Happy Anniversary #Navy, it’s been TEN YEARS since the release of Good Girl Gone Bad! Can you believe it!? (I will be talking about songs from Reloaded as well, just fyi)
First, this album cover thoughhh!! Beautiful. That pose, that bob covering her eye… C’MON FENTY! That was baby Rihanna. She became a pop superstar at the tender age of 19… NINETEEN. Could you imagine? I couldn’t. This album is why we love Rihanna today.
Prior to Good Girl Gone Bad (GGGB), Rihanna had released two albums prior. She had her debut album, Music of the Sun, which features songs “Pon de Replay” and “If It’s Lovin’ That You Want”. “Pon de Replay” was her debut to the world and that song had everyone talking because it was a dancehall-esque song and she was this pretty girl with a fresh sound. Her second album was A Girl like Me, which features songs “SOS” and “Unfaithful”. With AGLM, we could see that Rihanna was moving towards pop music with the sound and success of “SOS”. Rihanna made a flawless transition to this new persona she adopted pre-GGGB. She knew she had to change her look so she cut her hair, dyed it black and ran with it.
I remember how I felt when I first saw the iconic music video for “Umbrella”. I don’t recall what show I was watching, one of those defunct music video shows, and I remember it was like a big debut, new Rihanna song yay. And then… we see her, the hairstyle, the flawless body, and then we have Jay-Z. You had my heaarrt and we’ll never be worlds aparrrrtt, maybe in magaziiines but you’ll still be my starrrr. What a “beginning” to an amazing career right? The stars were aligned for this girl and everything became real for her after “Umbrella”… she was a star. The video goes down in history, this look for Rihanna is one of her best, and who else but Jay-Z could’ve been on this song? No one. Oh and before I forget, shout out to The-Dream and Tricky Stewart for this incredible record. Geniuses.
Okay so let’s continue with the album shall we. “Push Up On Me” is number 2 on the album and it’s a banger, a song you would dance to in the club back in 2007/8. She sounds so young on this song… it’s so cute. It’s like her voice is completely different now. Next is “Don’t Stop the Music” and this was released as a single and peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Pure pop, a dance record, fun song and I love it. “Breakin’ Dishes” is another good one. Rihanna was not f-cking around with this one, she went all the way again… written by The-Dream and Tricky Stewart. “Shut Up and Drive” showed Rihanna’s versatlity. So far, none of the songs sound the same and “Shut Up and Drive” proves that with a rock sound, this song climbing to #15 on the charts. Rihanna has always believed in showing her chops and proving that she can’t be placed in a box. The discography was an example of that in 2007 and she has created more lanes and sounds for herself 10 years later.
Next, “Hate That I Love You”, the anthem for that summer and the song that was getting played relentlessly in my iPod back then. Ne-Yo was one of my favorites at the time so the combination of him and RiRi was absolutely perfect, and the song showed that. The song was so beautiful and me being 14 back then, it made me want to love some boy and tell him that I hated that I loved him so (lol). “Sell Me Candy” and “Lemme Get That” are also great songs but I don’t want to talk about every song, essentials to the album though. Okay next, “Rehab”. Written by Justin Timberlake, “Rehab” was another love song, the occasional break on the album from pop perfection. The song even sounds like Justin Timberlake would be singing on it. A good song, not one of my favorites on the album but I can definitely listen to it if necessary. I’m going to skip to “Disturbia”. If I didn’t play the f-ck out of “Disturbia” when it came out… geez, and back then I never understood why I loved it so much but BIH, this is Rihanna we’re talking about. Homegirl makes hits in her sleep I’m sure. I just loved how different the song was, it was Thriller-esque if you will and the video was cool. It was an easy bop, I wouldn’t be surprised if this song took her like an hour to finish, it seemed so easy and fitting for her. Also, her voice is so perfect in this song. Okay moving to the last song. How bout a round of applause, standing ovation… you look so dumb right now, standing outside my house, trying to apologize you’re so ugly when you cry. TELL EM RIH. “Take A Bow” was like, that song for me. I fell in love with that song as soon as I saw the video… it was just over. I loved the lyrics (Ne-Yo again) and I felt like she really wanted to give her all for this song. It was my favorite song for a minute and I appreciate her for giving us this gem.
Again, this album ushered in an era that we haven’t seen end yet… that Rihanna reign. It won’t let up. Rihanna has stayed true to herself with everything she has been through since becoming a household name. It’s what I respect most about her, over everything else, she is still herself. People can say whatever they want about her but one, it’s probably not true and two, she doesn’t care about anybody else’s opinion. That’s why she was able to evolve into the artist that felt she was ready to deviate from her “usual” sound and release ANTI. Rihanna puts out full bodies of work every album release and she has done that since day 1. People can talk about Rihanna the artist, but usually their arguments are completely baseless and they only say whatever bullsh-t because they heard someone else say it. People that hate on Rihanna don’t listen to her music or they just have really bad music taste and I have to remind myself of that any time somebody says something dumb about her. Rihanna is one of the greatest artists of our generation, top 5 to be exact, and she should be respected as such.
Good Girl Gone Bad was released 10 years ago but the album and it’s impact will never be forgotten. A classic album.
Also, an Instagram post of Rihanna acknowledging the anniversary of GGGB…
I love her.