November 16, 2012

Song Review: Rihanna's "Diamonds" (Kanye West Remix)



It's become a mid-November tradition, as a new LP from hit-making superstar Rihanna (her 7th of her career to be exact) is about to drop just in time for the Black Friday shopping rush. Unapologetic is actually a really great pop album with substance, working well as a whole in the same way her frienemy Drake's Take Care did last year, and not just a mish-mash of diverse radio singles like her previous efforts. This week, however, it seems like everyone simply wants to cut their own version of RiRi's current smash "Diamonds," and when the self-crowned king of hip-hop Kanye West inserts his big head onto the song, can you really expect nothing short of perfection? 'Ye has been on a tear in 2012 without even putting out a new full-length, namely his Cruel Summer mixtape and soundtrack contributions, but his appearance on Rihanna's pulsing "happy and hippie" track stands out among his best work this year by taking an already pretty good listen and turning it into an amazing one with his unhumble, confrontational presence. Whether it be embellishing his crazy-in-the-head paranoia over his celeb status ("Illuminati? / High society? / We in this party and nobody invited me..."), pep talking Superstorm Sandy victims ("And we made it through the hurricane...") or teasing his next step ("On the radio, I already miss myself / I need to step back and kiss myself..."), Mr. West almost makes you forget that this is Rihanna's house we're in. Fittingly, she arrives just in time for the chorus to remind us to "shine bright...", which also serves as a clever way for Kanye to exit while still stroking his ego altogether.

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