After the year Rihanna had — releasing the double platinum ANTI, debuting her Puma clothing collab, FENTY, publically engaging in an on-again-off-again relationship with Drake, among other things — it’s hard to remember a Rihanna of the past. And yet, she did exist prior to this year. She more than existed; she thrived. And I thrive during Halloween because I get to dress up in ambiguous “if you get it, you get it” costumes, and eat a lot of chocolate, and go to Skeeps more than three times a week. But also because Rihanna’s 2008 banger “Disturbia” comes back into the rotation of songs to play at a pregame.
The lyrically dark track, off 2008’s God Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded, has an equally dark music video, tonally appropriate for the upcoming holiday. It’s got all the Halloween necessities: mannequins, spiders, fire, Rihanna with a pixie cut. It jumps from setting to setting, at one point sticking the artist in a gas chamber before shackling her to a bed inside a jail cell (hints of the “S&M” Rihanna to come). But don’t let the Halloween-y undertones of the video threaten the weight of this project; the anxiety-ridden, paranoia-driven single marked a step in a more experimental direction for the artist. This 2008 video was the birth of the sexually aggressive, unabashedly unapologetic Rihanna we know and love (and worship) today.