There’s something untouchable about Jay Z, Rihanna, and Kanye teaming up for one song—only Beyoncé could’ve made this track better. Kanye coproduced 2009’s “Run This Town,” and the beat is militant, even belligerent. “We basically run this town,” Jay Z said in an interview after the track’s release. “It’s myself, Rihanna, and Kanye. It’s pretty much it.”
Rihanna took a break from making her own music videos to star in one of West’s, and she’s as charismatic a silent actor as she is a singer. In the black-and-white clip for “Paranoid,” from West’s 2008 auto-tuned masterpiece 808s & Heartbreak,Rih is perfect as a noirish femme fatale, driving recklessly down a dark road and flashing those bright eyes straight at the camera.
“All of the Lights” is nothing if not an opus: John Legend, Fergie, Alicia Keys,and EltonJohn all make guest appearances on the track from West’s 2010 albumMy Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. But even in a room that crowded with talent, Rih’s voice on the chorus is piercing. Add in a video that, at the time of its release, carried an epilepsy warning, and you have a major pop moment.
It takes a special woman to bring Kanye and his sometime-rival Drake onto one stage, but that’s precisely what Rihanna accomplished at the NBA All-Star game halftime show in 2011.
West jumped on a remix of Rihanna’s single “Diamonds” with a long opening verse in which his ego is at peak bombast.
Though the only videos of the show are grainy, Rihanna and Kanye’s performance at a pre–Super Bowl party in January looked to be electric. The pair cycled through some of each other’s biggest hits, and gave the best preview yet of what to expect from their 2015 tour.
A track so sweet it sounds like the three of them riding off into the sunset. You’ll be singing along to this very loudly when you see them play it live.