What Is Rihanna's "American Oxygen" About? 3 Theories For The Patriotic Anthem

Barbadian pop star Rihanna poses for pictures on the red carpet upon arrival to attend the British Fashion Awards 2014 in London on December 1, 2014. AFP PHOTO/JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Breathe out, breathe in. That's how I’m presently coping with the fact that Rihanna has yet to release her eighth album, R8. Initially, I didn't mind her taking longer to complete this album than she usually does, but the way she's been rolling out these singles lately has me feeling exceptionally antsy. Anyway, unless you've been vacationing on another planet, you've already realized my previous breathing reference has absolutely nothing to do with me working on my Lamaze certification and everything to do with Rihanna's latest song "American Oxygen." It's a strikingly sentimental ballad that managed to stop me from bopping to "Bitch Better Have My Money" long enough to give it a thorough lyrical analysis and a thumbs up. 

In the event that you haven't listened to "American Oxygen," let me just point out that your to-do list priorities are obviously all screwy so get it together — STAT. Otherwise, how else will you be able to obsess over the lyrics and participate in a feverish debate over what the song means? So far, it seems that everyone has surmised that “American Oxygen” is strictly a patriotic anthem brimming with inspiration, but Rih's a mutli-layered woman so that can't be the only meaning, right?

She's Explaining Why She Paced Herself Between Albums 

Frankly the chorus of "American Oxygen" sounds like Rih was feeling winded after having released seven albums in seven years: "Breathe out, breathe in/American oxygen/Every breath I breathe/Chasin’ this American dream/Breathe out, breathe in/American oxygen."

TIDAL Is About To Consume Our Lives

Jay Z delivered a similar reaching-for-the-stars anthem "Empire State of Mind," and now Rihanna's crooning the words, "We sweat for a nickel and a dime/Turn it into an empire," a few days after Beyoncé's "Die With You" debuted on the new streaming service. That empire is TIDAL and if it keeps this up, it will totally rule my life.

She Owns a Ton of American Property

Clearly, this is what she meant by, "This is the new America/We are the new America." That "we" was just so we wouldn't feel bad about not being able to ball out and buy up half a country like she does. Thanks, Rihanna. "We" feel so much better.

Images: Giphy (3)

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