Rihanna remains ‘Unapologetic’ about controversial relationship

Viewpoints Editor

In the span of her seven year career, Barbadian pop superstar Rihanna has climbed to the top of the world. But whether she deserves to be called the new Queen of Pop is questionable.

Rihanna has scored five Grammy Awards and sold nearly nine million albums in the United States. She is the most digitally downloaded artist in America, the most watched female on YouTube, and the most liked artist on Facebook. 

With her newest album, “Unapologetic,” Rihanna has accomplished a few more impressive feats; her first number one album (finally), and her 12th Billboard Hot 100 number one single with “Diamonds,” tying her with the Supremes and Madonna.

Whether you like Rihanna’s music or not, this is a pretty impressive resume for a 24 year-old. In fact, her place on the Throne of Pop seems undeniable. However, her personal life proves far more controversial than her musical success.

Most notable is her highly-public and recently-rekindled relationship with the effortlessly detestable singer Chris Brown. In case you forgot, Brown brutally beat Rihanna in 2009 before the Grammys and later pled guilty to felony assault.

Since then, Rihanna and Brown’s relationship has been an up-and-down fiasco for the world to gawk at.

Last year, the pair shocked the Internet when Rihanna released an extended remix of her track “Birthday Cake,” which featured Brown. And even though this year’s Video Music Awards were a total snooze-fest, the show’s most salacious moment was photo evidence of Brown and Rihanna reuniting at the end of the program.

Rihanna has already claimed the pair are just friends, but many are not buying it. Ultimately, a relationship between two people should be just that: between two people, not the world. But because Rihanna and Brown are both celebrities, all of their trials and tribulations are fodder for Twitter and gossip blogs.

That being said, it is not like they are creeping around, keeping their relationship on the down-low. On the contrary. Pictures of the two have been appearing on Instagram, and in a controversial pop music moment, Brown is featured on one of Rihanna’s newest tracks entitled, “Nobody’s Business.”

Some would proclaim that creating a song called “Nobody’s Business” defeats the purpose of making a relationship nobody’s business. However, on the track, Rihanna hardly gives any insight into this relationship besides the lines “You’ll always be mine/I’ll sing it to the world.” Which are some pretty unsettling words for a man who violently abused you.

Rihanna is at her starkest, her most wounded and her most hopeful on “Unapologetic.” And what becomes very evident is her obvious emotional trauma after the 2009 incident.

On “Unapologetic,” Rihanna paints herself as both predator and prey, often times blaming herself for the violence between her and Brown. This is indicative of deep emotional stress, and makes for an unsettling listen. It becomes clear that this was Rihanna’s best friend and lover who abused her, somewhat humanizing the relationship, or at least adding another horrid aspect to mull over.

Rihanna is not the Queen of Pop. That title should be reserved for a superhuman role model of the music industry which obviously means Beyoncé. The fact is, Rihanna is not the Queen of Pop because, regardless of her beauty, money or success, she is far too human.