Thursday, April 16, 2020

"Believe It" by PartyNextDoor & Rihanna

As the internet reports, Believe It is the first track Rihanna has dropped in well over two years.  This of course has some fans excited, especially considering that Ri-Ri, who was like the top vocalist in the world a decade ago, decided to do so at such a depressing point in world history.


First off it should be known that even though Rihanna is listed as a co-star rather than a feature, she does not have an actual verse.  Thus the verses are being relayed almost entirely from PartyNextDoor's perspective.  And apparenlty Rihanna would be playing the role of his romantic interest.

He's coming off as if she is the one, trying to convince her, as he himself feels, that he is ultra-serious about their relationship.  Indeed he exclaims he cannot live without her.  And her implied disposition is that she is not going to fully give her heart to him unless she is convinced that he is indeed sincere.  Or as Ri-Ri states it, she wants him to make her "believe it".

From a personal-acoustic perspective, this song is aight.  Rihanna's voice, as nature has dictated, has regressed throughout the years.  Like if this were 10 years ago, she could have even taken this somewhat-simplistic exercise in songwriting and probably have made it gone triple-platinum.


I'm sure you have noticed that there's something like an eye smack-dab in the middle of the cover art.  Some would even say it resembles the Eye of Providence, i.e. the 'all-seeing eye' which is depicted on the dollar bill.  And whereas I didn't even want to go there, the reason I bring it up is because late in the first verse PartyNextDoor even uses the phrase "skull and bones" in describing himself.  Of course he is doing so within the specific context of the relationship featured therein.  But it's also interesting to note, as many readers already know, that there is actually an influential secret society called the Skull & Bones, which like the Eye of Providence is said to be occultic in nature.

I also noticed that PartyNextDoor decided to use some choice language on this track.  For instance he utters the word "p*ssy" in relation to lover's vagina (and overall sexual prowess), and also utilizes terminology such as "f*ck" and "motherf*cker".  So needless to say this probably isn't a song you would want a small child listening to.  And it's especially interesting the songwriters took that route considering that, outside of those words, there really isn't anything else about the lyrics that can be classified NSFW.  In other words they could have easily made this piece more family-friendly simply by omitting those phrases.  So I guess they decided to include them is in the name of being modern or edgy or whatever.


Speaking of songwriters, the credit for writing this one goes to PartyNextDoor and the track's three producers - Bizness Boi (L.A.), Cardiak (New Jersey) and NinetyFour (Wisconsin).  PartyNextDoor himself is from Canada.  And he's worked with Rihanna - who of course hails from Barbados - a couple of times in the past, though primarily in the songwriting capacity.  For instance he co-wrote and even provided background vocals to that entertaining yet strangely-annoying track Wild Thoughts that Ri-Ri dropped with DJ Khaled back in 2017.

There are three labels behind this track.  First would be Warner Records, who are actually one of the 'big three' companies in the music industry.  Second is Drake's label, Ovo Sound.  And last would be one Rihanna herself founded back in 2005 called Westbury Road.


Believe It charted internationally.  Some of the more interesting countries where it managed to do so are Estonia, Lithuania and Slovakia.  It also broke the top 20 on the UK Singles Chart and the top 30 on the Billboard Hot 100.  The song itself - once again in my humble opinion - isn't anything exceptional.  So the general assumption, as noted from the beginning, would be that it greatly benefited from being the first song Rihanna has released in a minute.  Indeed such is the reason why it made headlines and even caught my attention in the first place.


I would say this song sounds very teenagerish, like I can imagine looping it if I were like really young.  And perhaps such is the intended audience.  But if that is actually the case, then once the question is why PartyNextDoor in particular opted to use such strong language.

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