Look, Rihanna’s a busy woman. She’s an international mogul, she does not have time for the bullshit. However, she did take time out of her busy schedule (which I imagine involves walking around a laboratory in a unprofessionally short lab coat, wearing 6 inch stilettos and safety goggles, testing the glitter density of her Fenty eyeshadow by blowing it into the air) to let it be known that she’s not going to stand for Donald Trump using her music at campaign rallies.
Washington Post White House Bureau Chief Philip Rucker #tooktotwitter to report on a Trump rally in Chattanooga and noted that they were “blaring” Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop The Music”, because nothing says “conservative agenda” like “now we’re rockin’ on the dance floor, actin’ naughty”. According to Vulture, Riri’s fans were quick to tag her so she’d know. And once she did, she responded with a quickness.
Not for much longer…me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies, so thanks for the heads up philip! https://t.co/dRgRi06GrJ
— Rihanna (@rihanna) November 5, 2018
That’s just the kind of smooth dragging I’d expect from Rihanna. If I had a child, I’d name it “One Of Those Tragic Rallies” and when he, or she, became old enough to ask about it, I’d dismissively tell them “neither me nor your father have time to go into this right now”.
Sadly, letting people know that she’s not down with Trump using her music, is probably the only recourse she actually has. Rihanna joins a long list of artists who have voiced their objections, but the rules are not on their side. According to The Guardian:
“If the venue that is holding a political rally has a ‘performance rights organization’ blanket license in place, such as, for example, through Ascap or BMI, then a politician can get away with having a particular song playing in the background.”
However, if the song becomes a regular soundtrack for a particular politician, that might give the artist, label or publisher, more leverage to stop them.
Rihanna’s arch tweet is probably more effective in the long run than Pharrell’s cease-and-desist. At the very least she got in a solid burn. Rihanna followed up her “oh, hell nah” to Trump by endorsing Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and promoting “Yes on 4”, a Florida measure that would restore voting rights for convicted felons after they have completed the terms of their sentence (including parole and probation).
That not so subtle dig at POTUS with the image choice? I swoon.