Every Drake and Rihanna collaboration, ranked

Rihanna

Every Drake and Rihanna collaboration, ranked

The powerhouse pair has released five chart-topping projects. Insider ranked them all from worst to best.

Every Drake and Rihanna collaborative song, ranked

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Every Drake and Rihanna collaboration, ranked

2021-02-20T14:05:00Z

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Since her debut in 2005, Rihanna has released eight studio albums — with highly anticipated “R9” still yet to come.

Her long-time creative partner, Drake, has released five studio albums since his debut in 2010. And his sixth studio album, “Certified Lover Boy,” is scheduled to be released later this year. 

Together, the enormous talents have produced five hit songs, including chart-toppers “What’s My Name?” and “Work.”

Here are all of Rihanna and Drake’s collaborations ranked in descending order.  

5. The “Lemon” remix featuring Drake is too bland and repetitive compared to the rest of their discographies.

“Lemon” is a 2017 collaboration involving N.E.R.D., aka Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo, and Shay Haley.

Angela Weiss/Getty; Getty Images

It’s not necessarily the repetitiveness that makes this song a turnoff (because these artists can, and have, made hits out of pure repetitiveness, as they did with “Work”), but it’s more so the humdrum of it all.

The political dance-pop song doesn’t really move me in any special musical way like the higher-ranked songs on this list do – at its best, it gets a playful, partially sober, head bob from me. 

For the song to repeatedly emphasize “Bitin’ speakers in the face” and “Bouncin’ around,” I just expected a whole lot more, including a bolder beat drop that I can actually bounce around to.

And, I must note: For this song to be made by this pantheon of producers is pretty disappointing, considering how talented Drake, Rihanna, and Pharrell Williams all are.

Also, for this to be a remix of the original “Lemon” track from N.E.R.D’s self-titled album (2017), Drake doesn’t add much flair to it. 

Let’s just say, life quite literally gave the star-studded group lemons here, and it did not make lemonade — and, well, just like a lemon, this song also kind of leaves a sour taste in your mouth.

Song highlight: The semi-snappy, amplified “Wait a minute!” throughout the song, comically

4. Rihanna and Drake's first-ever collaboration, “What's My Name?” is the perfect radio tune.

“What's My Name?” is the second track on Rihanna's “Loud.”

This song had everything a hit track needed in 2010 — a catchy chorus, bright bassline, and even a pun here and there.

It easily became a certified bop; so much so, that it was considered “full-blown brilliance” by , as well as “sassy, fun, flirty, and energetic” by .

But the problem with this perfect pop song is that it never really transcended the age it was produced in.

I just don’t find myself wanting to actively revisit “What’s My Name?” in 2021, like I would any track on either Rihanna’s “Anti” or Drake’s “Views” (both from 2016).

But considering that “What’s My Name?” was only the duo’s first-ever project together, it is relatively impressive.

The two clearly had so much more room to grow as artists and hone their craft, whether that be curating a more mature sound or musing more pensive lyrics.

Let’s be real, “The square root of 69 is eight something, right?” is not Drake’s best work. Though, he is one of the very few rappers who can get away with reciting a cheesy line every now and then.

The verse oddly happened to be one of his most memorable (and meme-able) verses, too, so that definitely counts for something. 

Song highlight:  The bridge is fairly moving. It makes you want to be vulnerable enough to cry along with Rihanna as she cries, “You ’bout to break me / I swear you got me losin’ my mind!”

3. “Too Good” is raw, reflective, and gets better with every listen.

“Too Good” is the sixteenth track on Drake's “Views.”

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Honestly, “Too Good” is exactly that: too good. The ranking of this collab was truthfully the most difficult because of its unique caliber and just pure “Drake-ness,” as  

In true fashion, the certified lover-man sends forth a sense of newfound maturity, sensitivity, and introspection when it comes to the sound and lyricism of this song. The overall effect is thought-provoking and just near perfect.

As it’s an enjoyable “vestige of the same creative juices that flowed through ‘Work.'”

However, it’s not as radio-friendly as the more pop-leaning ”Work” and “Take Care.” That being said, “Too Good” ultimately falls slightly short of those other tracks.

 Song highlight: The astutely fresh sampling of Popcaan’s “Love Yuh Bad,” aka the accented voice starting at the 3:32 mark.

2. “Work” is a banger.

“Work” is the fourth track on Rihanna's “Anti.”

Roc Nation

“Work” is the most rhythmic song on this list. Yes, it was (rightfully) overplayed to a point where I should have gotten tired of it – but here we are, over four years later, and I am still absolutely wired from it.

To say the least, the award-winning reggae-pop track makes you want to move. “Work” embraces melodically saucy patois and dancehall vibes, which is an art both artists have mastered throughout their individual repertoires.

, the “Work, work, work, work, work, work!” hook is wise, and according to me, it’s straight fire. 

But while this is definitely a rock-solid track, there is one that edged it out for the top spot on this list.

Song highlight: The song peaks at the 1:51 mark, when Rihanna cries “What can I say? / Please recognize I’m tryin’, babe.”

1. “Take Care” is simply timeless.

“Take Care” is the fifth track on Drake's album of the same name.

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Before this title track was made flawless for Drake’s second studio album, the song already existed as “I’ll Take Care of You” (1959) by Bobby Bland and “I’ll Take Care of U” (2011) by Gill Scott-Heron and Jamie xx.

Drake and Rihanna’s version, however, is more contemporary than the former and less funky than the latter (for the better), which allows this collab to be the masterpiece it is today. 

The ambitious hybrid of a track crosses over several genres and has been described as an “expansive house ballad,”.

further describes the song as a “memory-foam blend of ’90s-nodding R&B and downtempo electronica.”

This song basically makes you want to cry your eyes out in your bedroom on Tuesday, then throw it back on the dance floor on Friday, making it a perfect embodiment of emotional chaos — and the duo’s magnum opus. 

Song highlight: The pulsating steel drums and deeply captivating “Ah, ah, ah, ah!” chant throughout the song. 

This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author(s).

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