Best Rihanna Duets in the 2000s
Neither RiRi or the Gamb revealed what they were doing in Cuba, but according to unconfirmed reports, the two superstars were reportedly filming scenes for an upcoming movie called "Guava Island.” Apparently, filmmaker Hiro Murai, who shot Gambino’s provocative “This Is America” video, is shooting the film in different locations in Havana. Ironically, Gambino will also be performing at Rihanna's 2018 Diamond Ball in September.
Despite the cloak-and-dagger mission surrounding their film project, we can add it to Rihanna’s long list of collaborations in film and in music. Throughout her career, the pop superstar has never shied away from collaborating with some of the biggest artists in the hip-hop, reggae and R&B genres.
Rappers such as Eminem, JAY-Z, Jeezy and Nicki Minaj have teamed up with the Barbadian superstar, while R&B singers Ne-Yo, The-Dream, Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige have either performed with RiRi or wrote songs for her.
So with news of Rihanna's latest collaboration, The Boombox decided to rundown some of the singer's biggest duets in the millennium. Check it out below.
From her debut album, Rihanna taps into her island roots and enlists dancehall king Elephant Man for her party ode to the DJs.
Before Rihanna made her official debut with Music of the Sun, the singer made her first-ever major-label appearance on Memphis Bleek’s “The One” from his debut album, 534. Rihanna would also make a cameo in Bleek’s “It’s Like That,” which gave her more exposure in the music game.
As Rihanna started making noise in the music industry, she didn’t forget about other artists making waves in Barbados. Fellow Barbadian Shontelle grew up with Rihanna and was even her drill sergeant in a sub-military cadets program in their native Barbados.
She revealed that she ordered Rihanna around during their time together. “That’s what drill sergeants do. We boss cadets around, we make them do push-ups,” she told BBC in 2009. “We were both in cadets together - it wasn’t compulsory or anything. But picture me and Rihanna in combat boots and fatigues crawling through mud and things like that.”
Shontelle didn't make RiRi do push-ups in her "Roll Up" video but they sure had a lot of fun rolling it up to their club jam.
Rihanna’s remix for "If It's Lovin' That You Want" features Corey Gunz, who is the son of Love & Hip Hop reality star Peter Gunz of “Déjà Vu (Uptown Baby)” fame. Produced by The Trackmasters, the song has a “Candy Shop” vibe with RiRi telling a prospective lover, "If it's lovin' that you want, you should make me your girl because I've got what you need." We can't argue with that.
Ne-Yo is among several R&B artists who have written and/or performed on some of Rihanna's biggest hits in her career. This is one of them. Ne-Yo wrote the acoustic guitar-driven track for Ri-Ri as well as sing on it. The song peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and was certified platinum by the RIAA for 1 million copies sold in the U.S.
Once again, Rihanna taps into her island roots and flips Dawn Penn’s 1994 classic dancehall track “You Don't Love Me (No, No, No)” in a club hit.
It’s only right that the hottest singer in the R&B/pop world teams up with the hottest rapper in hip-hop. RiRi and the Queen Barbz team up on the hyper dance track, which features them talking about collecting thirsty men in the club.
Not only was Rihanna making strides in the R&B genre but she was fast becoming a major pop star as well. Clearly, by teaming up with Justin Timberlake she would gain more visibility on pop radio. It must have worked; the song sold two million copies in the U.S. alone.
Not only is Rihanna a major pop star, she's also a humanitarian as well. The singer has never shied away from lending her voice, image or time to charitable causes. In 2010, Haiti suffered a major earthquake, which caused widespread destruction on the island. In response, various artists recorded songs for Hope for Haiti Now, a live album with proceeds benefitting families affected by the Haiti earthquake. The lead single was produced by Swizz Beatz and performed JAY-Z, Rihanna and U2’s Bono and The Edge (on guitar).
Rihanna knows how to make infectious, throw-your-fists-in-the-air-type anthems. RiRi taps Jeezy for her boastful song, which was co-written and co-produced by The-Dream, a frequent collaborator. On the track, Rihanna proclaims to be the baddest bitch in the game and nobody is going to stop her reign. “Never lying, truth-teller / That Rihanna reign just won't let up / All-black on, blacked-out shades, blacked-out Maybach / I'ma rock this s--- like fashion, as in going 'til they say stop,” she sings.
In a rather unique moment in pop music, Rihanna along with chart-topping artists Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Fergie, Keyshia Cole, Ciara, Ashanti and more came together to record and perform the charity single “Just Stand Up” to raise awareness of breast cancer. Proceeds from the single was donated to breast cancer research.
Rihanna’s No. 1 hit song features a young and clean shaven Drake way before he became the 6 God that we know and love. After the video dropped, rumors started circulating that RiRi and Drizzy were a couple, much to her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown’s chagrin.
JAY-Z is credited for bringing Rihanna to Def Jam and has been an instrumental figure during her initial rise in the R&B game. In 2009, RiRi delivers an empowering chorus for Hov’s guitar-charging anthem “Run This Town.” Here’s hoping that another RiRi and Hov collaboration is in the works.
Here’s another infectious anthem courtesy of T.I. and Rihanna. Produced by Just Blaze, the song is dedicated to the American troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, Tip and RiRi are delivering optimism and motivation to their fans by encouraging them to live their life to the fullest. The song reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, marking T.I.'s third No. 1 single, and Rihanna's fifth.
Rihanna’s breakthrough hit "Umbrella" was co-written and co-produced by The-Dream and features Hov kicking it off with an adequate verse. It’s one of RiRi’s best songs in her expansive catalog and a favorite among her Navy (aka fans). The song was a worldwide success, reaching No. 1 on every music chart around the world, including the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S. where it reigned at the top for seven consecutive weeks. “Umbrella” earned Rihanna her first Grammy Award in 2008 for for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and was crowned Song of the Decade at the Barbados Music Awards in 2010.
When Rihanna and Eminem collaborate on a song it’s an instant smash. Songs like “Monster” and “Numb” have done well for the dynamic duo, but nothing compares to their first duet together, “Love the Way You Lie.” The song became a worldwide smash and No. 1 hit for both RiRi and Eminem.
Rihanna sings the anthemic hook on Yeezy’s rollicking track. The song is great but the video is even better. Directed by the great Hype Williams, RiRi looks phenomenal with her fire-red hair and cut-out black dress that reveals her ample bosom.