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Roc Me Out

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"Roc Me Out"
Song by Rihanna
from the album Talk That Talk
FormatDigital download
  • Roc the Mic Studios
  • The Hide Out Studios

"Roc Me Out" is a song recorded by Barbadian recording artist Rihanna for her sixth studio album Talk That Talk (2011). It was written by Ester Dean, Robert Swire, Gareth McGrillen, Mikkel S. Eriksen and Tor Erik Hermansen. The track was produced by StarGate (Eriksen and Hermansen) and Knife Party (Swire and McGrillen). "Roc Me Out" is a synthpop-influenced R&B song reminiscent of Rihanna's previous singles "Rude Boy" and "S&M". It is set in "chugging" tempo and features heavy synths, "contagious" hooks and West Indian nuances. Lyrically, the song features Rihanna sexually seducing her lover, while revealing her "nasty secrets". Contemporary music critics were divided in their reviews of "Roc Me Out"; some of them labeled the song as a highlight on the album, while others criticized its similarity to Rihanna's previous singles. Upon the release of Talk That Talk, the song debuted on the lower regions of the singles charts in South Korea and the United Kingdom at number 73 and 176 respectively.

Recording and production[edit]

"Roc Me Out" was written by Ester Dean, Robert Swire, Gareth McGrillen, Mikkel S. Eriksen and Tor Erik Hermansen.[1] The song was produced by StarGate (Eriksen and Hermansen) and Knife Party (Swire and McGrillen).[2] Dean and Stargate have collaborated on Rihanna's previous songs including "Rude Boy" (Rated R, 2009) and "S&M" (Loud, 2010).[3][4] Eriksen and Miles Walker recorded "Roc Me Out" at Roc the Mic Studios in New York City, Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles and The Hide Out Studios in London.[2] It was mixed by Phil Tan, while Daniella Rivera served as a mixing assistant. The song's vocal production was completed by Kuk Harrell, with the vocal recording done by Marcos Tovar and Harrell himself.[2] The instrumentation of the song was made by Eriksen and Hermansen. Tim Blacksmith and Danny D. were signed as executive producers of "Roc Me Out".[2]

Composition and lyrical interpretation[edit]

"Roc Me Out" is a synth-pop song that runs for 3 minutes and 29 seconds.[7][8] It is set in "chugging" tempo and features heavy synths, contagious hooks and West Indian nuances.[5][9] According to the digital sheet music published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, "Roc Me Out" is written in the key of E minor (recorded in D-sharp minor) and set in common time with a tempo of 87 beats per minute.[10] Rihanna's vocal range spans from the low note of B3 to the high note of D5.[11] Music critics noted similarities between the song and previous singles by Rihanna and Australian-British band Pendulum, whose members Swire and McGrillen co-wrote and co-produced the song.[2] Laurence Green of MusicOMH described "Roc Me Out" as a "collision" between Rihanna's 2010 single "Rude Boy" and Pendulum's "Slam" (Hold Your Colour, 2005).[12] According to Edward Keeble of Gigwise, "Roc Me Out" sounds like a combination of "Umbrella" (Good Girl Gone Bad, 2007) and a slowed down version of "Slam".[13]

Lyrically, the song shows Rihanna sexually seducing her love interest, while revealing her "nasty secrets".[14][15] According to Julianne Shepherd of Spin, Rihanna "coyly dares" 'her lover to "sex her up"'.[16] In "Roc Me Out", Rihanna uses her "militaristic alternate persona" and interprets the lyrics "with a command and directness befitting" of it.[5] Rihanna complains to her lover throughout the lines "You’re taking too long to get my head on the ground / And my feet in the clouds," before cooing, "I’ve been a bad girl, daddy".[17] She gives him instructions while singing "Get my head on the ground and my feet in the clouds".[18] Priya Elan of NME commented that the song sounds like a "‘Rude Boy’ re-tool from the vocal delivery to her 'Come on boy' line."[19] In the end, Rihanna reveals the "dirtiest secret" through the line "I’ll let you in on a dirty secret, I just want to be loved".[5][20] David Amidon of PopMatters described the line as the song's "not exactly a dangerous sentiment".[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Gigwise's Edward Keeble stated that the influence of co-producer Rob Swire (pictured) of Pendulum is evident all over "Roc Me Out".

Michael Jepson from The Fourth Estate concluded that "Roc Me Out", along with "Cockiness (Love It)" and "Do Ya Thang", are the top candidates of the album's "highlights". He described the songs are "blatantly raunchy" and noted their similarities to Rihanna's 2011 single, "S&M". Jepson also called "Roc Me Out" one of the "sexiest" songs on the album as it "shocks the audience" with its lyrics.[21] Andy Kelman of Allmusic called the song "prowling" and further explained that it contains "more sleek menace than Rated R’s 'G4L' and Loud’s 'S&M'."[22] Sam Lansky from MTV Buzzworthy wrote that "Roc Me Out" sounds "aggressive and a little ominous", and "it wouldn't have sounded out of place on Rated R".[23] Julianne Shepherd from Spin stated that from another artist, it would be a song about self-doubt, but from Rihanna, "it's like she's willfully withholding faith and throwing it back just to tantalize."[16]

In a review of Talk That Talk, Giovanny Caquias of CultureBlues placed the song in a "slut-core quartet" alongside "Cockiness (Love It)", "Birthday Cake" and "Watch n' Learn". He explained that "Roc Me Out" "is more developed than the others, but still much too mediocre to become Rihanna's twelfth number-one single."[24] Reem Buhazza of The National wrote that "Roc Me Out" together with "You da One" and "Talk That Talk" are "the winning combination of made-for-radio pop sensibility".[9] Laurence Green from MusicOMH labeled the track as "a surprising late-album standout".[12] Edward Keeble from Gigwise called "Roc Me Out a "vibrant track" and concluded that the co-production by Rob Swire of Pendulum is "evident on all facets of it".[13] Tuyet Nguyen of The A.V. Club criticized the song by describing it as "almost laughable". However, he also explained that "Rihanna is a performer, not a songwriter", and what she sings is "less relevant than what she sells: a provocation that is enough to seem empowering, but not so radical that it’s alienating."[25] Maz Halima from Flavour Magazine was unfavorable of the song in her album review of Talk That Talk, stating that when she heard it, she was "a bit [pissed] off" because of its similar sound to Rihanna's single "Rude Boy".[26]

Credits and personnel[edit]


Credits adapted from the liner notes of Talk That Talk, Def Jam Recordings, SRP Records.[2]


Upon the release of Talk That Talk, due to digital downloads, "Roc Me Out" charted in lower regions on the singles charts in South Korea and the United Kingdom. It debuted on the South Korea Gaon International Chart at number 73 on November 26, 2011, with sales of 6,444 digital copies.[27] The song also debuted at number 176 on the UK Singles Chart in the chart issue dated December 3, 2011.[28]

Chart (2011) Peak
South Korea (Gaon Chart)[27] 73
UK Singles Chart (OCC)[28] 176


  1. ^ "Rihanna - Roc Me Out". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Talk That Talk (inlay cover). Rihanna. The Island Def Jam Music Group. 2011. p. 9.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ "Rihanna - Rude Boy". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  4. ^ "Rihanna - S&M". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d Unterberger, Andrew (November 14, 2011). "Rihanna's Talk That Talk – Reviewed: Roc Me Out". Popdust. Popdust Inc. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Amidon, David (November 30, 2011). "Rihanna: Talk That Talk". PopMatters. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  7. ^ "Rihanna, 'Talk That Talk': Track-By-Track Review". Billboard. November 17, 2011. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  8. ^ "Rihanna - Talk That Talk (Deluxe Edition)". ITunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  9. ^ a b Buhazza, Reem (November 22, 2011). "Rihanna: Talk That Talk". The National. Mubadala Development Company. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Rihanna - Roc Me Out". Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  12. ^ a b Green, Laurence (November 21, 2011). "Rihanna - Talk That Talk". MusicOMH. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  13. ^ a b Keeble, Edward (November 10, 2011). "Rihanna - Talk That Talk - First Review". Gigwise. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  14. ^ Hirsh, Marc (November 22, 2011). "Rihanna's 'Talk' is hot and cold". Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  15. ^ Jones, Steve (November 20, 2011). "'Talk' isn't cheap when Rihanna is in control". USA Today. Gannett Company, Inc. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  16. ^ a b Shepherd, Julianne (November 21, 2011). "Rihanna, 'Talk That Talk'". Spin. Spin Media LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  17. ^ Graham, Mark (November 9, 2011). "Album Preview: Rihanna's Talk That Talk Is The Dirtiest Pop Record Since Madonna's Erotica". VH1. Viacom. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  18. ^ Rivers, Joe (November 29, 2011). "Rihanna: Talk That Talk - Music Review". No Ripcord. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  19. ^ Elan, Priya (November 18, 2011). "Rihanna - Talk That Talk". NME. IPC Media (Time Inc.). Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  20. ^ Suddath, Claire (November 21, 2011). "Album Review: Rihanna Talk That Talk". Time. Time Inc. (Time Warner). Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  21. ^ Jepson, Michael (February 8, 2012). "Rihanna's reign just won't let up". The Fourth Estate. University of Wisconsin–Green Bay. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  22. ^ Kelman, Andy (November 21, 2011). "Talk That Talk - Rihanna". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  23. ^ Lansky, Sam (November 21, 2011). "Rihanna's 'Talk That Talk': A Track-By-Track Guide To Her New Album". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  24. ^ Caquis, Giovanny (November 30, 2011). "Album Review: "Talk That Talk" – Rihanna". CultureBlues. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  25. ^ Nguyen, Tuyet (November 22, 2011). "Rihanna: Talk That Talk". The A.V. Club. The Onion, Inc. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  26. ^ Halima, Maz (November 23, 2011). "Flavour Review: Rihanna – 'Talk That Talk'". Flavour Magazine. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  27. ^ a b "South Korea Gaon International Chart (Week, November 20, 2011 to November 26, 2011)". Gaon Chart. Archived from the original on April 7, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  28. ^ a b "UK Singles Chart / CLUK Update (3.12.2011 – week 48)". Retrieved March 26, 2012.

External links[edit]