Rihanna’s VMAs Side-Kiss & Four Performances
Rihanna had already made my weekend before she even hit the VMA stage with this Instagram:
If Drake could be summed up in one word it would be “extra.” I love this so much. It all came full circle on Sunday night when Rihanna received her Video Vanguard Award and Drake presented it to her. Rihanna would have known ahead of time that he would be presenting this award. She may have even chosen him. At the very least, she definitely approved it. She decided that Drake would be a big part of one of the greatest achievements of her career. That is not an accident. Does it mean they are madly in love and will stay together forever and ever? God, I hope so. I was actually squealing so loud during Drake’s speech last night I woke up my dog. This part
“She’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old.”
He also recounted the first time they met in Toronto and I may have just been sentimental because I also watched Southside With You yesterday but I teared up during his story. These two. I just can’t handle them. Drake didn’t even bother to show up to accept his Best Hip-Hop Video award because of “traffic.” He only showed up for Rihanna. In a tux! THESE TWO.
But what most people are talking about today is the moment Drake handed Rihanna her award and leaned in for a kiss. Ri turned slightly to her side. Drake went ALL IN, as he does. The result:
#Sidekiss was trending on Twitter. The consensus is that Rihanna wasn’t feeling it as much as Drake. I disagree. Again, she let him present that award to her. I’m sure she’s made Drake WORK (pun intended) for it but I think these two crazy kids might actually stay together this time. He’s her Jay. She’s his Beyoncé. I’m obsessed.
Drake and Rihanna may be sharing headlines today but Drake made sure the spotlight was still on Rihanna last night. He was gracious and concise. He didn’t propose (did y’all actually think the man was going to propose!? At the VMAs!? Please.) Remember, Drake and Rihanna have collaborated on some of the biggest hits of each of their careers. Aside from their romantic situation (!!!!), it actually makes sense musically why Drake would be there to share in Rihanna’s glory, which is why some people thought he would make a surprise appearance in one of her performances. He didn’t. And I’m glad he didn’t. As much as I love them together, last night was not about Drake. It was about celebrating Rihanna and her 2016 Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
Rihanna performed FOUR times throughout the night. First, she started with two big tunes, We Found Love and Where Have You Been. I was feeling this performance for how much Rihanna was feeling herself. Rihanna’s strength as a performer is 70 per cent swagger. Her outfits were ON POINT and she always makes everything look effortless. Those moves take a lot of effort. Trust me, I’ve tried them.
Her second performance was my personal favourite. She turned MSG into a dancehall party and it actually translated on screen to look like everyone was actually having fun, at a party. Her third and shakiest performance consisted of Needed Me and Bitch Better Have My Money. Her vocals were weak, like cringeworthy weak. Plus, this was her first performance after Beyoncé. I really don’t like comparing Rihanna and Beyoncé because I think they are two completely different artists BUT after what Bey did on that stage, you have to bring your best. That was not Ri’s best. I had completely forgotten about it though by the time her last performance rolled around and she KILLED her ballads Stay, Diamonds, and Love on the Brain. And then Drake came out and I completely forgot everything that had happened in my life up until that moment.
But one thing I don’t want to get lost in the Drake frenzy is Rihanna’s acceptance speech because it was actually pretty great and another nod to the real stars of the VMAs: black women.
“My success, it started as my dream, but now my success is not my own—it’s my family’s, it’s my fans’, it’s the Caribbean as a whole, it’s women, it’s black women. – I have to thank you guys for supporting me over and over."
She may not have given this guy a proper thank you but he doesn’t care. This is what Drake Instagrammed last night after the show:
Is that another side kiss? THESE TWO.
All of Rihanna’s VMA performances below.
Jeff Kravitz/ Kevin Kane/ John Shearer/ Brian Ach/ Theo Wargo/MTV1617/ Kevin Mazur/ Noam Galai/ D Dipasupil / Getty Images