Rihanna's new single may have been met with mixed reviews, but that hasn't stopped hoards of people purchasing the track on iTunes.
When Rihanna promised that her new album would be composed of "timeless" music, it's probably fair to say that we weren't quite imagining anything like trap stomper "Bitch Better Have My Money". Entirely dissimilar from the underrated first cut from forthcoming album, "FourFiveSeconds", many (myself included) doubted whether Rihanna would manage to make her sonic U-turn sell.
Looks like that Rihanna reign still won't let up, however, as the "We Found Love" superstar hits the top of the iTunes chart.
The ratchet anthem has landed at #1 on the US iTunes store and shows no signs of shifting, meaning it's entirely likely that "BBHMM" will make an impact on the top end of the Hot 100 next week. Similarly, the track has gone to #1 in Brazil, France and South Africa whilst scoring top 10 positions all across the globe, including major music markets Canada and the UK.
I wouldn't wholeheartedly recommend that Team Rihanna break out the champagne yet, however. Whilst it's a strong showing for a weak song, their insistence that the track be removed from all social media outlets, sound sharing sites and video hosts has probably resulted in people buying the track out of curiosity more so than enthusiasm. It'll be interesting to see how "BBHMM's" sales hold up once the initial buzz surrounding the track dies down.
Of course, none of this is helped by the fact that the song simply isn't very good. Rihanna's always been the queen of a brilliant basic-anthem, and God knows we love her for that. However, with "Bitch Better Have My Money" Rihanna has traded in brilliance for mediocrity, the anthemic than it is forgettable and all we're really left with is a pretty basic slice of generic hip-hop. All things considered, it's the latest piece of the very messy puzzle that is R8.
Can Rihanna turn things around?
Never say never. The record-buying public may be opinionated, but they're fickle. Releasing one track that's up to Ri's usual standards before R8 drops could well turn this campaign around, but if Roc Nation leave it too long, they'll most likely end up with disappointing album sales. And let's be real, since Rihanna has always been a singles artist more so than someone who can reliably shift albums, the Barbadian superstar can't afford to let her sales suffer. Especially not if she wants to land her second #1 LP in the US.
I for one haven't given up on Rihanna. R8 may have got off to a rocky start, but the "Umbrella" crooner hasn't let us down before and I still live in (perhaps misguided) hope that Rihanna still has another 'Rated R' or 'Loud' in her.
What do YOU think? Is R8 doomed?