Rihanna, "Rude Boy"

80 Billboard Rating

With "Rude Boy," Rihanna delivers her most provocative lyrics and perhaps most authentic-sounding single to date. The singer makes good use of the song's title -- an old Jamaican slang term for lawless males -- and relishes her role as antagonist. "Come here rude boy, boy, can you get it up? Come here rude boy, boy, is you big enough?" she challenges. Steel drums are a welcome presence on the production, which gives a nod to ska and dancehall. Rihanna's swagger has never been as convincing on this song, and thanks to an accompanying video that pays tribute to M.I.A.'s global pop culture references, "Rude Boy" is poised for success.

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