It's about time.
To the delight of fans worldwide, Rihanna debuted "Work (feat. Drake)," the first single from her upcoming album, Anti, on Elvis Duran's Z100 radio show Wednesday. The song was then made available online via Tidal (subscribers can listen here). Earlier this month, they shot the video at L.A.-area mall Eagle Rock Plaza. The two previously collaborated in 2010 on "What's My Name?" and in 2011 on "Take Care."
"Baby, don't you leave / Don't leave me stuck here in the streets / If I get another chance to / I will never, no never, neglect you / I mean, who am I to hold your past against you? / I just hope that it gets to you / I hope that you see this through / I hope that you see this true / What can I say? Please recognize I'm trying, baby..." Rihanna sings in one verse.
Rihanna first announced via Twitter in October 2014 that she was recording songs for her eighth album. Anti's release date was pushed back multiple times, with rumored release dates set for September 2015, November 2015 and December 2015. She seemingly got off to a few false starts by releasing three singles before the album was ready: "FourFiveSeconds (feat. Paul McCartney and Kanye West)" on Jan. 24, 2015, "Bitch Better Have My Money" on March 26, 2015 and "American Oxygen" on Apr. 14, 2015. The eight-time Grammy Award winner was under a time crunch last year, as she landed a $25 million deal with Samsung to sponsor her album rollout and Anti World Tour, which kicks off Feb. 26 in San Diego, Calif. and wraps Aug. 12 in Zurich, Switzerland. Shortly after Rihanna's Samsung sponsorship was announced in November 2015, Rihanna canceled her performance at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show to finish her album.
Anti's release will end the longest break between any two Rihanna albums, as Unapologetic was released in 2012. That album debuted at No. 1 and spawns hits like "Diamonds," "Stay," "Pour It Up," "Right Now," "What Now" and "Jump," among others.
Rihanna was still finalizing the trackless for Anti in December. "The other night she came over and listened to half of 25 songs I played her because she's still looking for songs for her new album," Sia told BBC Radio 2's Jo Whiley. "She was there to listen to songs and see if there was anything that she was into. It was a business meeting for sure. She took four but I don't know if they'll end up [on the album]."
That same month, Sia released "Cheap Thrills," a song she had originally written for Rihanna. "Her manager said, 'We want 'Diamonds.' We need soul. We want some music that has feeling.' I went to [producer and songwriter] Greg [Kurstin], and that's what we came up with," Sia told Rolling Stone. "I realized just as soon as I was cutting it that it sounded a little bit too Brit-pop for her. It's more Icona Pop. We did actually send it to her, but they passed on it, and then I just couldn't stop listening to it in the car."
"For some reason, I really liked listening to it, which makes me feel masturbatory, but I wouldn't normally be just jamming out to my own tunes," she said. "There's something really uplifting about it that put me in a good mood, and I would just pretend it wasn't me singing. It felt very summer and fun, and I was like, 'I'll put that on there.'"
Was "Work (feat. Drake)" worth the wait? Sound off in the comments!