Sunday, June 19, 2016

Years with Rihanna

Hello! Guess what I chose for my media research final exam? Yup, Rihanna. I made a little research based on Roland Barthes' Semiotic approach on Rihanna's "ANTI" album cover. ANTI is her latest album that contains the-very-famous "Work" featuring Drake. The album cover was quite different as it didn't contain any of her photograph. I connected how the album relates to her new personal branding (as she starts to expose her nipples these days).

Anyways, I'm not going to talk about the album "ANTI" tonight, but I'm going to talk about Rihanna these 13 years of her career. I first saw her on Mtv back when I was in the elementary school. Her music "We Ride" was on TV, and I started to adore her as she looked so stunning in that little brown dress.

Studying Communication Science makes me think that there's always symbolic communication behind what's said or written in the surface. After doing my final assignment for Media Research, I realized that Rihanna's personal branding had changed throughout the years right after releasing her albums.

I've also made these artworks in order to celebrate all this year with Rihanna. I remember when she was visiting Jakarta in 2009 or 2008 perhaps? And I was so excited I started to make this magazine-made collages. I didn't have enough dough to come, though. But it was really fun to make an art for your idol. Anyways, then I attended Junior High and my father strictly forbid me to be fanatic. Since then, I lost my interests in favorite things like, now I have no favorite color anymore, I have no favorite food, I have no favorite celebrity, nor musicians. Not that I didn't like anything, it's just that, I wasn't fanatic. But as the time goes by, I realized that, If I were still fanatic today, my all-time favorite musician would be Rihanna. 

This is going to be all about speculation, how my basic public relations studies asses the personal brand that Rihanna wants/wanted to show.

1. Music of the sun

We're going to start with "Music of The Sun". "Music of the sun" is her first album, where "Pon de Replay" was gaining all the public's attention. Music of the sun probably means, music from the tropical land, as she was born in Barbados. Bringing all the Barbadian groove, she managed to maintain her role as a new comer from Barbados. You can see by the way she wears her clothes. All those bright colors, tropical colors.

2. A Girl Like Me

This is her second album. She showed up much more simple than her previous album. She started to wear simple clothes, dresss simply, just like those girls from Los Angeles. In this phase, she received so many critics saying that she was a copy of Beyonce, or trying to copy Beyonce. When she was invited to Oprah's Next Chapter, she stated, "Beyoncé is a great artist and I feel honored to be mentioned in the same sentence, but we're different performers with different styles".

3. Good Girl Gone Bad 
Her third album "Good Girl Gone Bad" was the key of her success. She drastically changed her appearance, from a simple new comer girl, to a very different girl, a girl who was good, now has gone bad. She cut her hair, put on her dark makeup, she was sexier than before, her music started to be even more upbeat. This album contains the huge hits "Umbrella", "Disturbia", "Don't stop the music", etc.

4. Rated R 
Rated R was released in 2009, 2 years since she relased Good Girl Gone Bad in 2007. After dealing with the assault done by ex boyfriend, Chris Borwn, Rihanna had still managed to produce her fourth album; Rated R. This album shows the angrier, the darker side of Rihanna. 

5. Loud
Her fifth album, "Loud" started to gain people's attention again. She started to dye her hair red, This part she showed how she insisted people to listen, proven by how she released her "Only Girl" song, "S&M", etc.

6. Talk that Talk
This album is quite controversial as she actually recorded a song with her offensive ex boyfriend, Chris Brown. The song is called "Birthday Cake". The song was quite sexual and it makes people talk "that talk".

7. Unapologetic
After releasing the previous album with that "Birthday Cake" song, on her seventh album, she released another song featuring Chris Brown, called "Nobody's business". This album also was a huge success after her song "Stay" which featured Mikky Ekko, was a great hits too. 

Honesty, I'm not too aware with Talk that Talk and Unapologetic. You can see that I only wrote few words above lol. 

src: grmdaily
ANTI is quite different from other albums as the cover itself looks so distinctive. The cover contains a little black girl whose eyes are covered by crown. From my own observation and thoughts, I interpret that album as how there's always a childhood part inside you, but now it's blinded by the fame, power, wealth that we have. Childhood part shows our genuine soul but sometimes we forget it because we're blinded by what we have. This album shows how we can live in the opposite of our own boundaries. We can see now, it seems like RiRi has changed once again, she seems to be more open to show her "private" body parts. 

It's funny how people change gradually but still somehow long for the old times when everything was so pure. Like I said on my Media Research background, still the key of success is how you manage yourself to be seen as you expected. 

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