Another day, another Rihanna tease. Except, thankfully, the singer felt generous enough to issue a new single.
After weeks of speculation about a collaboration with Drake called "Work," Rihanna released the Caribbean-tinged track from her long-gestating album, "Anti."
Released to Jay Z's Tidal right as it was debuted by BBC Radio 1 disc jockey J. Scott Mills (it was available on iTunes less than an hour after), the single's surprise release comes just two days after the singer revealed she had completed the oft-delayed follow-up to 2012's "Unapologetic."
Billboard has reported the album will finally arrive this week, likely as a surprise release before Friday.
Produced by Boi-1da and co-produced by Allen Ritter, Sevn Thomas and Partynextdoor, the track is a more minimal take of the infectious fusion of Caribbean, pop and electronic beats Rihanna has perfected in the past.
"All that I wanted from you was to give me something that I never had," she sings, while her collaborator and former flame confesses, "If you had a twin, I'd still choose you" on his verse.
The release of Rihanna's new album has been a bumpy, mysterious one, with false starts, cryptic reveals and scant details.
That she's calling "Work" the album's "first single" only adds to the intrigue — and confusion — of the album's campaign, which kicked off exactly a year ago this week.
Last January, she dropped what was said to be the album's first single, "FourFiveSeconds," without warning. The bare-bones soft rocker featured Paul McCartney and Kanye West, who announced he was executive producing the album ahead of the trio's performance at the Grammys. That later turned out not to be the case, as West spent much of the year delaying his own album, "Waves" (the second time he's changed the name).
To debut the video for her hit "Bitch Better Have My Money," the singer took dozens of her biggest fans on a wild crosstown Los Angeles surprise adventure.
She released the anthemic "American Oxygen" as the title track for March Madness and issued album interlude "James Joint" as a tribute to 420. And the Florence and the Machine-sampling "Only If For A Night" was teased during a campaign for Dior.
When Rihanna wanted to unveil the album's art, she did so at a swanky event at a downtown art gallery, where she invited fans and journalists and revealed the series of paintings that comprise the album's packaging.
Ahead of announcing her massive "Anti" world tour — it kicks off Feb. 26 in San Diego — she teamed up with Samsung for an enigmatic Web portal built around the album, in which users had to unlock rooms in an augmented reality featuring the singer.
"Anti" will be released under her own Westbury Road imprint through Jay Z's Roc Nation.
Listen to "Work" here.
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