And Now A Few (More) Words From Paul Cantor...

Q: Is Rihanna Worthy Of Becoming Beyonce's Future Successor?

A: Is Rihanna "worthy" of being Beyonce's successor? I dunno, seems like a loaded question (surprise, surprise). What does worthy even mean in the grand scheme things? Who is Beyonce that Rihanna or critics should aspire to put them in the same class? Beyonce's a performing artist, Rihanna's a performing artist. On the surface I get it, they share some similarities— they're black, they sing, they're both sort of come from the "urban" space— but that's it. They're very different as artists, and I don't think Rihanna is looking to succeed Beyonce in any way. They have different goals. 

But for posterity's sake, I'll entertain the comparison. On a purely technical level, Beyonce is a better singer than Rihanna. She makes better "traditional" pop R&B. Lately (and I mean specifically on her newest record) Beyonce is offering a more mature side of herself. She's transitioning into that womany level of R&B where you're like on some super OG shit making music that even church-going folks approve of. It's not very riske`. It's very safe. It's good, but safe.

Rihanna doesn't give a fuck about any of that shit, and that's why people fuck with her. Musically, and otherwise. I personally think much of it is a facade, but she definitely gives off the aura that she's really bout that life that she keeps putting out there. She lets the freak flag fly in her music and in her image, and it's like, yea, that's awesome. It's safe, too. But it's safe under the auspices of being dangerous. Like, "S&M" wasn't that musically adventurous, but it was racy. For a time, that was slutwave anthem— "Sex in the air I don't care I love the smell of it." I could never hear Beyonce singing that. Even in her younger days. That's just not her.

What Rihanna has on her side right now is that her music sounds more contemporary. Her music genuinely pulls from a lot of what's going on in the "scene," so to speak. "We Found Love" is some electro-house shit that had any other artist made, it would have been a genuine underground and critical smash. But because she's so huge already, it kinda sounds like mass market techno. When it's not. Point is, that's the sound of young America right now. Whether people realize it or not, in every city you go to in this country and abroad, kids are cramming into raves and electronic music festivals and just letting themselves go. Every night. Rihanna has a handful of huge records that work in this space. She may be single handedly helping destroy electronic music on a large scale (that's how it works when things get too popular), but for right now she's towing that line between that top 40 scene and the underground extremely well. There are hardcore dance enthusiasts who genuinely fuck with Rihanna.

I think all of that is super important for what Rihanna and what she will be in the future. I mean, I wouldn't call her an innovator by any stretch, and let's keep it real, these are pop songs— which means he writes it, that other guy produces it, she demos it, and Rihanna winds up singing it. It's an assembly-line approach to making songs that will never change so long as radios still play music. So I don't want to give her too much credit. But Rihanna's definitely got the newer audience on smash. Every day a new person becomes a fan of music. They have no reference point. They're just hearing something for the first time and they go "holy shit, I love that song." I don't think many people are hearing Beyonce for the first time and thinking that right now. She's just at that point in her career where she's passed the point of being amazing upon discovery. Rihanna, you could technically hear her "We Found Love" tomorrow for the first time and you might say, "wow, what the fuck is that? It's awesome." She just has that upside moving in her direction.

Barring how I may feel about Rihanna's voice and her actual talent— it's whiny and she doesn't have much— those are the things that make her unique, and I get it. I think she's more in tune with where culture is at right now. I think she's on the pulse of what's hot. She's young and she's just that shit. Beyonce's swag is old and motherly. And while on a human level I dig that, I also think it's boring as fuck. It's so not punk rock. And I like my pop stars to have some edge to them, whether it's contrived or not. If Rihanna stays progressive from a pop standpoint, she will carve her lane in a bigger space than Beyonce's. That's a big fucking space. But what she's doing right now just speaks to these kids. Pharrell said it best, "It's a new day. People don't wanna think anymore, they wanna feel." To put it mildly, people feel Rihanna a lot right now. All she needs to do is keep it that way.

? For more pop culture quips and assessments follow Paul on Twitter, @PaulCantor

Peep the full debate below...
Social Circle - Is Rihanna Worthy Of Becoming Beyonce's Future Successor?

From the Web

More on Vibe

Rich Polk | John Sciulli

Issa Rae And LaKeith Stanfield To Star In Will Packer's 'The Photograph'

The great talents of Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield are hitting the big screen soon in Will Packer’s latest film, The Photograph. The two actors have scored roles in the forthcoming movie, Deadline reports.

Stella Meghie will be directing the film, which is based on the parallels of love stories that intersect between the past and present. Both Rae and Stanfield have made their mark on and off the big screen. When Rae isn’t on her brilliant show, Insecure, she’s hustling in Hollywood by getting roles in movies like The Hate U Give and Little. Stanfield is known for his role on FX’s Atlanta, and his awesome contribution to Sorry To Bother To You.

It will be interesting to see Rae and Stanfield on screen together, especially considering both of their strong personalities and viewpoints on the world. During an interview with GQ, Stanfield expressed how he felt about the social-political conundrums of the racist events that have taken place since President Trump's election, like the race riots in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"I’m interested chiefly in bringing justice to those who deserve it," he said. "Secondarily, I’d love to begin a campaign photographing all of the criminals. And villains of the world. And bringing them to justice."

"Sometimes the things that are the worst aspects of humanity are not in fact dark," he explained about his sentiments on the matter. "They are light. This represents a situation in the time that we are experiencing...a light time. A time full of light."

There is no release date yet for The Photograph.

Continue Reading
Kodak Black performs onstage during the 4th Annual TIDAL X: Brooklyn at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on October 23, 2018 in New York City.
Nicholas Hunt

Kodak Black Under Fire For Comments About Young M.A.

The always controversial Kodak Black is under fire on Monday (March 18) for comments that are being described as sexual harassment, sexist and homophobic.

"It feel good to know that somebody love you out there. I know more people love me than hate me. And I do more good than I do bad. I do a lot of stuff, but I do more good than I do bad," he said on Instagram Live, from the seat of a car. He then stated, "How you a girl but don't want your p***y penetrated? How? ... Don't be mad at me because I want you, baby. Don't be mad at me cuz I want you."

It all started from his February release "Pimpin Ain't Eazy,"  where Kodak references Young M.A. in the chorus and the second verse. On the chorus, he rapped, "I be pullin' out straps on these f**k ni**as, I go Young M.A. on these dumb bi**hes. Like a dyke man, you ni**ass can't f**k with me." And in the second verse: ""I'm f**kin' Young M.A, long as she got a coochie. Say she got the strap and the toolie, say she put the crack in her booty."

Young M.A., who is openly gay, responded to fans' questions on Sunday (March 17) on her own IG Live about how she felt about the lyric.


View this post on Instagram


TSR STAFF: Tanya P.! @tanyaxpayne _________________________ #YoungMA responds to #KodakBlack after he included her in some NSFW lyrics on his song ‘Pimpin’ Ain’t Eazy.’ ____________________________ In the song, Kodak raps: “I don’t even see the confusion, I’m f****ing #YoungMa, as long as she got a coochie.” ___________________________ Needless to say Young MA wasn’t feeling the line, and said she might even pull up on him in Arizona. Both coincidentally have a show out there so we’ll see if this gets squashed or not 👀👀 (SWIPE)

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Mar 17, 2019 at 11:07am PDT

"Y'all keep talking about this Kodak situation. Y'all ni**as is weird, bro. ... Come on, obviously the n—a is weird, bro. Obviously, he on some sh*t, bro," she said. She and Kodak were both scheduled to perform at the Pot of Gold music festival in Arizona on Saturday. "I'll holla at him, if I get a chance to see him. Y'all do this internet sh*t too much, bro. I don't like the internet sh*t, bro. I don't like this internet sh*t. I deal with my issues in person."

Kodak Black then posted his response on Monday. The rapper has been charged with sexual assault, and is facing a possible 30 years in prison.

Kodak Black, a known rapist, sexually harrassing Young MA, a Black queer woman, reminds us of the following:

*Black women are still disposable.

*Black LGBTQ remain under attack.

*Hip Hop remains sexist and homophobic.

*People are still buying/supporting known sexual abusers.

— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) March 18, 2019

Kodak Black publicly harassing Young MA for sex as if he wasn’t charged with felony first degreee criminal sexual conduct and doesn’t have an upcoming rape trial he should be worried about

— Ivie Ani (@ivieani) March 18, 2019

it’s very very very very strange that kodak black, a man facing a r*pe charge, is harassing young ma for sex and the internet finds it funny. this place just gets weirder.

— Lauren Chanel Allen (@MichelleHux) March 18, 2019

Young MA is a lesbian. Plain and simple. What Kodak Black is doing is harassment. The responses are interesting because it shows how little many of you respect women who identify as Lesbian or women full stop for that matter.

— Richie Brave 🧼 (@RichieBrave) March 18, 2019

Continue Reading
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Live Nation

DMX Delivers Powerful Sermon At Kanye West's Sunday Service

DMX commits to delivering the good word with his recent poignant prayer at Kanye West's latest "Sunday Service." His touching reflection was captured and shared on social media this past weekend.

“Father God thank you for making me righteous and acceptance through the blood of Jesus because of that I am blessed and highly favored by you,” the 48-year-old rapper preached. “I am the object of your affection, your favor surrounds me as a shield. And the first thing people come in contact with is my favorite shield. Thank you that I have favor with you and man today. All day long people go out of their way to help me.”

“Doors that were once closed are now open for me. I receive preferential treatment. I have special privileges,” he continued. “I am God’s favorite child…I have supernatural increases and promotion. Like the restoration of everything the devil has stolen from me. This is the day, time, and moment for me to experience the free grace of God.”


View this post on Instagram


The Free Favor of God 🙏

A post shared by DMX (@dmx) on Mar 17, 2019 at 4:44pm PDT

Since DMX was released from prison in January for tax evasion, the New York native has wasted no time getting back in the music scene and voicing his opinions. Never one to hold back his tongue, during his first interview since being a free man on Real 92.3, he expressed his distaste for this generation's latest crop of rappers, which heavily glorify drug usage.

"They're all promoting drug use," DMX said. "If that’s what you want to do, that's your business, but you ain't gotta promote it like it's cool and make it cool."

Nonetheless, if you're a fan of DMX's classic music, you're in for a treat as he's currently on tour to promote his legendary 1998 It's Dark And Hell Is Hot album. He's scheduled to perform in 32 cities throughout the course of two months.

In the meantime, get inspired and watch more of DMX speak the holy word below.

Morning prayer by DMX #SundayService

— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 17, 2019


View this post on Instagram


Sunday Service @divinebars @1shotdealz Ye

A post shared by DMX (@dmx) on Mar 17, 2019 at 1:00pm PDT

Her favorite part of the week is dancing during Sunday Service

— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 17, 2019


— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 17, 2019

Lift Yourself

— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 17, 2019

Continue Reading

Top Stories