At this point, you've already heard what fans plus a domestic-abuse expert were required to say about Rihanna and Chris Brown's controversial collaborations on new remixes of "Birthday Cake" and "Turn The Music." Odds are, no doubt you've formed your own opinion too. Watch the Rihanna sex tape video on New Rihanna Sextape Released
But because initial shock from the pair's reunion subsides, and both remixes set out to diffuse to the collective conscience, we're still having one rather real question: Beyond each of the (very public) handwringing the songs are creating, could they be actually a bit of good? Early opinions from critics are actually lukewarm at best (and downright hostile at worst), mostly as it seems these people have a hard time separating their feelings about Brown - and his 2009 assault of Rihanna - from other feelings regarding the songs themselves. And really, you cannot blame them. In a lot of ways, no one is able not to see the "Cake" and "Music" remixes over the prism of history 36 months.
Still, with opinions still being formed (and feelings still fresh), we reached to a lot of our favorite music journos to obtain their take on the songs and Rihanna and Brown's unlikely collaboration. Some tips about what they had to say:
" 'Birthday Cake' was pretty much destined to be a smash when Talk That Talk was launched with just a snippet of it. ... The 78-second bit of The-Dream-produced track inspired hosannas from members of the Rihanna Navy who couldn't wait for a full thing to be released. ... Putting Chris brown for the [remix] (and having him sing 'I wanna f--- you today,' which Rihanna sang for the fade-out from the TTT version, as his opening gambit) seems almost like overplaying her hand. Like, this song was going to be described as a huge problem to her fans whatever, exactly why add the talk with it? On the other hand, days gone by three years of her career have, it appears, been about her taking control of her public image greatly - from enacting revenge fantasies in 'Man Down' to singing about sex a good deal - and adding Brown to your song about fetishistic sex can be a way for her to complete exactly that, to implicitly flip off people that she sees as paternalistic or overbearing while doing what she calls 'chiefin'.' Every gossip item in regards to the two of them fixing the relationship or going out, every angry/sad/exulting short article, every public tweet they direct to one another when presumably they can just DM forwards and backwards, keeps them - as well as the songs - in the news. Meanwhile, Brown's song and Rihanna's contribution for it are generally pretty bland, a 'Party Rock Anthem' without any shuffling and in many cases less whimsy. At some point, Rihanna does the idea of 'I thank you,' that can no doubt get tongues wagging. I will be basically grossed by the whole thing, in truth." - Maura Johnston, Village Voice
"The remixes aren't terrible, and that's as much as I'll say vulnerable to saying something tolerant of Chris brown. ... What is important to keep in mind is that if you've got a downside to those two teaming up: Don't blame Rihanna. Blame the ravenous, unscrupulous, money-starved record industry for being complacent through this entire event. The full machine is failing, so everyone - artists like Ludacris and Attacking young boys, their labels and managers, magazines like Vibe who put Chris brown about the cover, awards shows such as the Grammys, TV networks who play Chris brown videos - all of them are too afraid to potentially put forth an opinion that would prevent them from being where money is. The fact everyone except Jay-Z and Miranda Lambert is way too chickensh-- to communicate in out against woman-beating is pathetic beyond pathetic. Most people are too scared to compromise their possiblity to catch the past remaining dollars during the music industry's death rattle." - Christopher R. Weingarten, SPIN
"Rihanna's 'Birthday Cake' was a standout track from Talk That Talk, even in its original form (just as one interlude) - and most importantly, without Chris brown. For the remix, all Brown's aggressive, salacious verses do ... is add fuel to rumors circling of these reunion behind closed doors. [And] Rihanna pops up on the song, calling checkmate on Breezy together with her suggestive lyrics - "Remember how we did it?/ Remember the way you fit it?/ If you still need to kiss it, come, come and get it" - rendering it difficult to not be teased into again reading between your lines. 'Turn The Music' feels like a collaboration that might have fit both artists' discography during their days coupled up. Although RiRi's airy vocals blend well with all the Underdogs' dance soundscapes, adding Rihanna on the track doesn't leave an enduring impression nor elevate the song to increase grounds. Ultimately, it's not the content from the songs that matter; it's the statement both singers are attempting to make by simply releasing them. The collaborations seem like step toward reconciliation between both - seeing the tracks climb the chart is really a bonus. Rihanna wants us to understand that they don't wears these shoes from the victim and Breezy really wants to prove that he's turn into a better man. This isn't a private or professional move; it's both. Both singers have woven their personal life, a haunting moment inside their lives, in to a professional move. Though it's stirred much controversy, In my opinion it absolutely was inescapable."
The guy who bloodied and bruised Rihanna three years ago can now be heard on the pop princess' sexually charged "Birthday Cake" remix, released Monday. Chris brown raps about wanting to "f***" her and "give it to her in the worst way," inside new version of the song.
Listeners also can hear Rihanna's vocals featured on Chris Brown's remix of "Turn Up the Music," which was released Monday.
Although some fans have expressed acceptance and even excitement about the collaboration, others are outraged, announcing their loss in respect for Rihanna after seemingly welcoming her former abuser back into her lifetime.
"Deleted Rihanna off my iPod. Not related to that imbecile in any capacity," one Twitter user wrote.
"Ladies, don't end up like Rihanna if your man beats you stay away, call the cops, get help. Don't allow him to remix that person or your song," another wrote.
"Rihanna owes better to her numerous female fans instead of sing/dance on stage having a man who put her in hospital," said another.
With no treated Rihanna or learning the detailed information in the continuing saga between your celebrities, experts weighed in on the rekindled music relationship. Although some said the revived pair is inappropriate and dangerous, others suggest that Rihanna may have healed from the experience and today feels empowered to split up business and relationships.