|Single by Rihanna|
|from the album Loud|
|Released||May 3, 2011|
|Recorded||2010; The Village, Westlake Recording Studios (Los Angeles)|
|Rihanna singles chronology|
"Man Down" is a song performed by Barbadian recording artist Rihanna, taken from her fifth studio album Loud (2010). The song was sent to US rhythmic and urban radios on May 3, 2011 and was released as the album's sixth single in the United States as well as in certain countries internationally on July 11, 2011. The song was written by Shama "Sak Pase" Joseph, Timothy & Theron Thomas, and Shontelle Layne, with production completed by Joseph.
"Man Down" received positive reviews from music critics, with many calling it a comeback of Rihanna's Caribbean-tinged rhythm. In the US, despite only being released to rhythmic and urban radios, the song peaked at number 59 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number nine on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. In France, the song went number one, whilst reaching the top twenty in Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and on the UK R&B Chart. The music video, directed by longtime collaborator Anthony Mandler, sees Rihanna shooting a man after being attacked, singing how she regrets her actions. Due to the violent nature of the video, The Parents Television Council criticized the singer and attempted to ban the video with no success. "Man Down" is included on the set-list of Rihanna's 2011 Loud Tour and 2013 Diamonds World Tour.
- 1 Recording and release
- 2 Composition
- 3 Critical reception
- 4 Chart performance
- 5 Music video
- 6 Live performances
- 7 Track listing
- 8 Credits and personnel
- 9 Charts and certifications
- 10 Radio and release history
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Recording and release
"Man Down" was written by Shama "Sak Pase" Joseph, Timothy Thomas, Theron Thomas and Shontelle Layne, with production helmed by Sham of the Juggernauts. Rihanna's vocals were recorded by Kuk Harrell, Josh Gudwin and Marcos Tovar at Westlake Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California. Bobby Campbell served as the assistant vocal producer and recorder. The song's music was recorded by Cary Clark at The Village, Los Angeles, California, and was mixed by Manny Marroquin at Larrabee Sound Studios, Los Angeles, California. Marroquin was assisted in the song's mixing by Erik Madrid and Christian Plata.
At the beginning of March 2011, Rihanna asked fans to help her select her next single. Via Twitter, fans were asked to choose from "Cheers (Drink to That)", "Man Down", "California King Bed" or "Fading". The most popular choice would have its video filmed at the end of March 2011. On March 12, 2011 it was confirmed that fans had selected "California King Bed" as the next single from the album. In the US, "Man Down" was released to US rhythmic and urban radios on May 3, 2011. However internationally, "California King Bed" served as the fourth single. "Man Down" was released to digital outlets in Denmark, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland on July 11, 2011 as the fifth international single from Loud. Rihanna spoke about the song in November 2010 in an interview with MTV News:
"Man Down is gangsta mixed with reggae. It comes from me trying to achieve that [vibe]," Rihanna told about the saucy song. "I'm super inspired by reggae music [and it] has been a part of me since I was born, and I grew up listening to it. I grew up loving it. My favorite artists are all reggae artists. The special thing in that song is the fact that it's a female singing those lyrics, then you have that reggae thing and the chant; the overall energy in that song is so gangsta." She added later "It's got a lot of swagger. I really enjoy it.
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
"Man Down" was written by Shama "Sak Pase" Joseph, Timothy & Theron Thomas, and Shontelle Layne, with production completed by Joseph. The song draws heavily on the musical genre of reggae. According to the digital music sheet published at musicnotes.com, the song is written in the key of C minor and is set in common time with a moderate reggae feel of 77 beats per minute. Rihanna's vocal range in the song spans from the low note of F3 to the high note of E♭5.
"Man Down" received generally positive reviews from critics, with Jon Pareles of The New York Times commenting that Rihanna plays up her West Indian accent in the reggae of “Man Down” about shooting a man in Central Station. August Brown of Los Angeles Times commented, “Man Down reasserts her Caribbean lilt with a swaggering murder ballad that one can’t help but hear as a warning shot across the radio dial to Chris Brown’s Deuces. Entertainment Weekly writer Leah Greenblatt said that "the rum-pa-pum ragga "Man Down" burrows neck-deep in island rhythms." Emily Mackay of NME commented that the album's experiments feel more organic, its tone better paced because of the Caribbean-tinged anthem for doomed youth of "Man Down". James Skinner of BBC Online viewed "Man Down" as a Caribbean rhythm, where Rihanna relays a break-up as murder metaphor in thick Barbadian patois. Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine named the song the album's biggest highlight, a full-fledged reggae tune about a woman who shoots a man. He praised the song saying that Rihanna is surprisingly agile in this genre and is one of her finest, most confident vocal performances to date.
Before becoming a single, "Man Down" debuted on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart at number 84 for the week of April 9, 2011 and reached a top ten peak of number nine. For the week of June 11, 2011 the song debuted at number 94 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number fifty-nine. "Man Down" ranked at number 47 on Billboard magazine's best-selling R&B/Hip-Hop Songs of 2011. The song also peaked at number 63 on the Canadian Hot 100. "Man Down" also charted in other countries due to its release as a single in certain European territories in July 2011. Having debuted on the French Singles Chart at number 65 on the issue dated June 4, 2011, the single was released digitally and reached a peak of number one on July 25, 2011. It stayed at number one for five weeks. It marks Rihanna's eighth single to reach the top five in the country, following other singles from Loud, "Only Girl (In the World)" and "S&M". In Switzerland, it has gradually risen into the top ten, reaching nine, and it reached the number-one spot in the Swiss Romandie chart (French part of Switzerland). The single started off slowly but in the fourth week it jumped from thirteen to four on the Dutch Top 40. With the release of the video, the song managed to reach number fifty-four on the UK Singles Chart and inside the top twenty on the UK R&B Chart at number fifteen, despite the song not receiving an official release in the country. The song also reached the top twenty in Norway at number seventeen and Belgium (Wallonia) at nineteen, both with no official releases in each territory. In Poland, the song debuted at number five, eventually peaking at number four on the official Polish Airplay Chart. In Romania it peaked at number-five on the Romanian Top 100, marking Rihanna's fifteenth top-ten there.
Background and synopsis
The music video for "Man Down" was shot in Jamaica in April 2011, and was directed by Anthony Mandler, who worked with Rihanna for most of her music videos, including "Take a Bow" and "Rehab". On May 1, 2011, Rihanna posted three images from the shoot via Twitter. One of the images showed her on a beach wearing a white Dolce & Gabbana dress, while another image showed her riding a bike in Portland Parish. The video premiered on 106 & Park on May 31, 2011. In an interview with MTV News on May 16, 2011, Mandler discussed the music video more in depth:
We shot the video last month in Jamaica and it's my favorite song she's ever recorded, so I was really excited to get involved. And it's just one of those songs that demands a strong narrative and visual, and let's just say she let me go all the way. So I think you can expect something that's dramatic and shocking and intense and emotional and uplifting and enlightening.
The video begins when Rihanna shoots a man making his way through a busy train station. After committing the crime, the camera focuses on the shot man and later Rihanna flees the scene. To create a timeline of events leading up to the crime, the video travels back in time to the previous day, when the singer is seen riding her bike and meeting with people in Kingston, Jamaica. There are also scenes of Rihanna alone inside a bedroom at dusk. Then at a nightclub, Rihanna begins to dance and flirt with another club-goer, who's actually the man that she shoots at the beginning. After she leaves the club, the singer's dance-floor partner follows her outside and begins to get violent. The video then cuts straight to the scene of a disheveled Rihanna crying in the street, after what appears to have been a sexual assault. The video concludes with the singer running to her home where she grabs a gun hidden in a dresser drawer; the screen goes black.
The Parents Television Council (PTC), a non-profit organization that advocates what it considers responsible entertainment, criticized Rihanna for "cold, calculated execution of murder" in the video. The council disagreed with Rihanna's suggestion that killing a rapist is a proper form of justice and her rationale that it "sends a very strong underlying message 4 [sic] girls like me." They also stated "If Chris Brown shot a woman in his new video and BET premiered it, the world would stop. Rihanna should not get a pass." PTC also criticized BET for airing the video. However, other commentators argued that the PTC's reaction to Rihanna's video is an example of double standard, with Julianne Escobedo Shepherd of AlterNet arguing that the PTC did not condemn Kanye West's video for "Monster" which featured deceased women hanging from the ceiling and West holding a woman's decapitated head. Shepherd also noted that the PTC did not criticize Eminem's video "Love the Way You Lie" (in which Rihanna is featured), which, according to Shepherd, "glorified and romanticized" domestic violence. In response to the PTC, Rihanna stated:
I'm a 23 year old singer who doesn't have kids. What's up with everybody wanting me to be a parent [to their children]? I'm just a girl, I can only be our voice. We all know it's difficult and embarrassing to communicate touchy subject matters to anyone, especially our parents. The music industry isn't "Parent's 'R Us." We have the freedom to make art; let us! It's your job to make sure your children don't turn out like us. You can't hide your kids from society, or they'll never learn how to adapt. This is the real world!"
The director of the video, Anthony Mandler, also responded to the news in an interview with Hollywood Reporter, stating that:
It's (the video) doing exactly what Rihanna and I hoped it would do, which is shine a light on the very dark subject matter... This medium used to be a great medium of messages... I grew up in an era of Madonna releasing videos and sparking controversy. I think most people are wasting this medium... The fact that there's an argument to ban this because this will make girls retaliate from abuse with murder is skipping over the point. We obviously have a huge issue to deal with as a country.
Rihanna performed "Man Down" at Radio 1's Hackney Weekend on May 24, 2012, as the ninth song on the set list. She also performed the song at the Loud Tour in 2011 and at the Diamonds World Tour in 2013.
- Album version
- "Man Down" – 4:27
- Digital download
- "Man Down" (Single Version) – 4:27
Credits and personnel
- Recording locations
- Vocal recording – Westlake Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California.
- Music recording – The Village, Los Angeles, California.
- Mixing – Larrabee Sound Studios, Los Angeles, California.
Credits adapted from the liner notes of Loud, Def Jam Recordings, SRP Records.
Charts and certifications
Radio and release history
|United States||May 3, 2011||Rhythmic, Urban||Def Jam Recordings|
|Denmark||July 11, 2011||Digital download||Universal Music|
|Italy||August 5, 2011||Radio|
- (liner notes). "Loud". Rihanna.
- MTV Reporter (2011-03-01). "Rihanna Asks Fans To Help Choose Her Next Single". MTV (UK and Ireland). MTV Networks. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
- Copsey, Robert (2011-03-12). "Rihanna announces next single". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
- "Impacting Songs – Urban Radio". Webcitation. Allaccess Music Group. Archived from the original
|url=(help) on 2011-07-23.
- "Impacting Songs – Rhythmic Radio". Webcitation. Allaccess Music Group. Archived from the original
|url=(help) on 2011-07-23.
- "Singles Release Diary". Digital Spy. 2011-05-05. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- "Man Down – Single". iTunes (in French). Apple Inc. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
- "Man Down – Single". iTunes (in German). Apple Inc. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
- "Man Down – Single". iTunes (in Dutch). Apple Inc. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
- "Man Down – Single". iTunes (in Danish). Apple Inc. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
- Vena, Jocelyn (2011-05-05). "Rihanna Preps Videos For 'Man Down,' 'California King Bed'". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
- Cinquemani, Sal (2010-11-12). "Review: Loud". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- "Rihanna, 'Man Down' – New Song". AOL Music. 2011-04-25. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
- "Man Down – Rihanna – Digital Music Sheet". Musicnotes. Peer International Music Publishing. 2010. Retrieved 2011-08-26. Unknown parameter
- Pareles, Jon (2011-11-15). "Critics’ Choice: New CDs". The New York Times (Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr.). Retrieved 2011-06-30.
- Brown, August (2011-11-16). "Critics’ Choice: New CDs". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved 2011-06-30.
- Greenblatt, Leah (2010-11-10). "Review: Loud". Entertainment Weekly. Time division of Time Warner. Retrieved 2011-06-30.
- Mackay, Emily (2010-11-12). "Review: Loud". NME. IPC Media (Time Inc.). Retrieved 2011-06-30.
- Skinner, James (2010-11-15). "Review: Loud". BBC Online (The Crown). Retrieved 2011-06-30.
- "Man Down debuts on R&B charts". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2011-04-09. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- "Man Down Billboard". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- "'Idols' Scotty McCreery & Lauren Alaina Top Hot 100 Debuts, Adele Still No. 1". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2011-06-11. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- "Best of 2011 – R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-22. Unknown parameter
- "Canadian Hot 100 Chart History". Billboard. 2011-08-08.
- "Rihanna – Man Down". Pure Charts (in French). Charts in France. 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2011-08-07.
- "Man Down France". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- "Man Down Swiss". Hit Parade (in German). Swiss Music Charts. 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- "Man Down UK". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
- "Man Down UK R&B". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-02-07.
- "Man Down Norway". norwegiancharts.com.
- "Man Down Belgium Wallonia". ultratop.be. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- "Top 5 Airplay (01.10. – 07.10.2011)". Polish Music Charts (in Polish). ZPAV. 2011-10-01. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
- "Top 5 Airplay". Polish Music Charts (in Polish). ZPAV. 2011-10-08. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
- "Romanian Top 100". RT100.RO. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
- "Rihanna Sends Strong Message in 'Man Down' Video". Rap-Up. 2011-05-30. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- Vena, Jocelyn (2009-10-20). "Rihanna's New Album, Rated R, Drops November 23". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- "Director Anthony Mandler Discusses Rihanna's Music Video Evolution". Rap Up. Retrieved 2010-10-31.
- "Rihanna Shoots 'Man Down' Video in Haiti". Rap-Up. 2011-05-01. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- Vena, Jocelyn (2011-05-16). "Rihanna Director Talks Upcoming 'Man Down' Video". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- "Rihanna Pulls The Trigger In 'Man Down' Video". MTV.com. May 31, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
- "Rihanna's 'Man Down' Video Draws Fire from Parents Advocacy Group". Rap-Up (Devin Lazerine). Retrieved 2011-06-25.
- Shepherd, Julianne Escobedo. "Watchdogs, Outraged Over Rihanna's New Video, Give Kanye's Misogyny a Pass". AlterNet. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
- "Rihanna: 'Man Down murder video is the real world' – Music News". Digital Spy. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
- Rutter, CJ (2011-06-08). "Rihanna's 'Man Down' Video Director Responds To Controversy". Hollywood Reporter (Tale Tela). Retrieved 2011-06-08.
- "Rihanna - Set list". BBC. June 24, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
- "Loud – Rihanna". iTunes Store (GB). Apple. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
- "Man Down – Single – Rihanna" (in French). iTunes Store (FR). Apple. July 8, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
- "Ultratop.be – Rihanna – Man Down" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- "Ultratop.be – Rihanna – Man Down" (in French). Ultratop 50.
- "Rihanna Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Rihanna.
- "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201141 into search. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
- "Lescharts.com – Rihanna – Man Down" (in French). Les classement single.
- "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ – Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
- "Íslenski Topplistinn". tonlist.is. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
- "Italiancharts.com – Rihanna – Man Down". Top Digital Download.
- "Lebanese Top 20 chart - July 31, 2011". 2011-07-31.
- "Luxembourg Digital Songs - September 24, 2011". Billboard. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 38, 2011" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Rihanna – Man Down". VG-lista.
- "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 20. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Dance Top 50. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- "Man Down – South Korea GAON" (in Korean). Gaon Chart.
- "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201137 into search. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Rihanna – Man Down". Singles Top 60.
- "Rihanna – Man Down – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
- "Man Down – Swiss Romandie". lescharts.
- "Archive Chart" UK R&B Chart.
- "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
- "Rihanna Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Rihanna.
- "Rihanna Album & Song Chart History" Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Rihanna.
- "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 2011" (in Dutch). Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch.
- "Italian single certifications – Rihanna – Man Down" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Select Online in the field Scegli la sezione. Select Week -- and Year ----. Enter Rihanna in the field Artista. Click Avvia la ricerca
- "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Rihanna; 'Man Down')". Hung Medien.
- "Belgian Flanders Year-end singles chart for 2011". Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2011-12-26.
- "Belgian Wallonia Year-end singles chart for 2011". Ultratop 40. Retrieved 2011-12-26.
- "Classement des 100 premiers Singles". SNEP.
- "MAHASZ Rádiós TOP 100 2011" (in hungarian). Mahasz. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "Dutch charts portal: Jaaroverzichten – Single 2011". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2011-12-26.
- "Dutch charts portal: Jaaroverzichten – Single 2011". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2011-12-26.
- "ROMANIAN TOP 100 – clasamentul anului 2011". Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- "Årslista Singlar - År 2011". Retrieved 2013-01-01.
- "Classement des 200 premiers Singles Fusionnés par GfK année 2012". SNEP. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
- "Top 40 Rhythmic Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on April 27, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2011.
- "Urban/UAC Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on May 4, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
- "Rihanna – Man Down (Radio date: 05 agosto 2011)" (in Italian). Earone. 2011-08-05. Retrieved 2011-08-05.