Talk That Talk (Rihanna song)

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"Talk That Talk"
A black-and-white picture of a young girl kneeling while wearing jeans-all outfit. Her hair is in big curls, she has a toothpick between her teeth and holds a chain in her right hand. Capital letter 'R' is present in the left corner, while in the middle the word 'Talk That Talk' is written with red capital letters and also under it 'feat Jay Z' in black capital letters.
Single by Rihanna featuring Jay Z
from the album Talk That Talk
Released January 17, 2012 (2012-01-17)
Format CD single
Recorded 2011; Roc the Mic Studios, Jungle City Studios (New York City); Westlake Recording Studios (Los Angeles); The Hide Out Studios (London)
Genre Hip hop
Length 3:29
Label
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
Rihanna singles chronology
"You da One"
(2011)
"Talk That Talk"
(2012)
"Princess of China"
(2012)
Jay Z singles chronology
"Glory"
(2012)
"Talk That Talk"
(2012)
"No Church in the Wild"
(2012)

"Talk That Talk" is a song recorded by Barbadian singer Rihanna for her 2011 studio album of the same name. It features a rap verse by American hip hop artist Jay Z, who had previously collaborated with Rihanna on her song "Umbrella" in 2007 and "Run This Town" in 2009. The song was written by Ester Dean, Shawn Carter, Christopher Wallace, Anthony Best, Sean Combs, and Chucky Thompson together with the Norwegian production duo StarGate. Def Jam Recordings serviced the track to urban radio in the United States on January 17, 2012, as the third single from Talk That Talk. It was released in France as a CD single on March 26. "Talk That Talk" is a hip hop song with R&B beats, rough drums and unrefined synths, and has a similar style to Rihanna's 2010 single "Rude Boy".

The single received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its sound and Rihanna's collaboration with Jay Z. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 2013 ceremony. The song appeared on several charts worldwide; it reached number 31 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 25 on the UK Singles Chart, and the top ten in Israel, Norway, and South Korea. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting digital downloads of over 500,000 copies in the US. Rihanna performed "Talk That Talk" on television shows such as The Jonathan Ross Show and Saturday Night Live, and included it on the set list of her 2013 tour, the Diamonds World Tour.

Background[edit]

A black-and-white picture of an African-American man wearing a white shirt, trousers, a cap and a wristwatch.
"Talk That Talk" features rapper Jay Z, who also co-wrote the song.

Before her sixth studio album Talk That Talk was released in November 2011, Rihanna announced on her Twitter account that, apart from the song "We Found Love" with Calvin Harris, the album would have only one other featured artist, although she did not mention the artist's name.[1] Jay Brown, Rihanna's manager, explained that they preferred to record independently rather than collaborate with other artists.[2] On November 8, Rihanna confirmed on Twitter that her mentor, the American rapper Jay Z, would appear as a featured artist on the album's title track.[3] Brown said that the collaboration "happened organically".[4]

"Talk That Talk" is the third major collaboration between Rihanna and Jay Z, who had worked together on "Umbrella" in 2007 and "Run This Town" in 2009.[3] "Umbrella" was the lead single from Rihanna's 2007 album Good Girl Gone Bad and topped the charts in more than ten countries, including the US Billboard Hot 100, on which it spent seven consecutive weeks at number one.[5] "Run This Town", which also featured rapper Kanye West, was released as the second single from Jay Z's 2009 album The Blueprint 3.[6]

Production and release[edit]

"Talk That Talk" was written by Ester Dean, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Shawn Carter, Anthony Best, Sean Combs, and Chucky Thompson.[7] It was produced by Eriksen and Hermansen, who were credited under their production name StarGate.[7] They had produced Rihanna's 2010 hit singles "Only Girl (In the World)" and "What's My Name?" for her fifth album Loud.[8] In an interview for the Norwegian website 730.no, Hermansen revealed that it was first time they had collaborated with Jay Z and said that they were very satisfied with both the song and each artist's contribution.[1] "Talk That Talk" was recorded at Roc the Mic Studios and The Jungle City Studios in New York City, Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, and The Hide Out Studios in London. Eriksen, Miles Walker, and Mike Anderson served as the song's recording engineers. Rihanna's vocals were recorded by Marcos Tovar and Kuk Harrell, who additionally produced them, while Jordan "DJ Swivel" Young recorded Jay Z's verses. Additional recording of the song was done in Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg and Savoy London hotels. "Talk That Talk" was mixed by Phil Tan and assistant Daniela Rivera at Ninja Beat Club Studios in Atlanta. Eriksen and Hermansen recorded the song's instrumentation, and Tim Blacksmith and Danny D. were assigned as its executive producers.[7]

In December 2011, Rihanna asked her fans on Twitter to recommend a song from Talk That Talk for release as the third single.[9] On January 10, 2012, she announced that the title track was chosen[10] and also debuted the single's cover—a black-and-white image in which Rihanna is dressed in "street punk/rockabilly clothes" and crouches against a wall.[10][11] According to Jazmine Gray of Vibe magazine, the singer's has an ambiguous facial expression on the cover.[12] On January 17, Def Jam Recordings serviced "Talk That Talk" to urban contemporary radio stations in the United States.[13] It also impacted US contemporary hit and rhythmic radios on February 14.[14][15] On March 26, "Talk That Talk" was released in France as a CD single, which contained the album version of the song and the Chuckie Extended Remix of "We Found Love".[16]

Composition and lyrical interpretation[edit]

A sample of "Talk That Talk", a hip hop song with a pop hook that features R&B beats, rough drums, unrefined synths, and a sample of the song "I Got a Story to Tell" by rapper The Notorious B.I.G..

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Talk That Talk" has a length of three minutes and twenty-nine seconds.[17] Time magazine's Claire Suddath characterized it as a lively hip hop track with a pop hook.[18] It features R&B beats,[19] "hard drums", unrefined synths,[1] and a sample of the song "I Got a Story to Tell" by rapper The Notorious B.I.G..[2]

Adrian Thrills from the Daily Mail described the song as "slow and sultry".[20] Similarly, Sam Lansky of MTV Buzzworthy found it sensual and confident, and observed that Rihanna counts when she sings the song's chorus.[21] IGN's Chad Grischow wrote that a "fuzzy synth melody" interjects Rihanna's "sexy plea for pillow talk", which is complemented by "bling-loving rap from Jay Z."[22] Digital Spy's Robert Copsey felt that its riff is similar to Rihanna's 2010 single "Rude Boy".[23]

The song begins with a rap verse performed by Jay Z, whose lines include: "I talk big money, I talk big homes / I sell out arenas, I call that getting dome / Million dollar voice, came through phone / We heading to the top, if you coming, come on".[24] He raps at a slow pace and incorporates both double entendres and humorous remarks, including a sexual reference that Claire Suddath viewed was an indication of Jay Z's enjoyment on the song: "[I] had it by her bladder, she's like 'Oh I gotta pee!'."[18] Melissa Maerz from Entertainment Weekly remarked that he "even touts their jet-set lifestyle on the title track, bragging that he can fly out to Pisa / Just to get some pizza."[25]

Critical reception[edit]

A gold gramophone trophy with a plaque set on a table
"Talk That Talk" received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

"Talk That Talk" was well received by most music critics. Daily Mirror's Gavin Martin commented that the song has Rihanna "stealing not just Beyoncé's bootylicious crown but also her husband Jay Z for a frisky exchange against sibilant drum cracks."[26] Sputnikmusic's Steve M. felt that it could be a major hit on radio partly because of Jay Z's guest rap.[27] Reem Buhazza of The National similarly felt that "Talk That Talk", along with "You da One" and "Roc Me Out", is part of "the winning combination of made-for-radio pop sensibility".[28] David Griffiths from 4Music found the song to be compelling and viewed it as another successful collaboration between Rihanna and Jay Z.[29] Lansky from MTV Buzzworthy was not surprised that another collaboration between the two was a success.[21] MTV News' Jocelyn Vena called it "big and hard with just enough brightness" and felt that the song discusses sexual intercourse more appropriately than "Cockiness (Love It)";[30] in the latter, Rihanna expresses her desire to have sex while singing the lyrics "Suck my cockiness, lick my persuasion".[31]

Lewis Corner of Digital Spy gave the song four out of five stars and called it an enticing, anthemic club song.[19] In a review of Talk That Talk, Pitchfork Media's Lindsay Zoladz wrote that it is one of the album's more lighthearted songs, even though it is not as good as "Umbrella".[32] Consequence of Sound's Chris Coplan found Jay Z's rap unenthusiastic, but said that Rihanna is as emotional and invested in her singing as she was on Saturday Night Live.[33] People magazine's Chuck Arnold called the song "another moment in the sun."[34] Julianne Escobedo Shepherd of Spin thought that it is a collaboration that "does not go unnoticed".[35] On the critical side, Priya Elan of NME wrote that the song is a "gamble that doesn’t pay off".[36] The single was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 2013 Grammy Awards,[37] but lost to "No Church in the Wild" (2012) by Jay Z and Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean and The-Dream.[38]

Chart performance[edit]

After the release of the album, the song charted in many countries owing to strong digital sales. It debuted and peaked at number 31 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and sold 73,000 digital copies, which was the highest debut on the chart for that week.[39] In the week of February 4, 2012, "Talk That Talk" re-entered the chart at number 100.[40] It reached number 36 in the week of March 24.[41] The song also appeared on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number 63 in the issue dated January 28.[42] It peaked of number 12 and stayed on the chart for 21 weeks.[43] It was ranked number 73 on the Billboard's year-end R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[44] On the Pop Songs chart, the single debuted and peaked at number 26 in the week of April 7.[45] It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting digital downloads of 500,000 copies in the United States.[46] "Talk That Talk" debuted and peaked at number 30 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart.[47]

In Europe, after the release of the album, the song appeared on ten national charts. In the United Kingdom, it debuted at number 25 on the Singles Chart,[48] and reached number seven on the R&B Chart.[49] The song made a top-ten debut on the Norwegian Singles Chart and charted at number 11 on the Swiss Singles Chart.[50] It also made top-forty appearances in the Republic of Ireland,[51] New Zealand,[52] and Spain, and also entered the top thirty in Scotland,[53] France,[54] and Denmark.[55] After its release as a single, "Talk That Talk" entered the Australian Singles Chart at number 42 and peaked at number 28 on February 19.[56] It was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for selling 35,000 digital copies.[57] Following the release of the album, the song debuted in South Korea on the Gaon International Chart at number 22 with sales of 14,207 digital copies.[58] The following week, it sold 27,169 more copies and peaked at number 9 on the chart.[59]

Live performances[edit]

A woman with blonde-brownish hair is performing while holding a gold microphone in her hands. She is wearing silky black outfit and has a golden chain on her neck.
Rihanna performing "Talk That Talk" on the Diamonds World Tour (2013)

Rihanna first performed "Talk That Talk" on the British talk show The Jonathan Ross Show, which aired on March 3, 2012. She performed without Jay Z and was also interviewed.[60] On May 5, Rihanna performed the song on the American comedy show Saturday Night Live as part of a medley that included the original interlude version of "Birthday Cake".[61] In her performance, she wore an all-black outfit with a giant spider web as her backdrop.[61] She first sung a short section of "Birthday Cake" and transitioned into "Talk That Talk", which was performed in its entirety.[61] Rihanna and Jay Z performed "Talk That Talk" together at the 2012 BBC Radio 1's Hackney Weekend in London. The performance also featured their previous collaborations "Run This Town" and "Umbrella".[62] In November, she included the song on the set list of her 777 Tour, a seven-day long promotional tour that supported the release of her 2012 album Unapologetic.[63] "Talk That Talk" was also included on the set list of her 2013 Diamonds World Tour.[64]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Talk That Talk" (feat. Jay Z)
  2. "We Found Love" (Chuckie Extended Remix)

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from the liner notes of Talk That Talk.[7]

Locations
  • Recorded at Roc the Mic Studios and The Jungle City Studios, New York City, New York; Westlake Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California; The Hide Out Studios, London, UK
  • Mixed at Ninja Club Studios, Atlanta, Georgia.
Personnel
  • Songwriting – Ester Dean, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Shawn Carter, Anthony Best, Sean Combs, Chucky Thompson, Christopher Wallace
  • Production – StarGate
  • Recording – Mikkel S. Eriksen, Miles Walker, Mike Anderson
  • Vocal Production – Kuk Harrell
  • Vocal Recording – Kuk Harrell, Marcos Tovar, Jordan "DJ" Swivel Young
  • Mixing – Phil Tan
  • Mixing assistant – Daniela Rivera
  • Instrumentation – Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen
  • Executive producers – Tim Blacksmith, Danny D.

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[57] Gold 35,000^
United States (RIAA)[75] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Radio and release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United States[13][14][15] January 17, 2012 Urban radio Def Jam Recordings
February 14, 2012 Contemporary hit and rhythmic radio
France[16] March 26, 2012 CD single Universal Music Group

References[edit]

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External links[edit]