When Rihanna rih-posted a teaser of a song called “Kiss It Better” 55 weeks ago it instantly drew me deeper into the R8 era. Rih’s dreamy vocals, that electric guitar, the 80s new wave feel… I was hooked! As details about the track were announced my excitement for “Kiss It Better” reached new peaks (*Insert numerous posts containing my excitement*). Over the weekend the interest for “Kiss It Better” rih-nited when John Glass one of the co-writers and producers for the track threw away all of his fucks and gave the Navy some serious details on the progress of ANTI in the form of a never ending Twitter rant (It’s most likely still going). Now if you want to visit Mr. Glass’s twitter to get all the details on his relationship with Rihanna and the infamous eighth album, I’d recommend because it’s a juicy read. But if you don’t got time to scroll through retweets thanking John for his blunt honesty and hatred toward anyone getting in the way between him and his wife then I’ll give you the highlights:
According to Glass, ANTI was done last year but Rihanna isn’t the one to blame for it not being released. The culprit is Travis Scott, a rapper that has received a lot of attention this year with the release of his debut album RODEO, lit performances and involvement with numerous Rihanna projects (Puma ‘Creeper’ campaign and ANTI album). From the title of the album to the trap influence, Glass credits Scott’s knowledge on what’s popular right now to the holdup but he doesn’t think Rih should be striving for what’s trending rather what will make her iconic. If you’ve seen the Samsung campaign Rih has been promoting for this era than you know that it definitely fits the album’s name.
During an 8 room journey, viewers can look back at Rihanna’s career in the form of artistic, very dark, borderline satanic rooms that are suppose to show all of the sides of the Barbados superstar. With Rihanna’s achievements already at legendary status, Glass doesn’t like thinking of the word ‘anti’ next to Rihanna. It goes against her mainstream, hit-making image. The trap sound played a role in a lot of music this year especially Travis Scott’s debut album so it makes sense why Scott would want Rihanna to jump on the wave if he really has that much influence on the album but there’s a problem with what Glass is stating. Rihanna has gone on record in magazine articles and red carpet interviews that she wants a classic record. Something that she stills wants to sing years down the road unlike some of the previous records she put out and hate performing now. I could definitely see Rih hopping on something that sounds like “Antidote” and going against the mainstream charts but you can’t expect critical mainstream success when you step away from the hit formula.
But this rant was really focused on “Kiss It Better”, Rihanna’s favorite song on the record according to Glass. Initially “Kiss It Better” was suppose to be the lead single for ANTI. It had a next level sound and it was the type of song to get Rihanna back on the charts. Instead “Four Five Seconds” took the spot due to the legendary Paul McCartney feature and it’s Grammy performance appeal. I’m guessing Scott took the reigns after that because “Bitch Betta Have My Money” became the next official single and the dark ANTI image came with it. Glass doesn’t just blame Scott for the sound change but the numerous release dates were also due to the rapper wanting to feel the demand for her record go up. Apparently the album was suppose to drop on November 6th for Glass’s birthday (Cake, Cake, Cake…) and later on Christmas day but the team couldn’t make a decision on the direction they wanted Rih to go with the music.
Now…when these tweets started rolling out I was very apprehensive to believe all of John Glass’s words. Not only was he calling Rih his wife but when you think about the success Rihanna has had since she was a young girl singing about getting down on the dance floor with “Pon De Replay”, it’s hard to imagine her relying so heavily on an upcoming rapper and producer to tell her what she can do next. Rihanna and Kanye West have not fell so far off that they need to “listen to the kids bro” in order to stay afloat on the charts, hell they are the charts most of the time. Besides she’s Rihanna! Anything she sells flies off shelves and before her three year hiatus from the charts to perfect ANTI, Rih was releasing back to back successful singles. But when you go against what’s expected of you and try to create a classic album, the fear of failure has to be high. Time is ticking though with a world tour starting in March and fans growing more inpatient everyday. Maybe this rant from Glass was needed to show Roc Nation that hype doesn’t last forever especially when you’re trying to remain tight lipped on an album that feels like it should have been released months ago.
Alongside the rant, Glass John leaked a one minute snippet of the “Kiss It Better” demo and it’s sounding promising. Even though this era seems like a PR person’s worst nightmare, I love that Rihanna is putting everything she has into this album. The album art is so meaningful and the ANTIdiaRy is amazing even though the release schedule of the room feels very messy. I’ve waited this long for the album and I’m expecting a classic album so I’m willing to wait till Rihanna is happy with the final product (I speak like I have any power over this album, HA). To artists that decide to drop “surprise” albums in the future, here is some unsolicited advice…DROP THEM.
Don’t test the waters with “street singles”.
Don’t go to the press praising an album that isn’t even at the last stage of being finished.
Lastly, don’t let someone on your team hop on twitter and pour out their thoughts on how badly they think the team is doing with promoting the album. I don’t care if they could be your spouse in a couple months, that’s bad PR 101.
The beauty of dropping a surprise album is that the publicity and excitement comes from dropping the album. Fans don’t have time to get their hopes up high for the album so they come into it with an open mind, usually ready to already deem it amazing because they have new music to listen to. Plus you can’t match the heart-stopping excitement of seeing your fave’s iTunes link appear on your timeline and listening to the album for the rest of the night.
So as we wait for ANTI to drop from the heavens, check out a snippet of “Kiss It Better” (If it isn’t deleted yet) and read through Glass’s involvement with ANTI and dedication #4Robyn.
UPDATE: John Glass had his profile on private for a couple hours until management took it over. @GlassJohn keeps getting more interesting…
*Courtesy of theshaderoom.com*
What do you guys think about this messy situation? Are you excited for ANTI? Let me know in the comments!