“Work” by Rihanna (ft. Drake)
On this track, Rihanna is looking for a deeper connection in a relationship. However, she feels the man she is with is only interested in intimate adventures with her (which she calls work).
According to the singer, her lover is rather boring and does not treat her the way she wants to be treated. She reminds him of all she has sacrificed for him, while she is unable to receive the love she yearns for in return. She feels fooled because the love she is giving to the man is unreciprocated. Instead, the relationship is mainly based on bedroom pleasure and that is what she wants to change.
The lack of connection in the relationship seems to be as a result of distance and busy schedules, and the guy (Drake) proposes to fix it with a date which would be the autonomous choice of his lover.
What Rihanna said about “Work”
Rihanna has said that the song truly represents her culture thanks to its dancehall vibe and broken language.
Release Date of “Work”
Rihanna released “Work” on 27th January 2016. This dancehall/R&B tune was released as a lead single from her Anti album of 2016. It is No.4 on this hit album’s playlist.
Songwriters and Producers
As many as eight songwriters (including Rihanna and Drake) worked on this tune. The others are:
- Rich Stephenson
- Sevn Thomas
- Allen Ritter
- Monte Moir
Production was done by co-writers Boi-1da and 40 along with Kuk Harrell.
There are actually two official music videos for this track. Experienced Canadian video director, Little X (Director X) directed the first version of this song’s visual. Swedish director, Tim Erem was responsible for directing the second version of the video clip for “Work”. Both videos were released on 22nd February 2016.
Unfortunately we couldn’t include both videos here due to their explicit nature.
Interpolates Alexander O’Neal’s “If You Were Here Tonight”
This track contains an interpolation of the 1985 classic hit “If You Were Here Tonight”, which was performed by the American R&B artist, Alexander O’Neal.
Since it came out, several musicians have released various cover versions of “Work”. Notably, are the likes of English singer, Conor Maynard (in 2016), American pop singer, Macy Kate (in 2016), and Australian singer, William Singe (in 2016).
Accolades of “Work”
“Work” was named the best song of 2016 by both The Guardian and NME magazines. On their list of 100 Best Pop Songs of 2016, Billboard magazine ranked this track at #26.
At the 59th edition of the Grammy Awards, this single was honored with nominations for Record of the Year as well as Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. It failed to win both awards, losing the former to Adele’s “Hello” and the latter to “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots.
In 2017, “Work” received awards for Best Collaboration and R&B Song of the Year at the iHeartRadio Music Awards.
In 2016, American DJ duo, Lost Kings performed a remix version of this tune. That same year, dancehall ensemble, Bad Royale also released a remake of this single.
“Work” topped the charts in a host of nations, including that of the United States, the Netherlands, Canada, and Belgium. It hit #2 on the UK singles Chart and ranked within the top-15 in several other European nations.
Is “Work” Rihanna and Drake’s first collaboration?
No. The duo had collaborated on several other tracks prior to this one. Some of them include hit songs like “What’s My Name?” and “Take Care” in 2010 and 2012 respectively.