Omarion: Rihanna’s ‘Russian Roulette’ Shows ‘Dark Side to Entertainment Industry’
If there’s one thing that Rihanna knows how to do its get people talking. Usually grabbing headlines for her fashion sense or her tumultuous relationship with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, the Bajan beauty has been causing quite a stir with her latest single, ‘Russian Roulette.’
Since hitting the ‘net last week, reviews have been split down the middle, although some, like singer Tiffany Evans, are delving deeper into the song’s “true concept.” Evans blasted Rihanna via Twitter for what she sees as glorification of suicide and devil worship.
We spoke with Evans’ former label mate Omarion, who gave his thoughts on the growing controversy.
“I don’t personally know Rihanna’s beliefs but I think there’s a very dark and very sinister part of the entertainment business and I think it’s very visible,” he said. “This is something that a lot of people don’t look at [but for example] Michael Jackson used to be a Jehovah’s Witness and I remember hearing that he wanted to separate from the religion — and this was during the time that he was doing ‘Thriller’ [which ended up being] his biggest album.”
“Fast forward to now,” Omarion continued, “[and] it really made me think that there is a [time as an artist] where there’s going to be a choice. The [entertainment] world [dictates] that you have to be with three or four women, or do this in order to get that [and] I think it’s really interesting. With God and the industry, it’s really dark. The dark side is having to get in, there’s a certain submission you need to have. Just like a gang [initiation], so to speak. You might have to do something against your moral code. I’m not saying that it’s always this way, but when you’re someone that is young and you’re coming up in the industry and you really don’t have a grip on your morals it can be very dark. The game is just about over saturation.
“I don’t know if Rihanna [has fallen victim to those pressures]. I’ve never really heard her speak about it,” he said. “I hope that she doesn’t believe in that stuff and I don’t think that she does, but I don’t know. It’s not just been a Rihanna thing, [there's has been religious speculation] about a lot of artists.”
Others coming to the Grammy winner’s defense are both the song’s writer, Ne-Yo, and producer Chuck Harmony. “There are no satanic messages in the music,” Harmony wrote via Twitter. “Maybe if we did a remake of [Evans' single] ‘Promise Ring,’ then Rihanna wouldn’t be a devil worshiper. People are so closed-minded. The song is not literal. Like most provocative art, its symbolism. Grow up.”
So are there hidden messages in Rihanna’s music? Judge for yourself, when her album ‘Rated R,’ drops November 23.