On it, she sings about shooting a man over police sirens and instrumentation ready-made for Bob Marley. She was really proud the song made the final cut for her album, which dropped this week.
" 'Man Down' is gangsta! It comes from me trying to achieve that [vibe]," she told MTV News. "I'm super inspired by reggae music [and it] has been a part of me since I was born, and I grew up listening to it. I grew up loving it. My favorite artists are all reggae artists."
Rihanna is from Barbados, so delving into reggae culture is a natural fit for the pop songstress. "I live that culture," she added. "I never get tired of it. I can listen to reggae music all day long, and it was exciting for me to take this on as my own and do a song like this, especially with the lyrics being like that."
On the track, Rihanna sings, "Oh, mama/ I just shot a man down/ In Central Station/ In front of a big ol' crowd," her singing voice fully embracing her accent. She later sings, "I am a criminal/ Man down/ Tell the judge to please give me minimal."
"The special thing in that song is the fact that it's a female singing those lyrics, then you have that reggae thing and the chant; the overall energy in that song is so gangsta," she said. "It's got a lot of swagger. I really enjoy it."
What do you think of "Man Down"? Share your reviews in the comments!