There’s a very interesting new Complex cover story on Rihanna and how the pop star takes charge in the framing of her own identity through the use of social media. The writer and Rihanna seem to get along chummy until the very end of the piece where the issue of her duet with Chris Brown, “Nobody’s Business,” comes up. Like most folks, the interviewer wondered if their relationship is truly none of our business, why make a record out of it?
Her icy response was telling as was the hilarious commentary from her label reps.
But no song got people talking like “Nobody’s Business,” her duet with Brown. Whether the pair likes it or not, when they sing “Always be my boy / I’ll always be your girl” to each other, their words are interpreted as confirmation of their current relationship status.
Yet for all the realness she promises, Rihanna refuses to entertain any such discussion: “It’s nobody’s business,” she says flatly. And all her people, from label bigwigs to loyal fans, are on the same page.
Apparently, her record label and management team had no second thoughts about her making a record with Brown—especially after the success of their “Birthday Cake” remix. Ty Ty is surprised even to be asked about the collab. “We don’t focus on the media, so it was never a question,” he says. “It’s all about the music. Everything else doesn’t even play a part in the studio.” He insists that the record wasn’t made with Brown in mind. “The-Dream didn’t write it for them as a duet. Jay-Z and I were in the car together listening to the song, and we thought it would be a great duet. It sounds dope. It feels good. That’s how Chris ended up on the song.”
Before leaving the restaurant for the airport, Rihanna addresses one last question. It’s the biggest question surrounding the song: If her relationship with Brown is truly nobody’s business, then why make a record about it?
Her voice, usually warm and cut with chuckles, turns cold. “Pardon me?” she replies, her eyebrow slightly raised. Even after the question is repeated, she hesitates to answer. The hands that moved up and down throughout the conversation, suddenly fall flat. “It’s the truth. Remember?” she says, turning toward the other side of the table to gather her belongings. As she gets up to leave, she adds: “It’s a fun record that The-Dream wrote and we loved the lyrics. You’re still asking me questions about it so clearly you don’t know.”
Maybe she doesn’t know either.
You can read the story in full here.
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