Remember Rihanna’s First (And Only) Mixtape?
Before becoming a record-breaking icon, she was just a 17-year-old with a mixtape.
Rihanna’s here/ I’m going to rock your world
So have no fear/ You know that I’m your girl
So listen up/I’m bringing a brand new sound
Rihanna’s here/I’ll never let you down
Once in a while you discover some rare internet gems – long-lost and forgotten, tucked somewhere in the annals of the deep web. A still active link swimming in the sea of Error 404 messages is like finding gold – but this is usually an infrequent occurrence. However, luck was on my side when I came across This is Rihanna “The Mixtape.”
Do you remember this? You do? I certainly don’t. I never even knew it existed. The pre-Music of The Sun tape was used by Def Jam and SRP to promote the debut album, and, I assume, due to the pictures in this post, it was mainly distributed in the United States at the time.
The half-hour mix is voiced by Massiv B, and Tempo’s Jabba, and mixed by former Hot 97 deejay Cipha Sounds – who had close ties with Def jam and the Roc (he almost got Kartel signed by Jay Z ) and who basically broke Rihanna.
The project features samples of album cuts “Pon De Replay” (and the full remix with Ele), “If It’s Loving That You Want,” and the Kartel-assisted, “No.” The rest of the tape, however, gave insight into how they were trying to market her at the time: focusing heavily on her West Indian background to push her as some kind of dancehall/reggae songbird. That, obviously, didn’t work out.
Now, although I was oblivious to the tape’s existence, I do vividly remember songs like “Hurricane”, where Rupee, who was with Atlantic Records then, introduced the juvenile, but braggadocious Ri over Foxy Brown’s “Come Fly With Me” and the “reply” to Sizzla’s “Give Me A Try”, “Don’t Even Try.” (I remember this version, though)
But songs like “My Name Is Rihanna” (over Junior Gong’s “Welcome to Jamrock”), “Here We Go” featuring Kardinal Offishall (over Shyne and Barrington Levy’s “Bad Boyz”), and “Get Up Stand Up” (remixing Bob’s hook from the song of the same name, over Foxy Brown’s “Oh Yeah”) are new to me. The tape also features her first guest hook on “The One,” from Memphis Bleek’s 534 album.
In hindsight, Jabba was a bit prophetic when he said “She’s going to be the hottest thing in 2005, and forever.” Get a huge dose of nostalgia below.
- Intro (Prelude To The Hurricane)
- Hurricane Feat. Rupee
- Pon De Replay
- Pon De Replay (Remix) Feat. Elephant Man
- My Name Is Rihanna
- If It’s Lovin’ That You Want
- Let Me Go Feat. Vybz Kartel
- Don’t Even Try
- Here We Go Feat. Kardinal Offishall
- Get Up, Stand Up
- The One Feat. Memphis Bleek
[Images via Discogs]