The heartbreak kid herself, mega phenom Rihanna has vocally contributed to a copious amount of songs in her seven-year music career that have penetrated our pop culture spectrum. Unbeknownest to us when she first arrived with the dancehall “Pon de Replay” would she became an empress of contemporary music and an omnipresent pop star with how to kill a rock star proclivities. As she kept delivering Top 40 staple albums that exacerbated her need for adventure, in every release, the music got catchier, better, and more dance-pop friendly, with many of Rihanna’s songs pre-determined for a reinvigorated reckoning. DJs and producers, both world renown and at home, have re-worked both her most innocuous and cantankerous chart-topping tracks. This is one topic that Oprah forget to touch upon, but that’s why you’re here.
The following list are five of those seminal remixes to get your “Rockstar 101” ready for takeoff. Listeners; turn up your stereo. Rihanna; you’ve been electrified.
1. “Stupid in Love (Chew Fu Small Room Fix)”
Though it was one of the more exclusively sorrowful tracks on her underrated Rated R, Chew Fu still found a way to re-imagine Rihanna as an inspirited individual even while in the state of being “Stupid in Love”. An utter reverie of tender yet impassioned swoops of light trance-house elements, the original was a personal morgue of grief, this remix breathes new life by taking a former red flag moment for a victim and turning it into a swan song of redemption. Even Rihanna’s tone sounds uplifted.
2. “Umbrella (Vandalism Remix)”
Vandalism took the sonic zeitgeist of 2007 that was “Umbrella” and revolutionized it as a darker, flashing lights cut of her saccharine smash with gladiatorial backbeats of static-y synthesizers and full-on psychedelic trance tendencies. Possibly, the first dope remix done out of her catalog, with its reiteration of the chorus (especially the word “umbrella” and the infamously fun splitting of “ella, ella”), this was Rihanna’s first true foray into her now accostumed style of rock n roll chic and behavior. Irrevocably mindful of graffiti art and the underground clubs of London, this “Umbrella” is a canopy aural satisfaction with a mischievous edge.
3. “We Found Love (Black Cards Remix)”
The epitome of love found and lost in the most unexpected circumstances, since being produced by Calvin Harris, the EDM movement had really swam its way unto American soil. Black Cards pierced Harris’ trademark electro-pop fusions with segued electric guitar overlays and flashy sequences, while keeping the original smattering bridge and clapping anticipation. Classically a techno remix of essentially a pop song, Black Cards brought it home with EBM (electronic body music) influences.
4. “Who’s That Chick (Afrojack Remix)”
A dub-step, Africana interpretation of her (seemingly overlooked and excellent ) collaboration with David Guetta, “Who’s That Chick” in Afrojack’s hands became an intimidating forecast of high stake thrills and colorful perturbation. Largely deviant from the average blithe renderings, of her music, this meteor shower of burbling percussion reigns over Guetta’s dance-pop composition. Afrojack nearly wiped out the lyrics and focused on making this formerly flirty track into his own playhouse of bottomless bass drops ’til the very end.
5. “Man Down (RedFashion Remix)”
An unforeseen amalgamation of sparkling arena rock bursts, rave house music, and its stand-out sped up vocals that dizzy and fade into itself, the story of self-defense on “Man Down” is disguised as a distracting feast of stop and go anxiety. Slightly recalling the glory days of Basement Jaxx’s Remedy LP, RedFashion interestingly transformed Rihanna’s return to reggae constructions and remorse to a flighty moment of acting before thinking, which can be found in the archetype from Loud, but here is undeniably sustaining the adage of ignorance is bliss, at least when surrounded by post-disco glimmers.
Bonus Electrified Track from Rihanna:
“Las Night, We Found Love Without You” (Katy Perry/Rihanna/David Guetta Mash-Up)