This piece will compare Justin Beiber’s ‘Sorry’ and Rihanna’s ‘Work’. While ‘Sorry’ was released in October 2015 and ‘Work’ released in January, 2016. The bases for comparison are they will make the same categories at various forthcoming American Awards in 2016 as they are both Pop/Reggae songs and they both employed the services of two producers each for their songs. Their rating will be based on production, lyrics and visuals.
‘Sorry’ by Justin Beiber was produced by Skrillex, American producer, known for composing Reggae-inspired notes and BloodPop, another skilled American producer. The production is a fusion of Pop and Reggae sounds and also, the use of trumpet sounds used mostly in the chorus made the instrumentation very unique. Beiber begs for forgiveness and prays it does not get too late for him, expresses his frustration and seeks the help of an arbiter:
”You know i try but I don’t do too well with apologies/ I hope i don’t run out of time Could someone call a referee? / ‘Cause I just need one more shot at forgiveness”.
Amazing love lyrics from Justin here. The concept stands out with the non-appearance of the artiste in the video (though not the first artiste to do this). It is a dance video and well-choreographed from the beginning till the end. This is a good song with creative visuals to match. The video was directed by award-winning choreographer, Paris Goebel.
Rihanna’s Work was produced by Bio-1da and Skillrex. Bio 1da has worked with Hip-hop big shots in the US from Jay Z to Eminem, Drake, G Unit, Nicki Minaj and Kendrick Lamar to mention a few. He is more of a Hip-hop producer. This does not mean he is not good at or has not crafted beats for artistes from other music genres. Kuk Harrell is another talented producer who is responsible for hit Pop songs like Rihanna’s Umbrella and Mariah Carey’s Touch My Body. He has produced for Celine Dion before and also produced almost all the tracks on Jennifer Lopez’s comeback album in 2011, Until It Beats No More. He specializes in Pop music production. These producers teamed up to craft a typical reggae instrumentation for Rihanna to sing on with her powerful and hypnotic vocals. She starts with the chorus and laments in Patois her man’s wishes and how hard she tries:
”He said me haffi/ Work, work, work, work, work, work!/He see me do mi/Dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt/ So me put in/ Work, work, work, work, work, work”.
Rihanna dropped 2 well-sang pop verses and versatile rapper, Drake assisted with a single pop verse. You don’t expect less from this Hip-hop genius:
”When I see potential I just gotta see it through/ If you had a twin I would still choose you”.
After Drake’s verse, he sang along with Rihanna, the chorus- which ended the song well. The video was shot by Director X. Director X, last year, shot the video of Drake’s monster-hit song, Hotline Bling. He captures what Rihanna intended to portray with her lyrics in a visual presentation that included: wild and drunken Jamaican-imitated dance steps at a party.
Rihanna, the two talented production heavyweights and super creative Director X’s efforts birthed a Pop/Dancehall banger that will for years be on the lips of lovers of Pop and Reggae and will also get you dancing any day. Beiber’s team also did a great job but my personal belief is: Work is bigger!