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When The-Dream and Tricky Stewart first played Rihanna “Hard,” they did it almost as a joke. They thought there was no way she’d go for the song. Little did they know Rihanna was looking to ad some swagger to her “Rated R” album, and the song was just what she had in mind.

“Funny enough, when I first heard the song, we were in Paris — they flew out there to play me some songs they had done for me, some ideas. And before they played ‘Hard,’ they were like, ‘We’re gonna play you the ghetto one first, and you have to do it, you have to do it. They thought I wouldn’t like it, and when I heard it, I just loved it. It had such an attitude and a swagger … super cocky, and just a fun song. We just thought it was the perfect song for Jeezy [to do a verse on]. It was made for him to collaborate on it. And I think he did an amazing job.”

And in keeping with the feel of the song, the video is equally tough: an over-the-top military exercise, only with a decidedly Rihanna touch. “It’s couture military,” Rihanna explained. “Everything is surrounded around the idea of something military. We have tanks, we have troops, we’ve got helicopters, we’ve got explosions. We’ve got lots of cute outfits, lots of bullets. It’s crazy.” (MTV.com)

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