Rihanna is ready to escape her surroundings, and she urges her lover to run away with her:
There ain't nothing for me here anymore But I don't wanna be alone
A desperado, from Spanish desesperado, past participle of desesperar ("to despair"), is a desperate or reckless person, usually an us against the world outlaw type. Desperado's are often associated with cowboys and there's a subtle American West undercurrent to the song.
The song was included on Rihanna's Anti album. The LP was released on January 28, 2016, just ten days after the death of Glen Frey, the co-writer of The Eagles' classic track of the same title.
Krystin "Rook Monroe" Watkins wrote the song. His previous credits include Natalie La Rose's "Somebody" featuring Jeremih.
Producer Mick Schultz supplied the song's dark and edgy melody. Schultz is a long-time Jeremih collaborator. He produced the R&B singer's hit songs "Birthday Sex" and "Down On Me."
Usually Schultz likes to work by catching an artist's vibe in the studio and creating something off that, but in this instance, he did the complete opposite. He told Billboard magazine: "I actually had the 'Desperado' track. It wasn't written to and I actually went over to her house and I had just taken some things I thought would be a good fit. I hadn't even heard anything she was doing so it was like completely a blind thing but my friend Rook who wrote the song he was over there and he invited me to come over so that was like a random chain of events that turned out to work but that's not always the case. I don't usually just bring in something like that randomly."
Schultz never actually played Rihanna the track. He explained: "I met her and she had a place that she was working on a bunch of music. Me and Rook were just in a room vibing out to the 'Desperado' track that I had. Rook just started working on it. She didn't hear it till there was already lyrics on it. I didn't actually play it for her - I actually found out she had a lot of people working on stuff for her.
It might have been a week after I had gone over to her house and did that song that I just heard from her team that she really loves the record. One thing led to another and she cut it but I actually never really presented the record to her."