Since meeting my wife, I listen to a lot more radio pop, R+B, and rap. Out of all hip hop, I would have to say that pretty much everything that JayZ does is pretty good. Sure, he has some pretty bad stuff out there, but the Black Album and the original Blueprint are great. I really like "Empire State of Mind" as well, but as a whole, the CD is not very good. Nowhere is this more true than in the chorus of "Run This Town," which features Rihanna totally decimating an otherwise good song.
Not to justify Chris Brown hitting her, but I've always felt that a career that had exactly one good song ("Umbrella") has been drug out to infinity as the music world feels that it has to feature her everywhere that it possibly can because abusive relationships are big business in music and the world of reality TV. But like "Umbrella," which was good for the first 200 or so times, it got old. The same can be said for her duet with Eminem ("Love the Way You Lie"). If the radio stations play it enough (once every hour or two), it becomes infectious, and when it hits that level, it works, but to hear her and Drake singing... it's like listening to some idiotic eighth grader going off with asinine sexual innuendo and jokes. Completely unendurable.
One wonders if Rihanna would be anywhere without Jay Z. Seeing images of her alongside Taylor Swift on TRL back in the day, they were both overly made up and "sexified" in their younger days in the hopes that videos could propel them to stardom, and they truly did.
Rihanna became a darling of the rap and rock world crossing barriers because of ultra wise promotion and Taylor Swift simultaneously became a country and pop darling. Neither could do any wrong for the longest time - Kanye West be damned. However, Rihanna got smacked up before the MTV awards and Taylor Swift dated Bubble Boy, and yeah... it's a brave new world for each of them.
Hopefully, the future holds good men for each of them. Just because Rihanna sings terrible songs like "Rude Boy" (actually tolerable when mixed with Fugazi's "Waiting Room" on Girl Talk's All Day) and "Take a Bow" while resurrecting the self-promoted King of Pop for "Don't Stop the Music" to cash in on the nostalgia trip that was Michael Jackson, a move that paid off as he got relevant in overdosing to those of us not smart enough to know better.
For a while, Rihanna was the "Only Girl in the World" for Matt Kemp, and that was nice because baseball players in 2011 have a reputation to live up to and we all know that none of them are ever wife beaters - maybe father in law beaters like Francisco Rodriguez, but yeah...
However, his career suffered as hers sky rocketed. Sure, he got 28 home runs last year, but he had his lowest batting average and his whiffs increased to 170. From a guy that was supposed to be first round fantasy, he was now average. Fortunately, even if he didn't get the rihannas (a severe gastro-intestinal disorder, or so it sounds), she got tired of him and pushed forward to her extended 15 minutes of fame and went to her schedule instead of her ballplayer.
And both will romantically do better than each other. That's just the nature of their business. The question is whether Matt Kemp can rebound in 2011. Perhaps, he'll need some antibiotics to get rid of the rihannas. Hopefully, we can just push fluids. Either way, he'll need to show some reliability before anyone touts him that highly again.