Love on the Brain

Album: Anti (2016)
Charted: 5


  • This retro doo-wop-flavored track features dark lyrics about a violent lover who beats Rihanna "black and blue." Despite his violence, the singer admits she "can't get enough" of him.
  • The lyrical content has left fans wondering if Rihanna is referencing her tumultuous relationship with Chris Brown. The R&B star left her with visible injuries on February 8, 2009 after an argument escalated into physical violence.
  • Rihanna wrote the song with:

    Roc Nation's Fred Ball, a producer from Norway, now living in London. Ball has also worked with Little Boots ("Ghost") and Little Mix ("Boy"), during his career.

    Roc Nation singer/songwriter J Angel, who also has credits on songs recorded by Jennifer Lopez ("Goin' In") and Demi Lovato ("All Night Long").
  • Fred Ball and J. Angel originally wrote the tune in early 2014. Ball told the story of the song to Genius: "J Angel and I made it in one day at Westlake studios in L.A. I had never worked with him before, and we just clicked immediately.

    We wanted the song to be old school - a mix between Prince and Al Green. The time signature is 6/8ths - it has a timeless and soulful feel to it. We wanted it to have that juxtaposition of an old school soul feel with modern lyrics. That's why Amy Winehouse was never pastiche or retro even though her music has an old soul sound.

    We didn't write the song with Rihanna in mind, but Jay Brown, my manager at Roc Nation, heard it and absolutely loved it. He sent it to Rihanna and she reacted similarly. That was nearly two years ago. It was the first song that was commissioned for ANTi."

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