Electronic music and pop borrow from each other all the time, but there's something different about the scope of underground producers that Rihanna has captivated over the years. From singles to fan favourites and deep cuts, we've rounded up ten diverse and excellent electronic remixes of Rihanna's discography, which (kind of incredibly) goes back more than a decade. Let us know what we missed.
"Loveeeeeee Song (DJ Sliink Jersey Club Remix)" feat. Future
Unapologetic allegedly had seven(!) singles, with the very emotional "Loveeeeeee Song" as its fourth. Whatever you say, Def Jam—it's effectively an album track if there's not even an unpitched-audio video on YouTube. In any case, the Navy declared it a highlight soon after the album dropped, leading modern Jersey club mainstay DJ Sliink to remix a song that will likely never be overplayed, "single" or otherwise. This one is timeless, and I constantly come back to it.
"Cockiness (Jonas LR Remix)"
"Cockiness," one of Rihanna's iconic bops, deserves this garage house remix. I first heard this in a Kaytranada mix, which I'm guessing had no small part in how often I still hear it out. This song fits within a funk-house Kaytra set, but its UK influences shine over the 4/4 beat as well. Makes sense—Jonas LR is from Leeds. And in a PG-13 twist, he shows staggering restraint in holding back on The Lyric (you know the one) until the remix's final act.
"Stay (Branchez Bootleg)"
This was a big one in 2013. Branchez turned the original—a fine, sort of sad pop song—into an incredibly effective and efficient trap-pop ballad. If the media reflected what youth actually listen to, this remix would've been on the radio hourly.
Poor Sport - "RiRi RN" (remix of "Right Now")
A year after 2012's Unapologetic, Ynfynyt Scroll and AiR DJ released Track Meet's second label compilation—all of which are PWYC here. On a standout track that ends as soon as it runs out of lyrics (that is, very quickly) Poor Sport reworks Rihanna's vague EDM pep-talk into a hectic, cavernous piece of undefinable club music.
90s Nick - "Take It Take It (Love Me Love Me)" (remix of "Rude Boy")
This is straight up apocalyptic. Mood: clubbing at the end of the world; making the most of the night like we're gonna die young. Take a deep breath during the few seconds the song lets you—everything will be fine.
Total Freedom - "Pepsi Song/Slave Song About Nothing" (remix of "American Oxygen")
"American Oxygen," a song that was an ANTI single for a minute and shall never be spoken of again, didn't work out so well because it sounded like a wind turbine was operating inside the studio it was recorded in. NYC's Total Freedom took this concept and ran with it, deconstructing the song almost entirely and pairing metallic clangs with dissonant percussion that makes me double check my open tabs every time. This isn't new territory for him, though—he's got another great one that mashes up "Where Have You Been" with Bangladesh's production from "Cockiness."
"Bitch Better Have My Money (Divoli S'vere Remix)"
"BBHMM," which will forever live on in the hearts of the general public, was blessed with endless remixes, some of which were very successful. But only one of them is a pummelling soundtrack fit for a longstanding ballroom showdown, and it's Divoli S'vere's for GHE20G0TH1K, Venus X's pioneering NYC club night.
"Pour It Up (RL Grime Remix)"
RL Grime selects from his repertoire of maximal trap tropes to amp up the comparatively subdued original, adding a few mid-length builds for good measure. Sometimes you just want to turn up very, very loudly. From over on SoundCloud where this track has 4.5 million plays, three choice comments: "why not get drunk tonight," "anticipating the drop," and "love this part bro i swear".
"Diamonds (Jerome LOL Edit)"
Calling this one an edit seems a bit modest. Here, Montreal's Jerome LOL speeds up a few key lyrics and surrounds them with jazz lounge percussion and a chopped sample of the piano-esque synths that defined the original. It's something close to club music, but I feel like I should be sitting down—it's house for a bittersweet afternoon.
"Don't Stop The Music (KW Griff Remix)"
We know Griff is renowned in Baltimore and beyond for the "dancefloor bomb" Fade To Mind re-issued in 2012, but digging into the broken links of pre-2010 Music Blogspot reveals the existence of this forgotten remix, too. By now it's only available on Vimeo as part of a VJ's visualization catalog, and although it's a pretty straightforward Baltimore remix, none of that makes hearing it any less thrilling.
Josh is on Twitter.