Birthday Cake" is a song by Barbadian recording artist Rihanna, from her sixth studio album, Talk That Talk (2011). After it leaked onto the internet, fans expressed interest in the track being included on Talk That Talk, but it was later revealed that the 1:18 (one minute, 18 seconds) length that leaked was in fact the final cut and was not being considered for inclusion on the album. Due to a high level of fan interest, the song was included on the album as an interlude. The full length version, also known as the official remix of the track, featuring Rihanna's ex boyfriend Chris Brown, was premiered online on February 20, 2012, to coincide with Rihanna's 24th birthday. The song peaked in the top fifty.The lyrics to "Birthday Cake" express the desire to have spontaneous sex. Music critics were divided on "Birthday Cake", with the majority both praising and criticising the song's sexual lyrical content. Several critics compared the song to the previous track on the album "Cockiness (Love It)", which also consists of sexually suggestive lyrics. Upon the release of Talk That Talk, the song debuted on the lower regions of the singles charts in South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States."Birthday Cake" was recorded in Room 1306 at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen in Denmark."Birthday Cake" was written by The-Dream, Rihanna, Marcos Palacios, and Earnest Clark, with production helmed by Da Internz and The-Dream. The interlude was recorded in room 1306 of the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark. In an interview for The Boom Box, producer The-Dream answered a question about fans being disappointed that "Birthday Cake" would not be featured on Talk That Talk (2011) after it leaked online before the album's November 2011 release; the producer explained that only an interlude had been produced, and that a full length version of the song would be released at some point during the Talk That Talk era, sayingI was just talking to Rihanna about that, because she [originally] made [just] an interlude. I was like, 'Your fans are going to be so mad at you.' As soon as I said that, I got back, and I guess she released a piece of it, and they saw how long it is. Man, they tore me up on Twitter! So I hit her on the phone. I was like, 'Yo, your fans, they're going crazy on me right now, like I could make you do something.' So 'Birthday Cake' is on there. It's going to turn into a whole song because the fans are ganging up on me, and I don't want to be murdered by the Rihanna Navy!.Composition and lyrics"Birthday Cake" is an interlude which lasts for one minute and 18 seconds, appearing as the sixth track on the album.It's a hip hop and R&B song. The instrumentation of "Birthday Cake" consists of a heavy bass, schoolbells, engine sounds, claps, and electro beats.The track also consists of hoover synths, synth handclaps, an Eastern-inspired tone and chants. In the song, Rihanna adopts a sensual tone in her vocals, as she chants the song's provocative and sexually suggestive lyrics.The majority of the interlude is rapped by Rihanna. A reviewer for Flavour described the singer's vocal performance in "Birthday Cake" as "sultry".Nathan S. of DJ Booth concurred that Rihanna sounds "sultry" as well as "playful" on the song.An eight second sample of "Birthday Cake". Rihanna can be heard chanting "cake" repetitively.Problems playing this file? See media help.The lyrical content of the interlude is spare and largely revolves around Rihanna chanting, "cake cake cake cake cake cake." Aside from the repetitive chant of "cake", the interlude consists of multiple sexual metaphors.The lyric "I know you wanna bite this/ It's so enticing/ Nothing else like this, I'ma make you my bitch/ And it's not even my birthday/ But you wanna put your name on it" is a metaphor referring to a vagina.Rihanna sings about the desire to have spontaneous sex. Rihanna promises her lover that she will make him do whatever she pleases, singing "I'mma make you my bitch." T'Cha Dunlevy of The Montreal Gazette described the lyric as a "promise", with Rihanna intending to act upon her desires.The interlude ends mid-verse and mid-lyric with a fade at 1:18.Katherine St. Asaph of Popdust described the fade as "ungraceful", as well as writing that it makes the track appear as though it is not finished.Upon the fade, Rihanna puts forward the line "Ooh, I wanna fuck you right now."Dunlevy and St. Asaph were critical of the final line, with the former labelling it as "blatant", and the latter noting that "cursing makes everything obvious."Critical reception"Birthday Cake" garnered mixed reviews from music critics. Jayson Lipshutz of Billboard praised the interlude, writing "We're all for birthday-themed naughtiness in pop music form, but only 78 seconds of 'Birthday Cake' is just not enough of a celebration!" Lipshutz continued to compare the song's lyrical message to Jeremih's "Birthday Sex".Sam Lansky of MTV Buzzworthy was complimentary of "Birthday Cake", writing, "The only misstep on the album – not because it's not amazing (it is!), but because it's only 78 seconds long. 'Birthday Cake' is more decadent Rihanna filth, this time courtesy of sensual R&B-master The-Dream. Have any Rihanna Navy members made an hour-long mix yet? We need to keep the bump 'n' grind going all night." Pip Ellwood of Entertainment-Focus noted that "Birthday Cake", along with "Cockiness (Love It)", "leave you under no misunderstanding that Rihanna is as sexual as she's ever been throughout her career."Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly wrote that "Birthday Cake", along with "Cockiness (Love It)", were the most provocative songs on the album, describing them as "I-like-it-rough tracks", but criticized them for being album fillers designed to get the listener out of the bedroom and on to the dance floor.The-Dream assisted in the songwriting and production of "Birthday Cake".Adrian Thrills of the Daily Mail wrote that after listening to "Cockiness (Love It)" and then "Birthday Cake", "the double entendres have grown tiresome" after having listening to the latter.Giovanny Caquias of CultureBlues expressed distaste for "Birthday Cake", calling the track "horrendous", but referred to it being "only a minimal waste of time" due to its short length.Mike Diver of BBC Music was equally critical, writing that "Birthday Cake" is a "wholly pointless minute-something in the company of star producer The-Dream, wasted on the boring profanities of Birthday Cake." A reviewer for Flavour had a mixed reaction to the lyrical content, writing, "I can't exactly say it is a bad song. In fact, I will probably be singing it over the next few weeks. But at this point its like, 'we get it – you like sex.' Chill out about it and sing about education or something – your younger fans need more SUBSTANCE." Nathan S. of DJ Booth noted that the song resembles a real life "quickie", continuing to write that the overtly sexual lyrics in the song earned Talk That Talk the Parental Advisory sticker. Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times commented that the lyrics on "Birthday Cake" "wouldn't seem out of place on Spinal Tap's 'Smell the Glove'."Roberts continued to note that "Birthday Cake" appeared to be an afterthought, writing,The hottest lines on the album come nearly as an afterthought on the all-too-brief 'Birthday Cake,' produced by The-Dream. 'I know you wanna bite this/ It's so enticin'/ Nothin' else like this/ I'mma make you my bitch,' she sings. But as if the network censors had let the song run before realizing their mistake, a little over a minute into it the music fades out, just as it's getting dirty, leaving us wondering whether Rihanna really believes what she's selling on "Talk That Talk."Chart performanceUpon the release of Talk That Talk, "Birthday Cake" debuted on several world charts. The song entered the South Korea Gaon International Chart at number 67 on November 26, 2011, with sales of 6,661 digital downloads.In the United Kingdom, "Birthday Cake" debuted at number 172 on December 3, 2011.In the United States, the song charted at number 22 on the US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, which represents the 25 songs which failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.On March 3, 2012, "Birthday Cake" made its first appearance on the US Digital Songs chart at number 62, following the release of the official remix featuring Brown, and has peaked at number 30. Due to strong airplay spins, the interlude of "Birthday Cake" peaked at number 4 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart."Birthday Cake" was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting shipments of over 500,000 units.Live performanceRihanna performed the song for the first time on May 5, 2012, on Saturday Night Live, as part of a medley with "Talk That Talk".The performance started with the original interlude version "Birthday Cake" and featured Rihanna in an all black outfit with a giant spiders web as the backdrop behind her.After she performed a short section of the song, it transitioned into "Talk That Talk", where she performed her part of the song in full, without the rap vocal by Jay-Z.The remix of the song was included on her Diamonds World Tour as part of her first act in 2013.
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