As the seasons change and the end of the year creeps near, we’ve asked our contributors to pick their favorite lyrics of 2016 — so far.
— Brenna Ehrlich, Talkhouse Music Editor-in-Chief
“Him ah go act like he don’t like it/You know I dealt with you the nicest/Nobody touch me, you the righteous/Nobody text me in a crisis.”
— Rihanna, “Work,” Anti
my favorite lyric of 2016 appears in the rihanna megahit “work.” my mum hates this song; she thinks the hook is lazy. i agree, but i think that a lackadaisical delivery is not the same as a lazy lyric.
much has been written about “work” and its post-verbal patois, re-introducing the mainstream to a dancehall sound that has not been popular since sean paul’s heyday, but i think the true beauty of this track is the vulnerability and playfulness of the lyrics. it’s hard not to see drake and rihanna as the central characters, fighting their schedules and each other’s emotional baggage to try to make their relationship work.
“work” was the third and finest of a holy trinity of drake and riri duets that hinted at the chemistry between them. time will tell if this love will go the distance, but, until then, they can be proud of the fact that never has such an unintelligible lyric been so ubiquitous.
(Art credit: Dan Schmatz)