Rihanna’s importance is about more than pop culture

She keeps us waiting, so we’ll just wait

Joeanna Lopez, Times Staff

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In case the daily reminder had not made its way: we are living in the age of Rihanna. In this age we have the ability to tap a screen and view photos of Rihanna in real time.

On the morning of Sept. 5, 2016 we awoke to Rihanna on the streets of New York City at 7 in the morning feeding pigeons in her Saint Laurent’s structured, heart- shaped fur cape living in all of her driven greatness.

What a year, but the success of her eighth studio album, ANTI came three whole years ago, so how and why does Rihanna stay on our minds and in our feeds so fervently?

Jenny Gathright wrote for NPR’s Turning The Tables that Rihanna Is The 21st Century’s Most Influential Musician. Gathright emphasizes that Rihanna’s worth is more about the way she has shaped music that is as essential as air, than about her relatable personality appeal.

Music producer and SJCC’s Lomar Arthur, 25, said, “Rihanna doesn’t get mentioned with the other girls at the top,” raising both eyebrows, “but she is up there.”

The honesty and vulnerability in Rihanna’s music has allowed for so many to connect with her. She has taken dubstep, rock, dancehall, EDM and trap; put her pop on it and made our traumas make sense to us, to everyone.

When asked her thoughts on Rihanna, Celine Pena, 19, liberal arts, shrugs, “I love her songs, she just has so many of my all-time favorites.”

For as long as can be recalled, Rihanna’s voice has been in the playlists and in the soundtracks to our memories. Primarily because from 2005 to 2012, with the exception of 2008, Rihanna kept fans well fed to a full length studio release every year.

The magnitude of impact that her next release, in
any form will carry can only be explained through the groundbreaking work being put out by so many women in music today.

Rihanna is very much the pulse of pop culture. Her next highly anticipated album has been rumored to be more than a few things. What we do know is this: Rihanna is aware the fans are starved for new material and in the same breath acknowledges all the love still shown to ANTI.

Her social media engagement reminds us every now and then with glimpses of timely clap backs on Instagram, not as often as once before, of the Rihanna we await and why we await her.

There is an inarticulacy one inevitably reaches when asked why she is their favorite. In 2016, Miranda July profiled Rihanna for New York Times Style Magazine and reaches the only true consensus, “…millions of fans don’t seem to need it explained to them. A soul just knows a soul.”