In Defense Of... Rihanna's "You Da One"

Those of us who aren't distracted by novelties like "significant others" on Valentine's Day like to think up odd rituals to pass a lonesome day decorated with buttocks-shaped stationary, candles and boxes of chocolate.

My odd Valentine's Day tradition is having a nice, home-cooked, candle-lit dinner with a human-sized inflatable pillow printed with the object of my affection sitting across the table from me. Who else better to spend tonight with than Rihanna?

If anyone in the world hasn't heard anything with her name on it, I pity you. Also, Ri's latest colloquially-titled single, "You Da One," is a good introduction. The track best represents Rihanna's persona: a Caribbean dub tempo paired with New York aloofness.

"You Da One" is also a good starting point because "You know how to love me hard /And you got the sweetest touch" is about as risqué as the song gets, which is less lurid than many tracks on last year's Talk That Talk. Save those for after dinner with your beau.

While the bro-step breakdown near the end is a bit agitating (it may throw off your spooning session), I always like to make exceptions for Rihanna. It actually calls back to similar moments on Ri's 2009's album, Rated R. It feels more like a wink to the recent past than a trendy production stunt, and Rihanna sure likes to tease.

For the rest of the da-a-ay, I'm gonna dream about Rihanna.

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Shahryar Rizvi
Contact: Shahryar Rizvi