For many years, especially since tabloids and gossip blogs began spreading unsubstantiated rumors that there is more than a professional relationship between Rihanna and Jay Z, Beyonce and Rih have been pitted against each other in every forum from fashion to the charts. Aside their obvious connection to Mr. Carter–Rihanna’s career blossomed during Jay’s tenure as the president of Def Jam, and he was featured on one of the first number-one singles of her career, “Umbrella”–Rihanna and Beyonce are two of the biggest Black pop stars the music world has ever seen. Between them they have an eye-popping amount of hits, platinum records and other achievements, and their respective tours are so big they’ve become the stuff of folklore.
Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact that any time Beyonce does something, like surprise-release a single and perform it the next day at the Super Bowl, Rihanna fans erupt on social media, declaring that their fearless leader could do that and better. The same is true for when Rihanna does something, like drop a single–“Work”–that owns the charts for a month.
So, in her new cover story for Vogue, Rihanna addressed this ever-developing dynamic in her interview, chalking it up to the internet always needing something “negative” to feast on. “They just get so excited to feast on something that’s negative. Something that’s competitive. Something that’s, you know, a rivalry. And that’s just not what I wake up to. Because I can only do me. And nobody else is going to be able to do that.”
Maybe she should hit up DJ Khaled. He’s got some efficient ways of dealing with “they.”