Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why Is Rihanna Hated?

Rihanna is currently one of the most successful artists in the realm of music today. Her fashion sense has done the job of baiting her new fans only to have her songs earn her a loyal following. Things were not always like this for the Barbadian beauty, but then again every star has to earn their way to the top.

With a scandal behind her and a new album Rated R, that is said to have sold over a million copies worldwide, Rihanna is well on her way to being considered a superstar if she isn’t already. With a new fond fame and a batch of admirers, there are still the some that just cannot stomach Rihanna for one reason or another.

Which begs the question, what’s up with all of the hate?

Rihanna was two albums into her career when she decided to drop the firestorm that started it all known as Good Girl Gone Bad. With the new album came a new state of mind for Rihanna who appeared to be a sugary sweet little girl in videos for her song “Pon de Replay” and “If It’s Lovin’ That You Want.”

Of course her change in appearance and the state of her image began to take a turn for a more sexy appeal with her 2006 sophomore album A Girl Like Me. The album saw Rihanna letting her hair down with songs like “SOS” and “Unfaithful”, but nothing could compare to the Jay-Z assisted “Umbrella” off of her third LP.

Following the success of Good Girl Gone Bad, Rihanna’s attitude began to mirror exactly what the album’s title suggested. She started turning to a more darker sexier side of expression as made clear by her single “Disturbia”, and was all of a sudden viewed as a trendsetter and tabloid princess thanks to her new chopped do and her choice of high couture fashion and to-die-for accessories.

Then there was the 2009 scandal that involved her and ex-boyfriend Chris Brown. No matter how hard Rihanna and Chris Brown may try, they may never live down that night. The response to the physical altercation that left the singer bruised and battered was divided. Some were supportive of Rihanna and what she experienced, while others felt empathy for Chris. You could cut the tension with a machete whenever their names were brought up in forums or comment areas as the arguments got nasty.

The backlash became crystal clear when Rihanna decided to discuss the incident. After 8 months of keeping her lips sealed, Rihanna took to magazines and most notably 20/20 to talk about what happened that night. Chris had been appearing in interviews himself way before she started to open up, but instead of discussing the incident he chose to keep that part private.

Though there are many that may feel that the hate towards Rihanna is unnecessary, it isn’t difficult to see why it may be.

When word got out that Rihanna and Chris were involved in a physical altercation, no one knew how serious the outcome was. There were stories and rumors, but there were no definite answers. When a photo, that was taken the night of her beating, went public showing the singer bloodied and swollen, everyone’s hearts ached for the Rihanna.

But then those worries were put to the side when she was spotted out at night clubs dressed to kill having a good time with friends and family. Many assumed that she had gotten over the situation, while some knew that she was still going through it but putting on a happy face.

Many wondered why Rihanna waited so long to tell her side of the story. The timing of her album and her interview with Diane Sawyer on 20/20 didn’t help either. Many assumed that she did the interview because she had an album on its way out for release and needed the exposure. Fans were not pleased with the notion that she was playing on their feelings to push units and others would say the same for Chris.

One point that music observers tend to bring up often is Rihanna’s apt to perform or be photographed in little to nothing. She has often referred to herself as a role model yet she appears in photo shoots and video’s half-naked leaving many baffled.

Then of course there’s the matter of her talent. Some have mentioned that Rihanna is just not a talented artist. She doesn’t sing very well, her dancing isn’t up to par and she doesn’t amaze when she performs live.

People question why she is as famous as she is and feel that she is not worthy of being known.

By the end of the day, Rihanna is selling something. In the dawn of YouTube and Ustream, where anyone who is anyone who wants to be famous can be just by clicking record, one does not have to do much to be the apple of people’s eye.

Rihanna may not be the best singer or the best dancer, but there is something about this woman that appeals to her target audience. Maybe it’s her fashion, perhaps it’s her personal life; whatever it is, Rihanna’s fans, or as they affectionately refer to themselves “stans,” are just fine with Rihanna as she is and the music that she provides to them.

Does Rihanna have staying power or potential to be an icon? Only time will tell, though it is worth mentioning that it takes a lot more than what has been given by the singer to become one.

One thing is for sure, as long as the camera continues to love Rihanna so will the world.

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