photo by Chris Brown
I think someone is trying to fuck with me. Three days ago I post a new disRESPECT. feature for the RESPECT. Mag website – about Rihanna selling her soul to President Obama by appearing in Battleship (the film) – and at 11:33 am today (May 30th) the shit goes live. That’s three full days of editing. So, naturally, I’m expecting the editing job to be rather thorough – excessively tampered with, as I might say (in a bout of pent-up frustration). But to my surprise, when I peak at the published article there’s but one word changed… a ‘the’ is changed to a ‘that’…
Like I said, someone is trying to fuck with me.
Here’s the link, as well as the original version (with the original ‘the’) for all my sticklers out there
THE Marrack Sinks Rihanna’s Battleship
On “Illest Motherfucker Alive” Jay-Z asks you to imagine how Beyonce, Kanye, himself, and RiRi, aka Rihanna, will look at the Grammys. Whelp, the Grammys came and went, and like most serious hip-hop fans, we missed the show. Instead we vented our anger over breakfast the following morning, when we browsed the results on the internet. Chris Brown for Best Rap Performance by a Group? Bruno Mars for anything? Katie Perry was there? These are just some of the thoughts that likely raced through the brains of devout hip-hoppers the day after the big show… the same devout hip-hoppers whom the producers of Battleship (yes, the film) purposely crossed.
Indeed that was a giant leap in our thesis… but so be it. Rihanna is a giant in the pop music game. And Battleship is a giant in the Hollywood film game. On the surface the two go hand-in-hand, just like Kanye and Kim Kardashian. Or rather, with Ye and Kim I ought to say one compliments the other’s art, but that’s another story altogether. The story here is that Rihanna is a respected artist in the hip-hop community. She has sung the hooks for some serious anthems (“Run This Town” “Love the Way You Lie” “All of the Lights”) and by association – she associates herself with Bey Bey, Ye, and Jay – she is expected to be a real artist. RiRi, to be Roc-ready, needs to be trill.
And that’s where the film, Battleship, comes into play. The shit tanked. Rotten Tomatoes lends the synopsis, “It [Battleship] may offer energetic escapism for less demanding filmgoers, but Battleship is too loud, poorly written, and formulaic to justify its expense — and a lot less fun than its source material.” All true. Yet the true crime in Battleship, what makes it hazardous for Rihanna, is its blatant propaganda for the U.S. Navy – how it is suggested that any misguided youth will find his way via enlistment. This kind of bureaucratic, from-the-top-down, implicit brainwashing defies the most prevailing instinct in all of hip-hop: to rebel. Battleship, above all else, is a film about submission.
Rick Rubin, the mind behind Def Jam and Run-DMC, would have drank his own piss before he let any of his acts jeopardize their artistic credibility over some Hollywood film. So why on Earth would the Roc-La-Familia not dissuade Rihanna from making her Hollywood acting debut in Battleship? The film is an obvious antithesis to everything hip-hop stands for – freedom, liberty, creativity. Hip-hop is what America claims to be, while Battleship is what it really is: Poorly-constructed fireworks aimed at your noggin.
And so, to answer Jay’s question, about how Ye, Beyonce, himself, and Rihanna would look at the Grammys, assuming we could go back in time, and actually watch the Grammys, we would say they look real good. Too good maybe. Good enough that Jay might overlook a small role in a Hollywood film and not see how it could affect Rihanna’s credibility. After watching Battleship, it’s hard not to see Rihanna as some sort of fool. After all, she’s back in the cesspool of capitalist shit – pungent enough to make anyone lose their appetite, even the most resilient of fans.