The Bottom Line
"Live Your Life" kicks off with the sound of Rihanna seeming to do something approximating yodeling in her take on the Moldovan pop song "Dragostea din tei," and it is instantly one of the most distinctive sounds of the year in pop music. Most pop fans are likely to either love it or hate it. Either way, it draws strong attention to this upbeat answer to critics and fans on the trials and tribulations of rapper T.I.
- That arresting excerpt from "Dragostea din tei"
- Upbeat affirming lyrics
- Leans to the gimmicky
- Written by C.J.Harris, Jr., J.Smith, M.Riddick, and B.D.Mihai
- Produced by Just Blaze
- Released by Def Jam and Atlantic October 2008
Guide Review - T.I. featuring Rihanna - "Live Your Life"
The most instantly memorable item about T.I.'s smash hit "Live Your Life," featuring contributions from Rihanna, is the exotic sounding segment which kicks the song off. It is an exerpt from the pop song "Dragostea din tei" which swept Europe in 2004 as recorded by the Moldovan group O-Zone. YouTube fans will also remember a unique dance take on the song by Gary Brolsma in which it is titled "Numa Numa." Love it or hate it, Rihanna's warbling is one of the most instantly memorable sounds in the pop music of 2008.
What about the rest of "Live Your Life?" It is a strongly upbeat and affirming response to critics of T.I.'s personal life and legal troubles. The live and let live attitude is an appealing one in general. This would be a strong song lyrically even without the hook of "Dragostea din tei."
At this point it is becoming increasingly clear that Rihanna is not only adept at creating her own pop smashes, but is also becoming a most valuable player for others. Shakira, Maroon 5, and now T.I. have now all been beneficiaries of her Midas touch. Rihanna is the breakout pop artist of the decade.