He appears on a remix of her song “Birthday Cake” from her album Talk that Talk. But conversely, she also shows up on his new single, “Turn Up the Music.”
Rihanna told Esquire UK she did not expect the backlash she has received from collaborating with her once boyfriend.
The magazine’s interviewer asked why she would go back with someone who “put you in the hospital.”
“The whole thing caught me a little off-guard to be honest… especially the amount of… negative attention,” the singer responded. “Because it never occurred to me how this was going to be a problem, you know. It really didn’t.”
The magazine reminded her the public sometimes has a hard time separating her personal and professional life and that they might have a hard time understanding them “getting back together.”
“In a completely professional environment,” Rihanna responded. “And on a completely professional note. I mean, if I went back to him [as a girlfriend], then that’s a whole different discussion. And if I ever do, then that’s something that y’all have to talk to me about when — if — that ever happens. Until then, look at it for what it is. I think a lot of people jumped to an assumption that was incorrect and they ended up looking stupid.”
The lyrics have a sexual tone, which has been causing even more controversy and rumors about the former couple getting back together.
“That was the tone before he was even on the record,” Rihanna said. “You think it was going to be about hopscotch or jump rope?”
Rihanna said that no matter what the controversy, the feedback has been mostly positive.
“Some love it, some hate it, some love it but still hate that we did it,” she said. “But the response in the end has been incredible.”
“In my mind, it was just music.”