First Listen/OMFG: Rihanna And Chris Brown Collaborate On Her New Love Song, ‘Nobodies Business’


You guys have no idea how badly I want every word of this post to be written in caps. But I’m trying desperately to keep it classy right now. Or maybe I just want to write the words Oh Hell Nawl, and then copy and paste it a bunch of times. Okay, bear with me y’all: Oh Hell Nawl Oh Hell Nawl Oh Hell Nawl Oh Hell Nawl Oh Hell Nawl Oh Hell Nawl Oh Hell Nawl Oh Hell Nawl Oh Hell Nawl Oh Hell Nawl. Okay. Do you guys remember when we first found out about the Rihanna/Chris Brown/Karreuche love triangle and I noted that Rihanna was tweeting  “Ain’t nobody bidness….. But mine and my baby!” Well I didn’t want to specualte about that quote (and its relationship to a very specific Bille Holiday song) until I got further confirmation about. And I kinda did… via Rihanna’s tracklist for Unapologetic. There was a song titled Nobodies Business and I was like, okay. That’s the song I wanna hear. The late, great Billie Holiday has a song of the same name with lyrics about staying with a man who hits you, and not reporting it to the police and fun stuff like that. Well, I was right to be interested in the song… and I was wrong. Because, while I thought it might have to do with CB, I didn’t actually think it would be a duet with CB. But it is. Take a listen to the snippet above (before it gets taken down, like the others) and rage with me inside, please.

Let me start this rage-fest by giving a shouts-out to PITNBR HeatherLea, who shared this comment on the post about Rihanna’s tracklist:

I’m over Rihanna, to be honest. Her music doesn’t interest me like it did before, and neither does her personal life. If she chooses to be with douchebag mcgee, then as they say- “let it be.” …

I mean, people will do what they want. And, looking at her recent actions, she seems to be the kind of person who likes being told she “can’t” or “shouldn’t” do something. As if it makes it all the more exciting for her when she does it. That is sometimes a good quality to have, but at other times it’s a very bad one. She knows the world will see and talk about her every move. So, whether she’s just seeking attention/publicity, or she truly feels justified in her choices, it really doesn’t matter because she will do it anyway.

I applauded HeatherLea for her attitude, and I look forward to the day when I can look at things from this perspective. It just makes sense on so many levels. Rihanna wants us to rage. She wants us to see the Billie Holiday connection and freak the freak out. She wants me to write OMFG in the post title. But most of all, I think she wants to be with the person she wants to be with, CB. And if the opinions of friends and family members do not matter (I heard she and Katy Perry are kind of beefing over her decision to be with him), than neither will the opinion of a stranger. I get that. And I get that, as many of her fans are quick to point out, CB could totally be in a relationship with Rihanna and never do what he did again. If you completely forget about the fact that he’s publicly admitted to being in love with both Rihanna and Karreuche (and, basically, cheating on Karreuche) then I guess you could argue that he might make a decent boyfriend… or, at the very least, a non-violent boyfriend.

But it’s hard to see all of this and not think about her young fans and his young fans. Honestly, I haven’t put all my thoughts together on this, but part of me feels like strong reactions to this madness will only feed the beast, and I don’t want to feed the beast! I want to have an open, honest discussion about the public and private sphere of celebrity and whether or not such a distinction even exists. Is it, in fact, nobody’s business but Rihanna and her baby’s? It may be time for another pop culture theory piece, and I’d love to hear some thoughts from you guys. What are we to make of the new Rihanna and CB collaboration?



  • Nancy

    It’s “Beauty and the Beast syndrome” Every girl believes she will be the one that can change the damaged man into her perfect love! UGH!!! Too bad in RiRi case 1000’s of young girls eyes are on her and thinking that if SHE can stay with a guy who beats her than they should do the same. Sad. I’ve read several articles where RiRi’s own father thinks Chris Brown is the only guy for his daughter. So, tell me she dosent have some messed up family messages.

    • Shannon

      Nancy, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is a great analogy– never heard it put like that before. And yes– I’ve gotten the idea that Rihanna’s familial relationships have impacted her decisions (I guess that’s true for all of us).

  • Yeah, I’m really done with her. She is free to do whatever she likes with her life, I wish her well but I need to be out. There is no way I will ever pay to support any Chris Brown product so, no new Rihanna album for me.

    • Shannon

      Trent, ‘ I need to be out.’ YES. That’s how I’m feeling– and I can’t help but hope that other people will boycott the album as well.

    • muchacha

      I agreeeeeeee!! I need to be out too!!

      This decision to be out, reminds me of how I handled my sister when she was dating a total LOSER. My family and I continually told her how much we didn’t like him, but she kept on with him, only coming back to complain to us as if she wasn’t even listening to what we had to say. At one point I had to draw a line, saying, “I cannot talk about your ongoing problems with him anymore, when you are ready to talk about breaking up with him, then let’s talk”. It was more for my own sanity than anything else. No more enabling behaviour, I’m not buying into this anymore.

  • ClaireMichelle

    I couldn’t be more over her if I tried. Ugh. Everything about this is just… Ugh. And I can’t even talk about Chris Brown without needing to swallow down vomit.

    • Shannon

      ClaireMichelle, ‘Ugh’ was my other thought. Exactly. I’m seriously at a loss…

  • overit

    these two aren’t exactly cudding up on a couch in the privacy of their homes – they’re grinding it out on every most-obvious world stage for all of us to see, as if every event is an even stronger aphrodesiac for them. it’s pathetic, it’s becoming low, and someone whom i used to have respect for (even with her gracious and superhuman gestures of forgiveness) seems reduced and intentionally provacative towards exploiting what she is publically exposing and mistaking as “love.” it’s a horrible figure to display…especially to youth culture that they cater to, even if it is a much more “matured” world anymore.she seems like a kind person, but on “drugs” – more than anything based on immaturity, and a complete disregard for the enabling celebrity that let her get this rich/popular/exposed. i’m all for her (or anyone’s) personal sexual revolution, but her integrity is hard to defend when it seems like a look-at-me-in-my-underwear girl with an abusive scumbag boyfriend…. she’s wasted on him.

    • overit

      also… she is far out of her crazy ass mind if she thinks she should be even breathing a word of billie holidays precious empire into her exploits… at that level, she’s not even retaining her own creativity… just trying to latch on to something more historically significant than her to justify her immoral (and wrong then, wrong now) principles.

    • Shannon

      overit, you make some great points. There’s some real irony/hypocrisy in doing a song called ‘Nobodies Business’ after having done very specific things to make the relationship everybody’s business.

  • Jamie

    I realize that their lives are none of our business but when they chose to be famous, it became our business. They are role models to a lot of people. What concerns me would be the young girls out there that look up to her. If my daughter idolizes her, I don’t want her thinking that it’s okay for a man to hit her…because that’s unacceptable. But I also see this as a situation of forgiveness. If she is strong enough to forgive him, that’s on her. It’s definitely not the path I would take, I can just hope she doesn’t end up beaten and bruised again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    • Shannon

      Jamie, you bring up a good point and I think this is one of the many reasons why it’s sooo important– as Ella points out below– for parents to know what and WHO their children listen to. That way, even if you can’t control what they listen to you can give them the tools to understand the music and the artist.

      Forgiveness is a tricky concept. I don’t think anyone takes issue with Rihanna practicing forgiveness; that’s a healthy act. Rihanna may not even have forgiven him– she may just still be obsessed or still want him or still love him. You can be all of those things (I can’t) and still be unforgiving or angry. And if she HAS forgiven him, that doesn’t mean she has to be with him. I’m not sure if she knows that.

  • Lulu

    Over.her. The best/worst part? is the song sounds horrible to boot.

    • ClaireMichelle

      I was thinking the same thing. The song is pretty terrible, which definitely fits the situation.

    • Shannon

      Lulu, LMAO. You’re so right!

  • Akili

    Let me start out by saying that in theory I’m NOT a Chris Brown hater. In theory.

    Let’s say in an alternate universe, in the heat of the moment/lapse of judgment whatever, Chris Brown had beat Rihanna up. In my alternate universe he would have (1) immediately taken personal and legal responsibility (2) gotten IMMENSE counselling because no person hits another person without having some severe problems (3) rehabbed his image and (4) THEN tried to move on with his professional endeavours.

    I could have accepted ALL that in my alternate universe. Because people make mistakes. He’s young. And his life should NOT be defined by this one i(albeit TERRIBLE) incident.

    But alas, my alternate universe does not exist. Chris Brown has pretty much done the exact OPPOSITE of what I feel he needed to do and continues to behave like a petulant, entitled child whom I have little affection or sympathy for…

    All that being said, I can’t for the life of me imagine what his appeal continues to be to Rihanna?!!! And I am a Rihanna FAN. I love her music. I thought “Rated R” was dark and beautiful and personal. It was raw and real. But at this point, between the “Birthday Cake” remix and this, is she not exploiting the controversy??? It seems immature and petulant on her part.

    And I agree with Lulu, the song is God awful. I won’t lie, I’ll probably buy the album. But as I’ve been saying since “Loud”–Rihanna needs to take a break after this. She’s oversaturated and overexposed…It’s getting old, very quickly.

    • Shannon

      Akili, I think at this point we are all getting the sense that she is exploiting the controversy. She could totally still be in love with Chris Brown (who– playing Devil’s Advocate here– has gone to mandatory counseling and I’ve heard he does voluntary counseling too), for whatever reasons, and privately enjoy her relationship with him. It’s not like they just love each other sooo much they have to make and then release music together. So yeah, I think you’re right. It’s absolutely an exploitation of a particular event that had a particular effect on women and victims of domestic violence. But clearly, that’s not a big deal to either of them.

  • HeatherLea

    Okay… Moment to freak over my shouts-out please? Ahhhhhh! Okay, I’m done. Maybe. ;) ADORE YOU, SHANNON!

    I was FLOORED when I saw it was an actual collabo with CB. Like, whaaaat? But, it only makes my previous point that more valid.

    I know I said I was done caring, but I can’t help reading the different headlines that pop up about these two. As each day goes on, I can’t help but think this is one of the most toxic relationships in Hollywood history. Not only between the two involved, but for everyone (especially young people) that watch it develop from the outside. No one wants their daughter to think it’s okay for a man to abuse them, and no one wants their son to think it’s okay to abuse a girl. But here are these two public figures blatantly condoning that behavior.. And, quite frankly, being real smartasses about it. They might feel justified in their love for one another, but they just have this attitude about the situation that completely turns me off. They are acting like a couple of teenagers who were told by their parents to stay away from one another, except for sneaking around and keeping it quiet (like I would assume two actually in love would do), they’re setting themselves up to get caught over and over, because they enjoy the excitement. Overit makes a great point about RiRi being “wasted” on him.

    I just hope that if the love is real, they take a step back from the spotlight and take a looooong break. I think they owe it to themselves and their relationship.
    If it’s just a silly game to them, I hope they realize it and get out before history repeats itself, or comes up with something worse..

    • Shannon

      HeatherLea, shouts-out were in order, lol! I love that you’re pointing out how two people who were really, truly in love wouldn’t care to make a spectacle of it. In fact, if they were a mature couple, it would be a much more private thing.

  • Krissy

    It is completely disgusting to me that both of them are trying to use a very serious issue as a marketing campaign for their product. Exploiting domestic abuse to sell your crappy music is just beyond the pale. I don’t wish them ill will, but I just can’t empathize with these actions.

    • Shannon

      Krissy, going into this, it was so hard for me to believe that this was a marketing issue but more and more I’m seeing that that has to be the case. I agree with you– it’s disgusting.

  • Brian Apple

    Stop portraying Rihanna as a victim. She’s no victim. She has knowingly exploited her bashing at the hands of Chris Brown for marketing reasons. She’s very cynical and quite disrespectful to her fans in my opinion.

    • Shannon

      Brian Apple, Rihanna WAS a victim of domestic violence. I don’t think anyone’s portraying her as a victim NOW. “She has knowingly exploited her bashing at the hands of Chris Brown for marketing reasons. ” I think this is very true.

  • Ella

    I don’t believe becoming a celebrity means their life belongs to the public…..UNLESS they court the media. K.Stew making a public apology to R.Pat and then being all I guess you’ll have to wait and find out coy when she was asked if she and him were back together? F**k you. If you put your life out there for the world to see then you can’t take it back.

    Their breakup was very public, she spoke about getting past the event and I recall her not being comfortable as a spokesperson for domestic abuse. Okay…Fine, but to flaunt their gross love in the public’s face? I am disgusted by these two. They deserve each other.

    You have a world of young women looking up to you and this is what you do with your power over them? It’s bad enough idiot CB fans are tweeting I’d let him beat me, but after an entire year of women watching you for, looking to you for strength, you get back together with a guy who is not only a cheater, but beat your face black and blue? This is a prime example of why parents need to know what their kids are listening to and watching. She is no role model, she is no woman to emulate. I’m done with both of them.

  • Rachel

    I have nothing new to bring to the table, I just wanted to LOVE ON Y’ALL for being so smart, thoughtful and eloquent. And no one is fighting each other here in the comments! Well played, PITNB-ers. Shannon, you’re really learning how to court the readers will all your shout-outs. Also well played.

  • nicole

    i use to get a lot of trouble when ‘Rated R’ came out, because..i always said it was hard to see Rihanna has a victim. she was so back & forth from not wanting to talk about it & not wanting to be a role model for DV…until she had something to promote. only then did she have something to say – only to have her actions negate anything she ever said. everything she does from what she wears, what she says in song & interviews to going back to chris…its attention seeking. plain & simple.

    a part of my use to think that she just didnt see things for what they were, that maybe she needed some counselling or something…but if anything, the past year or so have shown she knows exactly she’s doing.

    IF bad things happen again between these two, theres no way she’ll be able to even try to play the victim.

  • Alexis

    What you are ALL failing to see is that Rihanna is not a “true” artist. She writes none of her material which makes the stories she tell in her music less authentic. She is simply a product being marketed to the masses and considering we are no longer in the heyday of the music industry (where artist sold albums based on actual talent), this is simply just the latest marketing ploy to keep tongues wagging. A stunt and show to drum up interest in whatever album, tour or product she is hawking and we are all buying into it by entertaining her “business.”

  • jai

    Rhianna get over yourself he is a loser and your desperate !