Three years ago, that seemed unfathomable, but now…well, after months of suspected covert subtweeting, increasingly breathless reports of late-night hangouts and confidentiality agreement-enforced partying, the rumor mill has gone into overdrive claiming just that, with reports flying that her assaulting ex will be the promised shocking collaborator on a soon-to-be released remix of "Birthday Cake."
And suddenly, it doesn't seem quite so unreasonable. Surprising and—let's be honest—disappointing for some of her core fans, perhaps, but certainly not unreasonable.
"They can say whatever, Ima do whatever...No pain is forever," Rihanna cryptically tweeted this morning. "YUP! YOU KNOW THIS."
Neither side is commenting about the rumored collaboration, but here's what we know for sure:
Last week, producing team Da Internz spoke with MTV News and relayed the information that a full-length version of Rihanna's quick-hit song—which now registers at just over a minute on Talk That Talk—is set for imminent release.
"It's gonna be crazy," they said. "And the feature on there is gonna shock the world."
They even went so far as to say that a clip or some other visual tease would be dropping along with the song, ostensibly to serve as proof that what they're hearing actually happened.
"The visual has to go with it because everybody's going to be like, 'Oh my god!'"
As speculation ensued, one possibility rose above the rest, particularly after Brown was spotted leaving the same Hollywood recording studio as Rihanna and reports have surfaced of the duo keeping increasingly close company.
The latest indication of a recoupling (music, anyway) is a widely circulated report from Miss Info, which claims to have confirmation that Brown is indeed the mystery performer, and reportedly recorded both a singing and rap verse for the track.
"Let them be mad!!!!" Brown tweeted today. "We make music. Don't like it, don't listen! Turn up the music remix is coming soon too! Guess who's on it?"
We'll have to wait and see for sure, and it's unclear exactly when the single will drop (apart from soon), though if true, they certainly opted for some curious timing, as it was exactly three years ago this month that Brown was arrested after brutally beating Rihanna while leaving a Grammys party.
But whether they're recording together or not, they certainly seem to be orbiting each other for some reason.
In addition to reports that Chris secretly attended Rihanna's early birthday celebration last weekend, the singer has taken to increasingly fortifying himself against both peer and media criticism in recent days, tweeting and deleting aggressive missives decrying his supposedly harsh treatment by the press.
Perhaps he's bracing himself for a bit more backlash? A duet with Rihanna would certainly bring some of that—both their ways