The New Dark Rhianna


Rihanna is a popular pop\R&B artist that has been sweeping the country by storm. With her first hit single “Pon De Replay” to her most recent “Russian Roulette” the artist has had hit singles since 2005 and continues to win the hearts of pop\R&B music lovers everywhere.    

According to MTV Rihanna was a hit from her first interview, a sweet girl from Barbados with a cute face who could sing.  But as the super star pumped out hits her initial characteristics she was known for had faded into the background to let the new fierce and ultra sexy Rihanna take over. To the left is the album cover from her first CD that was released. Rihanna has that sexy look in her eye, but she also gives the appearance of innocence and youth.  

Rihanna was quick to release album after album (2007, 2008, 2009) to her most recent “Rated R” 2010.  This album cover looks nothing like the sweet innocent Rihanna America fell for back in 2005.    

Her new album cover is mostly shades of black, and no other color present. This already suggests darkness and perhaps even gothic (as pictured right, click link for more info).Rhianna’s face is even dark because of her black eye shadow, black lip stick and her eyes blackened by the absence of color. Instead of looking straight into the camera, her face is pointed downward but her eyes are looking towards the camera. This could suggest a type of seduction look or sadness. All of these actions and feelings seem to be present in her music as well, which is a 180 from her first album.    

Rhianna’s new album contains the songs listed below, many of which have a dark or hard tone to them. Comparing these songs to her previous albums, ( Music of the Sun, A Girl Like Me, Good Girl Gone Bad) Rhianna has progressively gotten more dark and forceful.  

Wait Your Turn   Hard    

Stupid in Love             

Rockstar 101   

 Russian Roulette    

Fire Bomb    

Rude Boy    



Te Yamo   

Cold Case Love               

The Last Song   


One song in particular, Russian Roulette is especially dark and unlike Rhianna’s typical musical pattern.  Below is the album cover from the hit single, which like the album cover is very dark and twisted. She is shown wrapped in barbwire with her gaze once again looking seductive, yet dark.    

  The song is basically Rihanna taking a very life-threatening chance with her man in the song by playing Russian roulette with him. Clearly the man  doesn’t care about her life by making her play the game although she says she is “not leaving.” It is a metaphor for taking a risk in a relationship that can possibly ruin your life emotionally and physically.   

     Below are images from the music video further depicting the dark, fierce and even depressed side of Rhianna’s new music. Throughout the music video Rhianna is walking the fine line between being fierce and ultra sexy to being depressed and gothic. Her attitudes and lyrics give the impression of being fierce and seductive, but the images below show a darker more depressing side to her music.   


The images above depict everything from guns, gun shot wounds, car accidents and blood. These images are very graphic and dark for a pop\R&B artist. Can this be the new Rhianna after her breakup from her abusive boyfriend Chris Brown? Or is she trying another approach to music? and most importantly is it working for her fans?   Some fans give their opinion: “After her unfortunate incident the song is a hindsight understanding of her relationship with Chris Brown where she in actually risked her life in staying with him. She must have contemplated death that night of the brutal incident and this is the song reflecting on those events and the person she was with.”   



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