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Meaning of ‘Work’ by ‘Rihanna’ feat. Drake

Released: 2016

Features: Drake

“Work” by Rihanna, featuring Drake, is a thought-provoking dialogue on the dynamics of love and trust within a relationship, transmuting their personal experiences into a lyrical narrative. Through its relentless repetition of ‘work,’ the song underscores the effort necessary to keep a relationship going, especially when it strains under the weight of misunderstandings, past misdeeds, and emotional vulnerability.

The chorus repetitively chants “Work, work, work, work,” which is Rihanna metaphorically expressing the amount of effort she’s putting into her relationship. It’s not just about physical labor; it’s about the emotional toil, compromise, and the commitment that comes with love. When she sings “He see me do mi dirt, dirt, dirt”, she is admitting her flaws and the mistakes she might have made, showing a vulnerable side to her.

She sprinkles in Jamaican Patois throughout the song, such as “Meh nuh cyar if him hurt, hurt, hurting.” The rough translation here is “I don’t care if he’s hurt,” reflecting her frustration over not being understood. Despite their attempts to ‘work’ on the relationship, there is still visible hurt and resentment.

Drake’s verse counters Rihanna’s narrative, offering a different perspective from a man who also wants to make things work but faces his own struggles. “You need to get done, done, done, done at work, come over,” he states, implying perhaps that her focus on work might be causing neglect in their relationship or hinting at the need for reconciliation. His lyrical style also touches on the complex dynamics of relationship troubles, “Sorry if I’m way less friendly, I got niggas tryna end me, oh,” expressing how external pressures can spill over into a relationship.

Essentially, the song tells a relatable tale of two lovers who are slipping away from each other despite their efforts to ‘work’ on their relationship. The strains of their lives, pasts, and misunderstanding create a tug of war between their love and the realities they face.

Overall, with “Work,” Rihanna and Drake offer a deep, introspective look into the complexities of maintaining a relationship amidst personal battles and external influences. And let’s keep it 100, it’s a whole vibe that resonates with so many listeners.

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