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What Are Rihanna And Chris Brown’s New Songs Really Saying?

Hip-Hop Media Training

Hey, don't be mad at me for comparing Chris Brown andRihanna's brand new singles.

The formerpop couple decided to release their first official post-incident songs justthree weeks apart.

Chris' "I Can Transform Ya," featuring Lil' Wayne and SwizzBeatz, was released on September 19, and Rihanna's eerie "Russian Roulette"ballad premiered on her site, RihannaNow.com, Tuesday.

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The lyrics of both songs are quite suggestive.

On "I Can Transform Ya," Chris brags about his ability tobuy his female pursuit whatever it takes to "mold," "build" or "transform" her.

On "Russian Roulette," Rihanna singsabout her unconditional love for a mate, who lures her into a round of thelife-threatening game.

Listen to Rihanna's new song "Russian Roulette."

"I Can Transform Ya" is the stronger pop song. Chrisrevisits his dance roots with a track heavy on futuristic synthesizers andsyncopated handclaps.

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Chris' single artwork and photos from the video shootsuggest a space theme. The song debuted at No. 52 last week on Billboard's Hot100 chart. This video will be among his best.

Rihanna's "Russian Roulette" is not what I expected. Consideringher feature on Jay-Z's "RunThis Town," I anticipated her returning with a harder, driving record;something like her song "Disturbia."

Written by Ne-Yo, "Russian Roulette" is not triumphant oranthemic. Rihanna sounds fine. The production is nice. I could hear this on amovie soundtrack. The tone is just a bit somber, especially for Rihanna.

A song like Destiny's Child's "Survivor,"Beyonce's "Irreplaceable"or Mary J. Blige's "NotGon Cry" would have been too predictable and over the top for Rihanna's comebacksong, but I think it would have been a good idea for her to send the messagethat she is okay.

Instead, "Russian Roulette" tells the story of a girl, whois scared and nervously taking the lead from someone who is testing her,encouraging her to play a game that could turn deadly.

But it's the song's ending that creeps me out the most.After Rihanna stops singing, and the music ends, there is a brief moment ofsilence. Then comes a single gun shot.

If Rihanna wants us to know that she is still healing, shemakes her point very clearly.

The song does make me curious about the direction Rihanna takeson the rest of the "Rated R" album due out on November 23.

Chris, on the other hand, seems unaffected and back to hisusual antics. His album, "Graffiti," is due out December 15.

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