Collaborations between modern artists and musical “legends” always seem to produce some of the most interesting compositions. For example, take “FourFiveSeconds” by Rihanna ft. Kanye West and Paul McCartney.
The artistry of each singer is vastly different. Kanye West first established himself in the industry as a producer-turned-rapper in the early 2000’s and is known for his arrogant “Yeezus” persona and purposely autotuned sound. Rihanna has also been around since the early 2000’s, creating out club anthems like “Pon De Replay” for most of her career.
Kanye West and Rihanna have collabed before on songs like “Run This Town”, so seeing them together is nothing new. Seeing them with McCartney, however, caught everyone off guard.
What on earth would a former Beatle member and musical icon be doing with West and Rihanna? The reasoning is unclear.
“FourFiveSeconds” is different from anything Rihanna and West have ever released, much thanks to McCartney’s production. It’s a new direction for both of them, and it’s a direction that has ultimately pleased critics.
The acoustic guitar-heavy song goes back to classic, stripped-down roots. There’s no heavy bass or electronic sound anywhere in the song. “FourFiveSeconds” doesn’t even sample anything, which is new for West. Surprisingly, ridding their music of these common elements works heavily in their favor. It’s even better because McCartney is the guitar player providing the folksy background.
The song lyrics give insight to the emotional aftermath that ensues after a breakup and the crazy things people do to move on. For example, Rihanna begins the song with, “I think I’ve had enough; Might get a little drunk.” It doesn’t seem fitting with the simplistic music, but the two work very well together. It even had crowds singing along at their stellar Grammy performance this past weekend.
Overall, “FourFiveSeconds” is a song that deserves a few listens. The style may not be for everyone, but no one can deny it’s uniquenature.