Half of Me (Rihanna song)
|"Half of Me"|
|Song by Rihanna|
|from the album Unapologetic|
|Recorded||2012; Roc the Mic Studios (New York City); R Studios (Los Angeles)|
"Half of Me" is a song recorded by Barbadian recording artist Rihanna for her seventh studio album Unapologetic (2012). It was written by Emeli Sandé, Naughty Boy and Stargate, with production done by the latter two. It is a chamber pop and R&B song that sees Rihanna deliver vocals in an "experimental" fashion. Its lyrics have been described as a "personal essay", with lyrics that discuss Rihanna's unrepentant attitude in letting people into her life. She references Oprah Winfrey in the line "You saw me on the television". The song garnered positive reviews from music critics, some of whom felt that it is "heartfelt" and "psychedelic". Upon the release of Unapologetic, the song charted in Canada, France, Ireland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It debuted at number 10 on the UK R&B Chart.
Background and production
"Half of Me" was co-written by Scottish recording artist Emeli Sandé together with Shahid Khan, Mikkel S. Eriksen and Tor Erik Hermansen. Production of the song was helmed by Khan under his production name Naughty Boy as well as Eriksen and Hermansen under their production name Stargate. It was recorded by Eriksen and Miles Walker at Roc the Mic Studios located in New York City. Rihanna's vocals were recorded by Marcus Tovar and Kuk Harrell at R Studios in Los Angeles, California, while it was mixed by Manny Marroquin at Larrabee Studios in Burbank, California. Harrell also handled production of Rihanna's vocals. All instrumentation and programming was carried out by Eriksen, Hermansen, Khan and Sandé.
Composition and lyrical interpretation
"Half of Me" is a chamber pop and R&B song which lasts for a duration of three minutes and twelve seconds. The line "You saw me on the television" is a possible reference to her interview with Oprah Winfrey after her boyfriend, Chris Brown assaulted her. Christina Lee for Idolator thought that this is because of how Rihanna's popularity and personal life combined with her "paparazzi-documented interactions" with Brown has generated headlines and news stories around the world. "Half of Me" can be interpreted as a "personal essay" rather than just a song. Stacy-Ann Ellis for Vibe noted that the singer appears to have improved her vocals with regard to "experimentation", which she cites as being evident on "Half of Me", as well as "Diamonds" and "Stay". Ellis also noted that co-writer Emeli Sandé's "candid and immediate charm" is present on the song, and described it as the "perfect" ending to the album. Concluding her opinion of the song, Ellis wrote that "Half of Me" is delivered in a "firm and steady voice" which is filled with irony, as she feels that Rihanna is saying no one truly knows who she is and that is half the fun of working her out, but is in no way "remorseful" about letting people in completely:
You know me/ I'm the life of the party
Beautiful people surround me/ Everybody falling in love
Oh, you know me/ Everybody knows that I'm crazy
Sticks and stones, they never break me
And I'm the type that don't give a fuck
And that's just the half of it.
Jim Farber for New York Daily News wrote that Unapologetic contains more ballads than what Rihanna's previous albums have featured, and further noted that "Half of Me" "proves the star can be as evocative as she is provocative". Christina Lee of website Idolator wrote that there are two songs on the album which show "how ubiquitous she's [Rihanna] become", "Love Without Tragedy / Mother Mary" and "Half of Me". A reviewer for Billboard was surprised at how many "heartfelt ballads" are included on the album, and listed "Half of Me" as one of the examples. Michael Gallucci for PopCrush wrote that "Half of Me", along with "Pour It Up", are songs for the "haters". He further wrote that the singer pushes the track as she has an "agenda", but criticised the use of "fuck", which he points out as being used in the majority of Unapologetic's tracks. Upon the release of Unapologetic, "Half of Me" charted in several territories due to strong digital downloads. It debuted on the Irish Singles Chart at number 84 on November 22, 2012. On November 25, 2012, the song entered the UK Singles Chart at number 75, and the UK R&B Chart at number ten. In Switzerland, the song debuted at number 46. It also debuted at number 96 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart.
Credits and personnel
- Recorded at Roc the Mic Studios, New York City.
- Vocals recorded at R Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
- Mixed at Larrabee Studios, Burbank, CA.
- Songwriting – Emeli Sandé, Shahid Khan, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen
- Production – Stargate, Naughty Boy
- Recording – Mikkel S. Eriksen, Miles Walker
- Vocal recording – Marcus Tovar, Kuk Harrell
- Vocal production – Kuk Harrell
- All instrumentation and programming – Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Shahid Khan, Emeli Sandé
|Canada (Canadian Hot 100)||96|
|Switzerland (Swiss Music Charts)||46|
|UK R&B Chart (OCC)||10|
|UK Singles Chart (OCC)||75|
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