100 Plays Later / 808s

100 Plays Later: G4L – Rihanna

100 Plays Later is a series that is exactly how it sounds. I try to explain how I’ve managed to reach a century of plays on songs you may not even recognise. Or explain what it’s like to listen back to my favourite songs for the 238th time. 

G4L – Rihanna – 105 Plays

Rated R is Rihanna’s best album. That’s a fact. G4L probably isn’t even the best song on Rated R and yet it joins the 14 other Rihanna songs that have over 100 plays in my iTunes library for its unapologetic edge. The Chase & Status production makes this a grungy addition to an already dark album, this is deep rolling drum and bass made more and more thrilling by Rihanna’s teasing vocal delivery. ‘I lick the gun when I’m done cos I know that revenge is sweet’ is one of my all time favourite RiRi hooks, while the song ended up being the origin point for her ‘Navy’ of fans.

For some reason G4L ended up becoming a sort of cult classic for me and my friends, the sort of song we’d put on in between What’s My Name and Rude Boy before going on a night out. It’s a key moment in an amazing album, where Rihanna sounds like she’s loosened up and riding her way through the track, never more clear than in this backstage singalong, the only time she has sung this song live. G4L isn’t a We Found Love banger, but for me, it’s just as vital to a Rihanna playlist.

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