“Desperado” by Rihanna

As the title suggests, the song is about a “Desperado”, who is a reckless criminal or person on the run. She describes him as a man who is difficult to be entangled with because of his hardhearted nature. Although she wishes to run away with him, she is also afraid that he might abandon her later.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Rihanna's Desperado at Lyrics.org.

Either way, she convinces her partner that she is ready to leave everything behind and run away together. Both of them seem to have had their hearts broken and as such do not want to trust or love again. The irony however is that she wants to be a lone wolf (someone who prefers solitude) with this person.

Lyrics of "Desperado"

What’s the meaning behind “Desperado” music video

Needless to say this video is filled with a lot of heavy symbolism, some of which may only be explainable by the producers of the piece themselves.  However, there does seem to be a general narrative being told.

The visuals are apparently set in two different dimensions. Rihanna is a person of standing in both of these settings. And the primary way the viewer can tell which dimension is being portrayed is by the colors she wear, as in one she is wearing white, and the other she is wearing black.

Moreover in the ‘black’ dimension, she appears to be a queen, as she wears a crown and seems to have an army at her disposal. And the reason that it is likely she is a queen as opposed to say a princess is because she is wearing a ring on her ring finger, insinuating that she is married. It is also interesting to note that in the ‘white’ dimension she does not wear a ring.

What the ‘black’ dimension actually represents is debatable. However, it appears to be some kind of apocalyptic, futuristic setting not only based on the apparel of Rihanna’s guards but also the fact that the bedroom where her children sleep is inexplicably filled with sand. However the sand may also symbolize that she is actually dreaming.

Facts about “Desperado”

  • This song was included on Rihanna’s 2016 critically acclaimed album, Anti. It is actually the 5th song on this hit album.
  • “Desperado” was written and produced by American producer/songwriter, Mick Schultz. He received assistance from other co-writers, which included Rihanna, Derrus Rachel, Rook Monroe, and James Fauntleroy.
  • Regular Rihanna collaborating partner, Kuk Harrel is also credited for producing “Desperado”.
  • “Desperado” interpolates portions of “Waiting Game”, which is a 2013 song performed by the Californian born singer, Banks.
  • This tune peaked at #51 in Switzerland and it received Platinum certification in the United States.

Are there any covers/remixes of “Desperado”?

In 2017, rock band, The Kills released a cover version of this tune. Also, numerous remix versions of this tune were released by Rihanna, with four of them featuring on her 2017 EP, Desperado (Dance Remixes).

Was this tune released as a single from Anti?

No. Anti produced only the following four singles

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