What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? We think it's called "Can't Remember to Forget You," the collaboration between Rihanna and Shakira. Sorry, we're still picking our eyeballs of the floor.
Rihanna has been a one-woman machine when it comes to releasing music — she's pumped out seven albums in the last seven years. But it's collaborations with other artists that are her best tracks. On January 13, she released "Can't Remember to Forget You" with fellow powerhouse Shakira, and now we have the video:
The eye-candy and hair-flipping is better than we could have imagined. In all honesty, we weren't really fans of the tooty island jam when we first heard it. But Rihanna and Shakira smoking Cubans on a day bed ... made us change our minds.
This is truly the performance of our time (until Beyonce kills it next week).
Amazingly, the two don't overpower each other. We can't imagine the track without Shakira, her hairography, and her cutout onepiece:
There are finger snaps:
...and hair flips:
And a well placed fan:
But this isn't the first time RiRi's hit a home run with a collab. Here's a look back at her other essential duets:
"Stay" with Mikky Ekko
Just in time for Valentine's Day last year, we got sad Rihanna. Makeup-free, crying-in-the-bathtub, beautiful Rihanna. Ekko fits perfectly into the video, making this one of RiRi's best collabs to date.
"Umbrella" with Jay Z
This is the collab that made Rihanna in 2007. Remember when everyone was trying to get that asymetrical bob? Beyonce was gracious enough to loan Jay to give Rihanna the biggest hit of her career.
Ella, ella, ella, ey, ey, ey. Rihanna gave us a Singing in the Rain-realness and beautiful vocals, winning two MTV VMAs and a Grammy for the song/video. Amazing to think that Britney Spears' people turned this one down.
"What's My Name?" with Drake
Red-haired Rihanna singing one of the catchiest hooks of the last five years in a convenience store with soft-serve Drake. Oh na na. What more could you ask for? And only RiRi can pull off bright red hair AND purple eyeshadow:
We're still holding out hope that Drake and Rihanna get together for real — gossip blogs report that the pair has been canoodling for the past two nights.
"If I Never See Your Face Again" with Maroon 5
It was 2009, and Rihanna was given the difficult task of making Maroon 5 seem cool. She succeeded. Perhaps it was her magic touch that propelled lead singer Adam Levine to be People's Sexiest Man Alive in 2013? Make a song with Rihanna, and anything is possible. It also means "Can't Remember to Forget You" is part of a larger trend of Rihanna collaborations with The Voice judges. Rihanna also showed us the most elegant way possible to get out of a bed:
And there was this saucy guitar symbolism:
"Love The Way You Lie" with Eminem
This collab brought us Serious Rihanna and and Angry Eminem (and the spate of Rihanna songs that were all clever winks and nods to her troubled relationship with Chris Brown). It was Eminem's single, but Rihanna stole the show with fingerless gloves and fire.
"Live your Life" with T.I.
We have a soft spot in our hearts for this one. It's poppy, sure, but the concept video featuring a bleeding, limping T.I. makes it interesting. The class of 2009 will remember this as the soundtrack to their prom.
"The Monster" with Eminem
Another catchy hook blended with a couple angry Eminem verses. It's a good formula. And this recent hit gives us Basic Instinct Rihanna and a truly perfect eyeroll:
And a very now dark lipstick look.
"S&M" with Britney
While the two never made a video for this raunchy collab, they did giggle their way through it at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards.
Note: The Wire employs a strict veto clause in anything that involves Coldplay. Sorry, "Princess of China" fans.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.