Rihanna’s “Stay” is the latest video to surpass one billion streams on YouTube. The track features guest vocals from Nashville artist and producer Mikky Ekko.
Taken from Rihanna’s Billboard 200-leading album from 2012, Unapologetic, the track peaked at No.3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and was nominated for a Grammy Award (Best Pop Duo/Group Performance).
The music video is a far cry from the tough persona Rihanna usually presents in her videos. Naked and alone in a bathtub, the singer reveals more through her music than any interview could hope to capture.
Unapologetic opens with “Phresh Out The Runway,” a fashion anthem that finds Rihanna boasting about her rise in the fashion world. The David Guetta co-produced track sounds tailor-made for the runway, as Rihanna asks, “How could you be so hood, but you so phuckin’ pop?”, slyly nodding to her own crossover appeal. She’d end up performing the song at the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and would, ironically, end up eclipsing the company with her own lingerie brand, Fenty Savage.
Rihanna has never been shy about her penchant for cannabis, but in the realm of pop music, her clouded meditation on smoking weed, “Numb,” was considered controversial at the time. The trap-R&B track saw the pop star tap into her undeniable musical chemistry with Eminem once again, who uses his Slim Shady persona, to switch up his voice and flow.
Thematically, the beginning of Unapologetic finds Rihanna in a confident space. She’s in charge of her destiny, giving off mafioso vibes on “Pour It Up,” a trap strip-club anthem that reads as an answer song to Juicy J’s “Bandz A Make Her Dance.” On “Loveeeeeee Song,” a duet with emerging trap icon Future, she cautions “don’t slip” and asks, “Why window shop when you own this?” while confessing undying love for her suitor.