Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney
Rihanna and Kanye West both feel taken for granted in the fresh “FourFiveSeconds.”
A relieved guitar opens the single, setting an ambivalent tone. She sets her phone and fights the urge to throw it across the room. Her boyfriend texted her that he’s going out again with his friends. They haven’t spent any time together at all this week. She sends a text out to a couple of her friends asking if they want to go out to the bar tonight. She wants to rant to them while taking shots. No matter what she does, it isn’t good enough for him. (“I think I've had enough/I might get a little drunk/I say what's on my mind/I might do a little time/Cause all of my kindness/Is taken for weakness.”)
In the chorus, she’s already done with the week and it’s just Tuesday. She wants to go off Right now, she’s staying at her best friend’s house until she figures out what she’s going to do. (“Now I'm FourFiveSeconds from wildin'/And we got three more days 'til Friday/I'm just tryna make it back home by Monday mornin'/I swear I wish somebody would tell me/Oh, that's all I want.”)
Bitch, bitch, bitch, complain, complain, complain. West’s girlfriend is killing his good mood. Why does she always nag him? (“Woke up an optimist/Sun was shinin', I'm positive/Then I heard you was talkin' trash/Hold me back, I'm 'bout to spaz.”)
The second chorus is sung, with West joining in. Both want second chances with someone else. (“Yeah, 'bout FourFiveSeconds from wildin'…I swear I wish somebody would try me/Oh, that’s all I want.”)
In the bridge, she would try calling him. However, he’s probably out at the bar, talking to someone else. She feels her anger is justified. Then, he has the nerve to leave a dozen messages on her phone. It only confirms her suspicions. (“And I know that you're up tonight/Thinkin', "How could I be so selfish?"/But you called 'bout a thousand times/Wondering where I've been/Now I know that you're up tonight/Thinkin' "How could I be so reckless?"/But I just can't apologize/I hope you can understand.”)
He adds that sorry but not really sorry. He can’t own up to his mistakes. Although, he’s really trying and does notice that she’s there.. (“If I go to jail tonight/Promise you'll pay my bail/See they want to buy my pride/But that just ain't up for sale/See all of my kindness/Is taken for weakness.”)
The first chorus is sung twice, with West joining in to end the single.
Rihanna, for the first time in a while, has some fight in her voice. She’s gained self-respect and no longer taking any of her boyfriend’s bad behavior.
West rolls his eyes the entire time, slowing the single down. It’s all a big joke to him. It’s easy to see why his girlfriend is annoyed with him.
McCartney’s eclectic arrangement brings out something new in Rihanna. He expects her to rise up and challenge herself, which she does.
The distinctive “FiveFourSeconds” manages to redeem the Unapologetic era by taking a step forward.