Albums, Features

Rihanna’s Not-So-New-Anymore-But-Still-Worth-Talking-About ANTI Tape


I have 3 words only. Sex. With. Me. That’s it. That should be this entire review, because really, “Sex With Me” is one of the best #babymakingjams to ever have existed. That shit’s already a classic. And given how Rihanna has become everyone’s #goals after having receiving the Vanguard–present by none other than Drake himself–at the VMAs, I thought it was important to do a little tribute piece to the ultimate babe.

But if you are very very very late to every party (or album release) like me, then you might just be getting onto this Rihanna ANTI hype. And it is fantastic. Every track is totally different–some feel 1950s, some a little southern. All, a little dirty, a little lovesick. All 100% unapologetic. So kids, sit down, maybe roll a J–it’s what Rihanna would have wanted–and let me take you through some of the best tracks on this tape.

“Work” is everyone’s guilty pleasure jam–and even music snobs who despise music can get down to it. “Sex With Me” is similar in that respect, and is easily becoming a fantasy sex song for my future.

SZA is easily becoming one of my favorite female singers of all time, so having her featured on “Consideration was, like, the ideal for me. Their voices together is this strong, empowered, in touch with their feels, is gold.

I found “Needed Me” in a super vulnerable place when I really really needed it, and proceeded to love it more when I found that Kehlani (who if you don’t know, you should) helped write it. In the throws of a break-up, Rihanna belting that they needed her was a feeling I could relate to deeply.

Rihanna speaks to love in ways that we can all relate to, taking charge of her sexiness, using it as a weapon of strength as opposed to a vulnerability. So many women, both in the music industry and outside of it, shy away from their sexuality in attempt to be less objectified. While that is understandable, Rihanna inspires something bolder by crafting an intimate narrative on this tape, weaving in and out the ins and outs of modern love, romanticism, heartbreak and the complications they bring with.

What I love about this tape is that Rihanna takes risks, tries out new sounds and lets her music breathe. Evolve. Yet, ANTI is still very much her. While some tracks will have you saying, “Wait, what, this is Rihanna?” it’s not in a way that leaves you confused. Rather, it’s exciting that she went out on a limb and moved her sound in a new direction. I’ve been bumping this shit loud, as loud as possible. Recommendation: listen to the deluxe version. Because if Rihanna puts out a deluxe version, you go for the fucking deluxe version.

September 7, 2016

About Author

Siya Bahal Siya Bahal is a writer, hustler, and full-time consumer of tea. You can find her finessing and doing other things on the internet at

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