Once upon a time, Rihanna was the biggest name in pop music. However, that is officially no longer the case, as her latest single “American Oxygen” has officially become the biggest chart disappointment of her career. As of Monday afternoon, Rihanna’s latest single wasn’t even on the iTunes chart. The song was getting airplay last week on such major stations as KIIS FM in Los Angeles, but that hasn’t helped “American Oxygen,” which only debuted at No. 91 last week on Billboard’s Hot 100.
Rihanna’s previous single, “B*tch Better Have My Money,” was also considered a flop (when compared to Rihanna’s other singles) and was also poorly received. This isn’t the case with “American Oxygen.” Jim Farber from the New York Daily News was very impressed with Rihanna’s latest single.
“Oxygen offers an un-ironic endorsement of the American dream, saluting unending possibility and upward mobility… The music mirrors the triumphant message. It’s a grand ballad,” Farber claimed.
Rolling Stone noted the political undertones of the “American Oxygen” video.
“Rihanna dropped the patriotic music video for her new single on Tidal, the streaming music service she co-owns along with more than a dozen other music megastars. The video has a quasi-time capsule feel, juxtaposing patriotic imagery with archival footage of the United States’ most noteworthy historical events. The singer performs her new single alone in front of the backdrop of an American flag.”
The problem with “American Oxygen” may be that Rihanna decided to debut it on Jay-Z’s Tidal streaming service, which has been the target of a lot of criticism. Hits Daily Double weighs in on Rihanna’s latest flop.
“Not only have the initial Tidal exclusives failed to move the needle, the Rihanna video exclusive on ‘American Oxygen’ appears to have actually hurt the launch of the song, which sold only 19k in its first four days. Deepening the irony, Jay’s Roc Nation is both her label and her manager. Thus far, Tidal is seen by most observers as a big miss.”
No matter the reason, “American Oxygen” spells doom for Rihanna’s upcoming R8 album, which has constantly been delayed, perhaps due to the lack of something that resembles a hit single. Rihanna is, perhaps, facing the same issues as Madonna: Her controversial image is totally taking away attention from her music.
Even if it appears that Rihanna’s career is now deflated, she can take solace in the fact that she has more No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Pop Songs chart than any other artist. Do you think Rihanna’s career is over with? Let us know in the comments section.
[Photo Credit: Soul Culture]