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Meaning of ‘What’s My Name?’ by ‘Rihanna’ feat. Drake

Released: 2010

“What’s My Name?” is a smooth, sultry track by Rihanna featuring Drake that dives deep into the dynamics of a flirtatious relationship, accentuated by the interplay of desire, recognition, and the thrill of the chase. Rihanna calls out for her lover to affirm her identity in a metaphorical dance of intimacy and familiarity, while Drake’s verse embodies the smooth-talking suitor, eager to boast about his prowess and readiness to meet Rihanna’s challenge.

Drake kicks things off with a clever nod to the complexities of relationships through a playful math pun, “The square root of 69 is 8 some, right?” This line isn’t just about showcasing his wit; it’s a slick reference to the 69 sex position, suggesting that understanding and pleasing each other can be intricate but rewarding. He paints a picture of a casual yet intense night, filled with “good weed, white wine,” highlighting the mood and setting the stage for the night’s possibilities. Drake hints at the urgency and stealth of their encounter with, “Only thing we have on is the radio,” using the radio as a metaphor for the minimal barriers between them.

Rihanna’s choruses and verses play into this narrative by emphasizing the desire for a lover who knows her deeply and intimately — not just her body but her name, symbolizing her true self. “Not everybody knows how to work my body, Knows how to make me want it,” speaks to the rarity and preciousness of such a connection. Her repetition of “Oh na na, What’s My Name?” isn’t just a call for personal recognition; it’s a tease, a challenge, and an invitation all rolled into one. She’s not looking for a fleeting moment but a partner who’s willing to “put in work,” indicating her desire for effort and understanding in this dance of love.

In the bridge, “Baby, you got me, And ain’t nowhere that I’d be, Than with your arms around me,” Rihanna admits to the vulnerability and surrender in their relationship, showcasing the depth of her feelings. These lines reveal a give-and-take dynamic, where both parties are deeply invested in this intimate connection, willing to lose themselves in the moment and each other.

“Hey boy, I really wanna see if you can go downtown with a girl like me,” Rihanna doubles down on her invitation for the suitor to prove his worth and meet her at her level, both emotionally and physically. This line, repeated throughout the song, encapsulates the essence of what she seeks — a partner capable of matching her intensity and vitality, thereby solidifying their bond.

In essence, “What’s My Name?” is a melodious exploration of desire, identity, and the complexity of relationships, wrapped in a catchy, dance-inducing package. Rihanna and Drake deliver a musical conversation that’s as much about the excitement of a new romance as it is about finding someone who truly gets you.

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