LOS ANGELES, CA— If you weren't hyped at Rihanna’s ANTI World Tour last night (May 4), she'd kindly like you to "speak the fuck up" because with all due respect, "you payed for this shit."
It's been just over 11 years since a Barbados-born Robyn Rihanna Fenty walked into Def Jam's Manhattan headquarters for the first time and left with a six-album deal. Now fast-forward over a decade, the Bad Gal is commanding the attention of not only Jay Z and LA Reid, but the entire world for that matter. Performing at The Forum in Inglewood, CA for a two-night sold-out affair, Rihanna's "don’t give a fuck" persona sparkled for a clad collection of countless records, that more than few would be taken back by the number of standout hits she's had over her budding career.
Appearing out of nowhere to a deafening roar from the massive venue, she opened night two with the maudlin piano ballad "Stay," in an embezzled hoodie like prizefighter from a tunnel at the rear of the soundboard floor. Just imagine a dramatic, pageant-esque rendition of a scene from one of Rocky Balboa's most notable ring entrances, except a near six-foot seductive strut from the pop-icon. After the open, she ditched the wind-down to perform a seductive glory to "Sex With Me," complete with a cocky gyrate and NSFW floor-dance. Keeping the hype alive, she delivered a rapid fire blend of tracks from Anti, "Woo" and "Consideration" to old favorites "Pour It Up," and "Man Down." "Bitch Better Have My Money," the trap fever dream, saw RiRi flanked by six of her 17 dancers in full-blooded empowerment, hear-me loud-and-clear mode.
Following a quick wardrobe change, which one could easily say was definitely evoked by Kanye West's Yeezy Season collections, she tossed to her formidable nods of hip-hop features. A medley of her soaring hooks from Tip's "Live Your Life," Kanye West's "All Of The Lights" and Jay Z's "Run This Town," before stalking the stage with her 2007 smash "Umbrella."
"LA what the fuck is up right now," she enthusiastically yelled, "I had a blast last night but damn y'all on fire. This is ratchet LA, I like this…and the party is just getting started."
Transcending the show back into her "favorite album," she swayed to "Desperado," and weaved into her island roots with "Man Down" and "Work." And just when you thought the twerking was going to stay to a one man minimum, Drake met Rihanna on stage for their infamous dutty wine choreography.
"I'm for the six side, but my only other home is LA," the Views rapper announced as he commanded the audience to jump to "Jumpman" and "One Dance."
Contrasting the sluggish and odd foam moment that framed the stage setup, Rihanna poured into her vibrant yet melodic overflow of "Diamonds," to a cell-phone shining auditorium. In the end, after gradually shedding off clothes for nearly two hours, she reappeared in an oversized brown jacket over a barley embezzled bustier to sing in more acoustic fashion to the aforementioned "Kiss It Better."
As a whole, the ANTI World Tour was nothing short of what you expected, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Watching her be Rihanna and no one else, is a delight that that can easily be interpreted as self-assurance rather than self-imposing.
Watch the highlights below.