Rockstar 101

Album: Rated R (2009)
Charted: 64
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Songfacts®:

  • On this angry track, Rihanna gives full vent to her emotions after her then boyfriend Chris Brown brutally assaulted her in February 2009. In an interview for Glamour Magazine, Rihanna touched how she poured the past eight months of pent-up emotions into the album. "I was involved in a lot of the writing," Rihanna said. "I put everything I've wanted to say for the past eight months into my music. The songs are really personal. It's rock and roll, but it's really hip-hop: If Lil Wayne and Kings of Leon like my album, then I'll feel good. I would not change anything about it. Even if people don't love it, I made exactly the piece of art that I wanted to make. It's super fearless - which is exactly how I feel right now. I am in a really good place."
  • This Dream-and-Stewart produced track features former Guns N' Roses axeman Slash on guitar. Tricky Stewart previously collaborated with Rihanna on her international hit Umbrella. He told Rap-Up.com that the record is "a superstar taking a step in a totally different direction. This album is different than her past works." Stewart elaborated, "This is Rihanna coming into her own and going from being a girl that has been singing big, huge hit records, and the artist is awake and alive and moving on this project. She knows exactly what she wants to say, she knows how she wants to feel. It was an amazing experience working with her and just really getting into her headspace of what she wanted to do."
  • Rated R is Rihanna's first album to bear a Parental Advisory label, and this track, which contains plenty of cuss words is one reason why it earned the sticker.
  • Rihanna first performed the song live on the ninth season of American Idol. At one point she picked up a Flying V electric guitar with her signature metallic "R" symbol on it, although her guitar skills seemed limited.
  • This was released as the third international single, and the fourth US single from Rihanna's fourth album, Rated R.
  • The song's music video has Rihanna in rocking mode backed by a band that features Travis Barker on drums. Slash doesn't appear in the clip, but Rihanna pays homage to him at one stage donning his trademark top hat, leather jacket, dark glasses and toothpick. The former Guns N' Roses axman told MTV News: "I was supposed to actually be in that video. I played on the song, and they called me up to ask me to play in the video, but my record was just coming out, and I was sort of worn thin. She was really sweet. She sent me this pleading text to come do the video, but I couldn't make it work. I told her that me not being in the video wasn't going to make or break it."

    Slash added that he approved of Rihanna's depiction of him in the clip: "The video is way better with her being me than with me being me," he said. "All things considered, it brings an element of sexuality to it that I probably wouldn't have been capable of. I think it's hot, and I sent her a text this morning telling her it was definitely hotter with her doing it than with me doing it. Everything works out the way it's supposed to."

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