There haven't been many relationships as on again-off again as Rihanna and Chris Brown's, and the two haven't skipped out on the opportunity to share a bit of their rocky road in song. RiRi's "Love Without Tragedy" is thought to be a recounting of the night Brown assaulted her before the 2009 Grammys, while Brown's "Day One" talks about the girl who's had his back since the beginning. On Rihanna's brand new ANTI, there are a few tracks that might very well be directed at her former (or potentially current?) man, but Rihanna's "Love On The Brain" is, without a doubt, about Chris Brown.
The track, which comes toward the end of the album, gets pretty soulful. Complete with male backup singers to really lay down Rihanna's pain, the song starts out by questioning what the subject of the song wants from her. And just like that, you've got on your hands a blues rock tune — the kind that's sick and twisted, yet still somehow pretty. Ri gets real from the very first verse, where she metaphorically, or literally, brings up being tossed around.
You love when I fall apart (fall apart)So you can put me togetherAnd throw me against the wall
Oh, the devil that is being in a destructive relationship. In "Love On The Brain," the turmoil of loving a person who negatively impacts your own life is tangible. Rihanna orders the subject of the song in the pre-chorus to keep on loving her, then to stop loving her. The artist's past with Brown appears the only life experience that fits so perfectly into the blues narrative that "Love On The Brain" provides.
There's no way to know if the lyrics are bringing listeners specifically back to Brown's 2009 assault, but the singer makes a point of referencing physical abuse on multiple occasions throughout the track. The song's chorus brings out the singer's conflicting emotions about not being able to "get enough," despite the relationship leaving her feeling beaten.
Must be love on the brainThat’s got me feeling this wayIt beats me black and blue but it f**ks me so goodAnd I can’t get enough
With that chorus, Rihanna will manage to make you as confused about the couple's status as Ri seems to be about her own feelings toward Brown. And if you're looking for clarity on the subject of Brown, just turn to "Consideration," "Woo," or "Same Ol' Mistakes" on ANTI. Oh wait, those will leave you doubly confused about what's happening between RiRi and Brown these days.