A Song Originally Intended for Rihanna’s ‘Anti’ Kind of Ended up on Anohni’s ‘Hopelessness’


Scottish producer Hudson Mohawke is pretty ubiquitous — you’ll find his mark embedded in parts of many of the best recent Kanye songs, including “Famous,” “I Am a God,” and “Blood on the Leaves.” Though these were made together by Kanye and a gaggle of producers, the latter track had a similar swelling/imposing use of brass that would come to be familiar within Mohawke’s sound on his solo album, Lantern, and in Anohni’s Hopelessness — his most recent major collaboration (and one that he seems, alongside Oneohtrix Point Never, to have contributed more thoroughly to). It turns out it’s not just the violently lush brass from earlier Mohawke/Mohawke-collaborating tracks that made their way onto the Anohni album, but also the instrumental part of an entire older demo — which happened to first be made with the intent of going on Rihanna’s Anti.

The demo in question features Littlebabyangel, and is up on SoundCloud:

After news first broke saying that the song had been “rejected” by Rihanna, the label clarified that it was ultimately never submitted to her in the first place:

The song in question on the Anohni album is “Crisis,” in which Anohni uses the rich, comforting electro-pop beat/flourishes of the earlier demo to seduce the listener into actually addressing her lyrics that confront drone bombings, torture in Guantanamo, and ISIS. Read Flavorwire’s review of the album and our piece on Anohni’s presentation of the tracks — and her anti-presentation of herself for the accompanying concert for the Red Bull Music Academy Festival.

Listen to “Crisis”: