happen all the time. It’s a pretty common occurrence that reveals one of the many perks of being a famous person: (instant) access. Despite that, none of the following celebrity-on-celebrity crushes have resulted in coupling. Not yet, anyway.
While we can hardly disagree that fame is a double-edged sword, being a celebrity certainly has its perks. Free swag, money galore and access to pretty much any and everything you could ever want or need. It’s also no secret that celebrities like to party in style. So when it comes to a certain and very special time of the year, some celebrities go all out when their birthday rolls around. And why not? Partying like a rock star is the birthright of every celeb. Money isn’t a concern, no expense is spared, and the only limitation is their imagination, as evidenced by these lavish, themed born-day parties.
It may not have been a theme, per se, but when Kelly Rowland celebrated her 35th birthday, she took and posted a bunch of photo booth-style pics with friends and family, including some with her former Destiny’s Child bandmates. That might not seem like much…until you remember that these women make up one of the most successful groups of all time. No biggie.
If you’re one of those people who lost their minds when Mac launched a limited-edition Rihanna collection back in 2013, you’re definitely about to hit the roof because a complete Rihanna Makeup Collection is due to hit shelves in the semi-near future.
Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) reports the Kendo division of LVMH Moët Hennesy Louis Vuitton has landed a deal with Rihanna to do a full makeup collection. Called Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, the collection is slated to launch in the fall of 2017, and as one veteran cosmetics executive observed, “everything with her is off the charts.”
That includes the money in her bank account as a result of this collaboration. WWD says estimates of how much LVMH paid Bad gal Ri Ri to make this deal happen run as high as $10 million, and given how well Riri Woo performed when it launched — it sold out in just three hours — we’re sure sales will more than make up for that licensing deal.
David Suliteanu, chief executive officer of Kendo, told WWD:
“Fenty Beauty by Rihanna is a beauty rocket ship that will appeal to a huge and diverse global audience. We are aiming for the stars. Kendo is honored to work with Rihanna.”
Though so far there’s no intel on the specifics we can expect from this collection, knowing that Kendo is also behind Kat Von D Beauty and Marc Jacobs Beauty tells us great things are in store. Plus it’s Rihannna, so…
Whatever Rihanna does, women want to try it. First, it was her Good Girl Gone Bad-era bob, and now it’s the relationship savagery she crooned about on Anti. But long before she spit the infinitely tweetable “Didn’t they tell you that I was a savage” line from “Needed Me,” I was swearing off anything more than faded love. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize my bad girl behavior until I swatted away my last fling.
To be honest, my perspective on relationships shifted after one too many heartbreaks. I was viciously played and toyed with mindlessly, and while I’d chalk it up to my lack of self-worth at the time, these men were also just awful human beings. When I was getting cheated on and lied to, I felt powerless, and I vowed never to love that way again. So I’ve gone out of my way to ensure that.
Since those days of low self-esteem and falling hard, I’ve been on a mission to protect my heart above all else. And in this case, that includes playing the field and keeping men at bay.
My way of dusting off the past and glo’ing up is quelling my emotions: I get close enough to enjoy the fruits of my flirting but never allow myself to feel anything potentially damaging. What’s worse, my disinterest in a guy never stops me from enjoying his attention. That is until I feel him getting especially clingy and have to bail for the exits.
Is my newfound outlook on relationships a revenge of sorts? Not entirely. It’s more so about self-preservation. Sure, I consider the feelings of the men I date but never more than my own. Choosing not to get too attached to certain men comes with a healthy dose of heartlessness, and while it can be fun, it can also be hurtful to those who clearly want me to want more. However, I can’t say that I feel bad about it. Do I wish I could enjoy the company of a guy for more than a few months or care enough not to ghost? Absolutely. But it’s just never that deep for me.
Low-key, it’s empowering. It’s an expression of my self-worth and my unwillingness to conform to traditional expectations of women. We’re supposed to jump for joy when a man shows interest, think of him as husband material soon after getting to know him, and desperately want a princess wedding. We’re supposed to play coy, shy and expect a man to be the one to make his interests known.
I’m aware my anti-Ayesha Curry behavior might hinder me from being truly vulnerable, and maybe I’m blocking my romantic blessings. But as of right now, I’m OK with that. I imagine if I ever find love again, I’ll be blindsided, completely swept off my Nikes without warning. For now, however, I’m good. And I’m not trippin’ off of the game I’m kickin’ to any guy.
What is it about certain celebrities that draw us in? It’s not just their work on the big and small screens though that plays a significant role. Is it their likability factor? The way they conduct themselves on the red carpet, during interviews or on social media? For me, I think it’s their demeanor and candor outside of the work we associate them with that makes us feel like certain celebrities are our friends – at least, like Wendy Williams always says, in our heads. Who would you add to this short list of celebrity friends in our heads?
Taraji P. Henson
We’ve known and loved Taraji P. Henson for years, but the success of Empire catapulted her into superstar celebrity status. And yet, she still seems unaffected and exactly the same: cool, grateful, honest and down to earth. Henson seems like she’d be the ultimate ride-or-die friend who will always have your back through thick and thin. Who didn’t want to be friends with her (as well as Kerry Washington and Mary J. Blige) after seeing that Ava DuVernay-directed Apple Music commercial?
By now, we’re pretty accustomed to celebrities posting sexy photos, but the common question still remains: “What type of role model is she?” and whether or not they can be a “real” role models to young girls. Everyone has something to say about Amber, but are they missing an important part of the conversation.
Amber Rose, “new” Beyonce, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj can all be role models for my daughter.
I want my daughter to have grown complex women as role models. Women that are comfortable enough with their sexuality, body, sensuality, and have the confidence to dress and express themselves anyway they want.
When people ask if “new” Beyonce, Amber Rose, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj can be role models what people are really asking is “can I allow my daughter to look up to successful, creative, and sexy savvy business women?” Sounds like a no-brainer question to me.
Being sexy and successful are not mutually exclusive concepts.
“I think my daughter should have the option of finding a role model in Nicki Minaj or other successful women in mainstream media because I want my daughter to know that sexy doesn’t mean stupid or powerless” says mother Mariely Moronta- Sanchez.
Not only have these women of color overcome insurmountable barriers to get to the level of success they have achieved, they have proven that they are forces to be reckoned with by maintaining and developing their careers in a very cut throat field.
The false notion that a woman being sexy lessens or reduces her worth and potential is an outdated and male-centered notion that I am not interested in entertaining in my household.
“We’re told we need to be fit and look beautiful, but not too beautiful or dare I say it, sexy. We’re also told that we can do anything or be anything we want to be. How is then, that we can’t be smart and sexy at the same time?” states Lisette, mother to a growing preteen daughter.
Some of my daughter’s role models include Frida Kahlo and Josephine Baker. Both of these women are women of color who were successful artist, social justice advocates, humanitarians, and very sexual individuals. It’s even rumored that they had sexual relations together.
Providing my daughter with complex role models also alleviates the pressure to “be a perfect good girl.” As adults we know that there is no such thing as a “perfect person” so providing this hollow example for my daughter to look up to would be doing more harm than good.
Yes, Amber Rose was a stripper and shows her comfort in her body however she pleases. Nicki Minaj loves her big butt and sings about the complexities of experiencing an unintended teenage pregnancy that she chose to abort. Rihanna shows her nipples and loves carnival, and Beyonce sings about enjoying sex with her husband while being a mother, millionaire, and continuing to build an empire. These are not bad things. These are human things. Great achievements and messages I want my daughter to hear, own and posses.
“Women like Nicki Minaj are not only sexy business women they are unapologetic for being who they are and that is exactly what I want my daughter to know- you are powerful and will be a sexy woman.” – Moronta-Sanchez.