Singer Rihanna (24) features on the front cover of December’s GQ Magazine and I am left wondering what the hell is going on???

When Rihanna first appeared on the music scene the only part of her body that was on show was her midriff and her image was relatively clean and safe. Then things began to change after the still talked about altercation in 2009 with former boyfriend Chris Brown which left her battered and bruised.

After the drama died down she resurfaced with a darker sound and an edgier look, and each year since then more and more items of clothing have come off.

In the year 2012 as well as posing naked for GQ Magazine, Rihanna has also upgraded to posing topless alongside model Kate Moss in a series of random and provocative photographs (POINTLESS).

I admire Rihanna’s work ethic. She is constantly touring, making albums and making money from lucrative business ventures outside of the music industry. The woman works like a mule and I respect her for it. She also makes some catchy songs.

But I would really like to know how the fresh faced young lady from the island of Barbados who debuted with Pon de Replay, has ended up on the cover of GQ Magazine (a magazine that is supposed to ooze sophistication) looking like she should be on the cover of that tacky rag Play Boy?

What is going on behind the scenes? Who is advising her? Why has her image changed so drastically (e.g. the drinking, the tattoos, the overt sexual behaviour and lack of clothing) in such a relatively short period of time? Have label executives pressurized her in to going down this road to generate sales or is she in control and making the decisions here?

I understand that it is important for artists to grow but I find Rihanna’s “growth” quite disturbing. I feel that there are sinister forces at work here.

Your thoughts please…..

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23 replies »

  1. I don’t like how ‘growth’ is synonymous with stripping and singing overtly sexual songs with these singers. You hear singers like Miley Cyrus, Christina Aguilera (when she went through her Dirrty days) and Rihanna say things like ‘I’m growing into my own’ or ‘I’m giving this a grown up feel’. Bullsh**t. At the end of the day it’s the managers and record labels that have more say than the artist so if Mr Exec says strip for GQ then it’ll happen.

  2. It is always the same pattern with a large portion of these female artists, they start off relatively cool and mild mannered(the carrot to suck in young girls especially), however as time goes on Babylon demands more of them, so in turn they wear less clothing and become more sexualised. Beyonce is another classic example of this. This is simply part of the agenda to sexualise the youth and get them rutting like rabbits, however without the commitment and the children side of things. Further destruction of the family unit and population reduction in one promotional stroke.

  3. why are we so afraid of black female sexuality?.
    How is this look tacky?. So something tragic happened to her, instead of leaving her alone, the world largely berated her, blamed her and demanded that she be a spokes person.
    Some were so vitriolic they forgot that she needed help and decided to make her emotional and physical tragedy a laughing stock.

    And you wonder why she got ‘edgier’, grew ‘darker’.

    Maybe she figured it out?, maybe she didn’t?. Maybe she looked around and thought oh I want to celebrate me, my body in all its gloriousness. Maybe she is not ashamed of her body, maybe she thinks skin is beautiful. Maybe she likes her tattoos?

    I don’t see tacky up there. I see a beautiful smooth augmented skin, I see wild yet subtle.
    I see free. celebration, edgy, and yes I see rhianna, doing what she wants and has to do because after the Chris Brown aftermath she must have realised. The world won’t give a shit about her anyway, why should she listed to it anymore.

  4. That’s a deep assessment of the situation but I don’t buy it. She is heading down a destructive path. Give it 3 years she will be back on Oprah telling the world how during this period ‘she wasn’t in control, was depressed etc’, and that tattoo under her breasts will probably be lasered off. Wait and see.

  5. Her change had nothing to do with Chris brown, she started to change before she even admitted to dating the boy.. It his image that changed afterwards with the tattoos and rapping about getting money *rolls eyes*.

    This girl set her path of distruction and has kicked boundaries in the face. She obviously loves the rush and is living fast. She will be saying in a few year she was always intoxicated and was out of control but young and now older turning over a new leaf.

    She is classless as an artist and takes everything that is sacred as a women and uses it for fame and money. She is not the only one many have come before her and many shall be birthed after her because of the likes of her.

    To who much is given, much is required! She’s a waste of so much that is beautiful *shrugs*

  6. I see degeneration, degradation, foolishness and destruction. You don’t become “free” by dropping your morality, skipping over to the dark side and dancing with devils. Your argument is filled with utter folly Test. If indeed the world doesn’t care about her then why even bother with the strip tease for a world that doesn’t give a monkeys? Surely the thing to do would have been the opposite ie wear what she truly wants to wear(not what she has been told to wear by music executives), disappear into the shadows and do her own thing.

    Only people who enjoy reveling in the dross and mire of Babylon will find pleasure in what she is doing. Through media indoctrination you have simply been downloaded with the appropriate updates in order for you to take on the view that what she is doing is normal. When you see the same pattern with these female artists over and over again, 2+2 equals 4 Test, something else is a foot here.

    Black female sexuality???? Who told her to take off her clothes, was it not European men? What the heck is black about this picture? What is black about tattoos? Black people were not renowned for the foolishness of posing naked and graffing up their bodies. However today, dangle a few of Babylon’s dainty treats in front of us and the majority of black people will tap dance, break dance, strip and even act the fool for “the man” and to receive reward. Stop with the “maybe” nonsense, we have seen this pattern before with other female artists, so we already know what her end will be.

  7. @verbs…
    oh the babylon morality quacks. black people aren’t known for nakedness? .
    hmm ok. carry on

  8. Nothing new here. Rihanna has done many shots like this before. Clevage and hip bone, where’s the offence?

  9. I remember years back when she had her first hit. She was pictured on a beach in a normal bikini, and the Barbados media went mad saying how she was dressing inappropriately by showing off her belly etc! If they could only see how she would eventually turn out, they would have choked on their cou-cou and flying fish.

  10. @Verbs2012 Black folks in Africa have been having tattoos for centuries and nakedness has nothing to do with the race but more with the fact celebrities ( especially women) think wearing little to nothing is a way of being noticed and show a so-called confidence AND sex sells!

    Regarding The Chris Brown issue (( I am not saying it was ok), the girl has been milking on it ever since, if it wasn’t for it she wouldn’t be relevant anymore

    To a certain extend She’s the most “free” Black artist of her generation ( even Beyonce isn’t)

  11. @Test

    From your lame response I can clearly see that English is not your first language of communication, so I won’t bother wasting my gas on your foolishness.


    What you are saying is very true, however black people in Africa aren’t and haven’t been tattooing themselves randomly for fun, the marking stand for something, maybe what tribe they belong to or what area of a particular country they are from. However, this particular TREND in the west that blacks folks have subscribed to in relation to tattoos has not come from Africa, it has stemmed from Europeans. Punk rockers within the music industry were among the first to wear tattoos, in fact I remember at one stage that this was the only group wearing them abundantly.

    In relation to the nakedness, I am not referring to the act itself as you are right again, it has nothing to do with race, I am referring to this TREND that is heavily being promoted. Again, this trend is not coming from us, it is coming from Europeans. In times past before the commercialisation of nakedness by Europeans, a black woman’s nakedness was looked upon very differently than it is today, at least I remember that viewing a black woman naked had a different and deeper meaning among our people, she was looked upon with reverence and not just as a lust object, correct me if I’m wrong.

  12. I don’t understand why people think she’s faking the funk with this look, when
    a) she’s been doing this for a while
    b) when she was first introduced to us, her record label wanted her to stay looking like Amerca’s Sweetheart (aka Beyonce, long weaves, sing bubblegum pop songs etc). They would even let her cut her hair.
    c) when she did cut her hair (Umbrella) and the single was a smash, that’s when record execs started to change their tune and realise that maybe she knows what shes doing when it comes to her image.
    This notion that Rihanna is an idiot who needs to be told what to do, has been disproved many times (even before the Chris Brown incident). She is so far up the ranks (in terms of stardom) that its highly unlikely any record execs can tell her what she should or shouldn’t be doing.
    Whilst I agree that anyone that has been in a destructive relationship, like she has, should seek counselling. I do not co-sign that this GQ pic is a result of that relationship. How many years should she be singing “Pon The Replay”???
    This girl is no longer a girl, she’s a woman. If she chooses to flash her hip bone and clevage, why are people so offended? Even the tattoo is nothing new, she actually has quite a few. What is the argument here?

  13. My point is that we should be doing original stuff ourselves, not copying everybody else. Her look in that picture is Goth, what has Goth to do with us?

  14. We need a sex tape to take it a step further. If you do not have talent, you had better have something else to sell. Her concerts are wack, her voice is wack, cannot sing or dance. I say take the damn clothes off.

  15. The sorry fact is that Rhianna and most female music acts today have to resort to this cheap publicity if they want to:

    1). Become & remain rich/wealthy
    Especially in an industry when fewer people are actually buying music. That why she and say Beyonce want and need to break into movies where they’d command say $10M a pop a film. They’d have to a record that sold like say Elton John’s Candle in The Wind to make anything like that.

    2). As a Pop-R&B artist this kind of thing is standard (It don’t make it right).
    The really stange thing is that only last month she became the 15th Black woman to apper on the cover of Vogue. In what as a classy Annie Leibovitz shoot, I can only think what legendary editor Anne Wintour thinking now.

    3). If you don’t play the “Game” you fail to remain relevant
    Its rather sad that say Jill Scott, Erykah Badu & Solange Knowles, all talented, Good Looking (Come on Looks matter) artists in their own right but will never sell numbers likes of Rhianna, Nicki Minaj & Beyonce. Why? Because they don’t pander and play the sex sells angle. If they do magazine’s generally they don’t go down the “Buck Naked” route. We (Yes that maens you too) are only interested in whats current, fresh happening and these stunts keep these artist current.

    I kinda of agree with Janice it’ll be interesting to look back on this year for Rhi Rhi in say 3 years time and see what she has to say.

    I can tell you now that boy are they choking in Bim. Looking at the image I wouldn’t be surprised if they confiscated copies at the airport.

  16. verbs,
    The issue might be your ability to comprehend the written word. See, i helped you a ‘lil bit by adding a verb to the first sentence, if you guess what it is maybe the illuminati will tell you their secrets and you will have one less conspiracy theory to worry about.

  17. @Test

    Keep talking Test, the conspiracy is in the open for all to see, it is not hidden. But no problem, I suppose maybe you might wake up out of the matrix when you find yourself living on a park bench rummaging through the local bins for your grub.

  18. Anyone who thinks that a black singer can rise to the top of GLOBAL stardom and not be told what to do is as deluded as the star themselves. The music industry will only stop working in that way when the the guys at the top all die out and as they train up their successors years in advance that is unlikely to happen.

    Rihanna is a puppet, dangled on a string trained & kept obedient with the zeros in her bank account. If she had any control she would not be on her 7th album in as many years, she’d have sat back and enjoyed her money by now, instead she is being fleeced by the label, marketing, management and accountants GIVEN to her and is forced to continue working and stripping like a cheap hooker to feed THEM.

    This is not a symbol of black female sexuality, its modern day high end slavery, if you cannot recognise it please re-evaluate your life.

  19. @Melissa, being “fleeced”. For someone who you think is being “fleeced” she seems to be doing quite well. To “fleece” someone, you have to leave them high and dry. She’s making her money. Who’s getting fleeced? It certainly isn’t her. Did it ever occur to you that maybe she enjoys the work she does and making 7 albums is nothing to be scoffed at, especially in an industry where the average career span of an artist is 1/2 years.
    It takes a certain person to navigate themselves through this devilish business called the “music industry”. I will give the girl her props just for that alone. Her dressing the way that she does is a different issue for me. As long as I don’t see a child popstar (which she isn’t) doing what she does, then I can’t be the one to tell a grown woman how she should present herself to the world. Now, if your a parent and you allow your child to listen to Rihanna, knowing how she dresses and what her musical content is, who’s fault is that? she isn’t responsible for the rearing of your child.

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November 2012
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