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Rihanna and I have a few pivotal things in common: we are both 24-years-old and both of us are hopelessly in love with a man who, to everyone else, may not be worthy. We both enjoy the euphoric sensation a finely rolled stick of Kush can provide and both of us like to down a couple of shots of Patron. I can openly admit that up until now, I have not marched through the trenches with the rest of Rihanna Navy. Her radical behavior, though as carefree and radical as mine, wasn’t really appealing. It wasn’t until a drunk night in the bathtub, angry after a fight with the boyfriend, that the pain and lyrics from her massive Calvin Harris produced single “We Found Love” resonated with me. Maybe it was the rebellious visuals for the Euro-pop tune and the way the drug induced stupor resulted in her being branded with permanent ink and a racy slap on the rear end that captured me. At that moment, I bopped my head like never before and sang so loudly, off-key, that the sound of my screeching voice became therapeutic.

My anticipation for her seventh album grew with each mention of a diamond, a ruby or even a sapphire.

“Unapologetic” sticks to the tried and true formula of her last six collections. A little R&B with a splash of reggae served on a platter of sexy (and add a dash of pop for good measure) and there you have it, another feminist album to bump in the car with your girls on he way to the club. “Unapologetic” isn’t a classic or anything but somehow, in a time, when most artists couldn’t make a decent album if they tried, Ri Ri makes it look easy! “Unapologetic” serves you up everything you need on one disc. It has music to twerk to, something to sex to, something to make you dance and something even a tough cookie such as yourself, could tear up to in the middle of a lonely bus ride home.

We haven’t heard Rihanna sing a ballad like “Stay” since she was draped over the piano in “Unfaithful.” I was captivated by her emotional attachment as she delivered lines like: “Not really sure how to feel about it, something in the way you move, makes me feel like I can’t move.” There is nothing inside of me that could convince me that she isn’t singing to or about Chris Brown. Every time I listen, I can feel her heart beating as the fear of being so vulnerable radiates from her pores.

The standout tune amongst the roster is “Loveeeee Song” featuring Future. His half rap/half song vocals find a nestled residence beside Rihanna’s sensual register. Together, they create a harmonious mixture of bedroom magic.

“Right Now” is a dance experience even for the rhythmically challenged. David Guetta, who made a name for himself twisting and melting beats together to create another genre of music, brings the heat on lively track. It certainly is one of my favorites.

“Diamonds,” shortly put is, epic. “When you hold me, I’m alive,” she sings before taking flight into an inspiring chorus.

After a wildly successful single , “I Love The Way You Lie,” Eminem returns the favor on the salacious “Numb.” And, oddly so, it fits.

If you’re a fan of Juicy J’s “Bands” then you will happily pop the elastic accessory to “Power It Up” next weeks strip club anthem. Practically identical twins, Rihanna confidently flaunts the zeros in her bank account.

She and Chris Brown subliminally confront the naysayers on “Nobody’s Business”…though, not one of my personal favorites, it seems to be hit among fans. Their undying love is sprinkled on the Jackson-esque duet. Listen to it, here.

Ri Ri’s Bajan roots fly on the island tune “No Love Allowed.” Reminiscent of her single “Man Down,” the dance hall circuit will be ablaze when they hear it!

While there are some throwaway songs on the disc, “Unapologetic” does not disappoint. It is apparent that she stepped up her singing abilities and remains the trendsetter for risque music and fashion. Good job Rihanna! 3 HB kisses for you!

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For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.