Top 10 Rihanna Rap Songs That Showcase She's a Gangsta

Tags: #Rihanna

Julia Adams

Julia Adams

Last updated:  2020-11-17 16:11:44

You may know Rihanna only by her pop smash hits that dominated the charts or her cosmetic line, but she can also be gangsta, as she's showcased us many times. Whether you like her pop anthems the most or enjoy her experimental phase, that shouldn't stop you from appreciating her hip-hop days. Along with her solo songs, we'll also remember some collaborations that deserve a place on this list. Continue reading and join us for our top 10 Rihanna rap songs.

10. "Raining Men" from "Loud" (2010)

Rihanna and Nicki Minaj is a girl-power anthem

If you're a Rihanna fan, you surely remember her "Loud" phase, which featured sexy R&B songs and dance tracks. Ooh, and let's not forget the sultry red hair she displayed, that gave us life! After such a dark "Rated R" album, it was refreshing to see our girl RiRi having some fun finally!

"Raining Men," made in collaboration with Nicki Minaj, was inspired by a feminist disco hit "It's Raining Men" from The Weather Girls. Therefore the song has feel-good, girl-power energy that discusses the idea that men are disposable. Rihanna was excited to finally work with the New York MC, who co-wrote the lyrics, as she appreciated her talent. So was Nicki, as she was an unestablished artist at that time. The critics liked the chemistry between the rapper and RiRi, inspiring the pop singer to rap on the tune.

9. Birthday Cake (Remix) (2012)

Check out dancers vibing to Rihanna and Chris Brown remix

When the original song "Birthday Cake" leaked online, fans wanted it on Rihanna's fifth studio album "Talk That Talk." Eventually, they pressured her to put it on the album as an interlude. The official remix went out on the songstress's 24th birthday, and it shocked the world as it was a collaboration with her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown.

In fact, it was their first time working together since the "Grammys incident," when Chris got a sentence for domestic violence charges. Even one of the song's creators, The-Dream, was surprised when he discovered that the Barbadian singer will include her ex-flame on the remix. In short, both artists sing and rap, reminiscing their past intimate encounters. The song received both praise and critique at the same time for its explicit sexual content.

8. "Phresh Out the Runway" from "Unapologetic" (2012)

Rihanna is unapologetically asking for respect

This song was an opening track of the singer's seventh studio album "Unapologetic." Co-written by Rihanna and French artist David Guetta, this marks a moment where she's truly unapologetically asking for respect. Additionally, the track is sampling Joey Beltran's "Mentasm" and has a hip-hop, rave sound with heavy bass.

As the Queen of Pop, Rihanna shows us that she's a cocky and assertive woman worth our attention. Her interpretation, including the production and composition of the track, received praise from the critics. However, the lyrics gained critique for not having enough substantial meaning. Take what you want from it, but if you need to hear loud music that makes you feel confident and self-assured, this one is a perfect choice!

7. "Nothing Is Promised" from "Ransom 2"

Rihanna has always been swaggy

Now, this is a swaggy performance that found its way as an official first single of Mike WiLL-Made It's second album, "Ransom 2." It was first intended to be on Rihanna's "Anti" album, but it didn't make the final cut. The Barbadian singer is rapping like a pro here, taking the flow inspiration from the rapper Future, who actually wrote the lyrics.

In particular, the singer is warning us about fame and its consequences. If you enjoy the trap genre, then you'll love this one! Furthermore, you may even confuse her for a real rapper, as she's that convincing in her interpretation. After all, it sheds a completely different light on Rihanna as an artist, as she shows us just how versatile she is.

6. "LOYALTY" from "DAMN" (2017)

You better be loyal to Kendrick and Rihanna

"LOYALTY," as his first collaboration with Rihanna, found its place on Kendrick Lamar's most successful album, "DAMN." The song echoes the importance of complete honesty and loyalty, as they are the traits that Lamar highly values and are frequently mentioned throughout his career. Upon hearing the first demo that sampled Bruno Mars' "24k Magic," the Compton MC knew he wanted to feature Rihanna.

The pop singer raps about the struggles of staying humble upon success, which refers to Kendrick's "HUMBLE," his first single from this album. Additionally, the song is accompanied by an equally clever music video directed by Dave Meyers, where RiRi plays Lamar's partner in crime. Eventually, it won them a Grammy win for the Best Rap/Sung Performance.

5. "Wait Your Turn" from "Rated R"

Rihanna's dark-themed "Rated R" era

Without a doubt, this was a dark era in Rihanna's career, marked by her trying to establish herself as a serious artist and making everyone forget about that Chris Brown incident. As a result, she changed her whole swag, including her fashion style and musical outlook. This was the first album where the songstress is rapping and showing us what directions she'll take in the future.

"Your Turn" came as a third single from "Rated R," where she showcases an adorable Bajan accent while rapping. Overall, RiRi has returned to her island roots as the song has a heavy reggae dub beat. As a result, we've received a mix of experimental sounds where she proclaims she's back in the music game and isn't going away.

4. "Lemon" from "No_One Ever Really Dies" (2017)

Lemon can be sour and bitter, just like people

A comeback single "Lemon" from N.E.R.D. got the fans' attention, as they were delighted to hear some music from them for the first time since 2010. Additionally, it features Rihanna, which added to the mass appeal of the track. At first, they intended it to be P. Diddy's single, but we're glad it was the Barbadian artist who hoped on it instead.

Pharell, a famous producer and member of the group, explained that the word lemon symbolizes some people's behavior that we encounter daily. RiRi appears on this tune, delivering us a tough-talking rap verse about a woman who is appreciated for her beauty. It also features an interesting music video that popularized "The Lemon Dance" and the song.

3. "Hard" from "Rated R" (2009)

You don't wanna mess with Rihanna

Here we have another banger from Rihanna's experimental and edgy studio album "Rated R," which has received critical acclaim. It features rapper Young Jeezy, who helps her bring to life this boasting hip-hop performance. As a single number two from the album, the tune reached #8 on Billboard Hot 100 list.

Upon hearing it for the first time, she liked the arrogant attitude and thought the Atlanta rapper would be a perfect fit. No matter how many songs Rihanna put out after this one, it continues to be one of our favorites, accompanied by a visually interesting music video. Watch the video, and let us know has RiRi convinced you she's the hardest girl in the industry?

2. "Pour It Up" from "Unapologetic" (2012)

Rihanna's take on the stripper culture

Once again, the mega pop star proved that she can do anything musically and remain successful. "Pour It Up" appeared on the singer's seventh studio album, "Unapologetic," and got the public divided. However, the cultural critic and feminist Camille Paglia praised it, as she proclaimed it one of the rare, refreshing moments in pop culture that year.

Rihanna gives us a female take on the stripper culture that's a dominant theme amongst male rappers. In its essence, it's a club song with a trap beat, where the singer flexes about her hard-earned money. Additionally, it's accompanied by a pole dancing video that was co-directed by RiRi herself. Most people deemed the lyrics to be shallow, but we could challenge that interpretation, seeing that she's actually questioning what's the point of all that money in the end. In fact, observing how she has power over others, she grows tired of the situation because of it.

1. "Bitch Better Have My Money" from "Anti" (2015)

You don't wanna owe money to Rihanna

Titled after a line in the 1988 movie "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," this trap anthem is featured on Rihanna's "Anti" album. In particular, the singer is rapping about getting paid for what she's owed, and fast. However, people criticized the title itself, calling it misogynistic and problematic. Actually, this song is inspired by a real-life event, when Rihanna's accountant embezzled her money, so she ended up suing him in 2012.

Accompanied by an equally controversial short film, the song presents the most self-assured and relentless version of RiRi we've seen so far. A highly anticipated music video revolves around the singer and her accomplices who kidnap and torture a rich accountant's wife. Additionally, the last shot was Rihanna sitting naked and bloody over a pile of money. You can imagine how this was received amongst the prudes as if they've never seen violence on TV.

We have enjoyed Rihanna's transformation from pop sensation to the ultimate bad girl in music that she has become over time.

What about you? Did you like our top 10 list or RiRi's best rap songs? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section.

Cover photo credit:

Photo by Natasha Kendall from Pexels


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