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Pon de Replay
PondeReplay
Cover of "Pon de Replay"
Genre Dance-pop, dancehall, R&B
Released May 24, 2005
Album Music of the Sun
Recorded February 2005
The Loft Recording Studios

(Bronxville, New York)

Length 4:06 (Album Version)

3:34 (Radio Edit)

Label Def Jam Recordings
Producer Vada Nobles, Carl Sturken, Evan Rogers
Rihanna's Singles Chronology
Left
"Pon de Replay"
"If It's Lovin' that You Want"
Right

"Pon de Replay" is a song recorded by Barbadian recording artist Rihanna, from her debut studio album Music of the Sun (2005). It was written and produced by Vada Nobles, Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers. Her debut single, the song was released on May 24, 2005, lead single from the album. Prior to signing a six album record deal with Def Jam Recordings, "Pon de Replay" was one of three songs which was recorded for her demo tape to be sent to record labels. It is a dance-pop and R&B song. The lyrics revolve around the DJ to play Rihanna's favorite songs and to turn the music up louder. "Pon de Replay" received positive reviews from music critics, who praised the song's composition and its choice as the singers debut single. The song was a commercial success, and peaked at number one in New Zealand and on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart. It peaked at number two on the US Hot 100 chart and UK Singles Chart, whilst it achieved top five positions in Austria, Norway and Switzerland. It was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America denoting shipments of over 1,000,000 copies. The song's accompanying music video was directed by Little X, and features Rihanna in a club with her friends, who ask the DJ to play their favorite song repeatedly.

BackgroundEdit

Prior to signing a record deal with Def Jam Recordings, Rihanna was discovered in her home country of Barbados by American record producer Evan Rogers, who made the necessary arrangements for her to fly to New York. There, she recorded a collection of demos for a demo tape to be sent to record labels. One of the demos recorded was that of "Pon de Replay", which was written and produced by Carl Sturken, Evan Rogers and Vada Nobles in 2004. The first to respond to the demo tape was Jay-Z, who had recently been appointed as president and CEO of Def Jam Recordings, where Rihanna auditioned for him and music executive L.A. Reid, in his office. Looking back on the audition and meeting Jay-Z, Rihanna explained during an interview how she felt before walking into the room, saying: "That's when I really got nervous ... I was like: 'Oh God, he's right there, I can't look, I can't look, I can't look!' I remember being extremely quiet. I was very shy. I was cold the entire time. I had butterflies. I'm sitting across from Jay-Z. Like, Jay-Zee. I was star-struck." During the audition, Rihanna performed Whitney Houston's cover of "For the Love of You", "Pon de Replay" and "The Last Time", the latter two of which would go on to be included on her debut album, Music of the Sun. Initially, Jay-Z was skeptical about signing Rihanna, because he felt "Pon de Replay" was too big for her, saying "when a song is that big, it's hard [for a new artist] to come back from. I don't sign songs, I sign artists". "Pon de Replay" was released via iTunes on July 26, 2005, through Def Jam Recordings.

CompositionEdit

"Pon de Replay" is a dance-pop and R&B song. According to the digital music sheet published at musicnotes.com, the song is written in the key of F-sharp minor and is set in common time with a moderated dance groove, with a metronome of 100 beats per minute. Rihanna's vocal range in the song spans from the low note of F♯3 to the high note of C♯5. Lyrically, the song is about asking the DJ to play the protagonist's favorite song, as well as the fulfillment of dancing in a club. Doug Rule of Metro Weekly commented on the lyric "Hey Mr. DJ, won't you turn the music up?" and that it follows in the footsteps of recent songs which also incorporated "Hey Mr. DJ", including Madonna's "Music" and Jennifer Lopez's "Play".

In an interview with Kidzworld, Rihanna explained the lyrical content of the song, saying: "It's just language that we speak in Barbados. It's broken English. Pon is on, de means the, so it's just basically telling the DJ to put my song on the replay." Jason Birchmeier of Allmusic wrote about the songs composition and musical influences, "[Pon de Replay] is driven by booming dancehall-lite beats and a reggae vocal cadence (and title spelling), it's a simple dance-pop song at its core, with standard English-language singing as well as a can't-miss singalong hook." Barry Walters of Rolling Stone also commented on the song's composition and concurred with Birchmeier's opinions of the song, writing that the song is "a poppy piece of dancehall reggae with slapping, syncopated beats recalling big-band jazz".

ResponseEdit

Critical receptionEdit

The song received generally positive reviews from music critics. Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine praised the song, and compared it to Beyoncé Knowles's 2003 chart topper "Baby Boy", because of how both songs feature "a dancehall-pop mixture". Bill Lamb of About.com gave the song four out of a possible five stars, and praised Rihanna's debut single as well as the singer herself, writing that Rihanna is "a star in the making and this catchy dance tune will get her noticed. It sounds great dancing on a warm summer evening or blasting from the car stereo." Lamb continued to write that the song is "hypnotically catchy", and that her voice shows that she is capable of being able to provide variety in her vocal performances, and that the "exotic island beat feel" works to the song's advantage. On the other hand, Lamb criticised the lyrics stating they did not make the listener feel intellectually challenged or provoke thought as to what the song means.

Chart performanceEdit

In the United States, "Pon de Replay" ascended into the top ten of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart at number nine on the issue dated July 16, 2005, and became the "Greatest Airplay Gainer" that week. In the issue dated July 30, 2005, the song peaked at number two on the Hot 100, being held off of the top spot by Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together", which spent a total of 14 non-consecutive weeks at number one. "Pon de Replay" spent a total of 12 weeks inside the top ten of the Hot 100 and 23 weeks on the chart in total. The song also peaked at number one the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs and Digital Songs charts, number two on the US Pop Songs chart, and 24 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The song was also certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on October 26, 2007, denoting shipments of over 1,000,000 copies. In New Zealand, the song debuted at number 37 on the New Zealand Singles Chart on August 15, 2005, and peaked at number one in its ninth week on the chart, after having been locked at number two for four weeks previous. The song spent a total of seven weeks inside the top five chart positions and 16 weeks on the chart in total. In Australia, "Pon de Replay" debuted at number 13 on the Australian Singles Chart on September 25, 2005, and peaked at number six in its ninth week on the chart. The song spent a total of 10 weeks in the top ten chart positions and twenty-two weeks on the chart in total and was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association, denoting shipments of over 70,000 copies.

Music videoEdit

Rihanna - Pon de Replay (Internet Version)03:37

Rihanna - Pon de Replay (Internet Version)

The internet version of "Pon de Replay"

The music video for "Pon de Replay" was directed by Little X. The video is set in a nightclub and begins with Rihanna and two her friends arriving at a club where everybody is bored and not dancing because of the low music. She steps up on a platform, wearing a silver belly top with baggy jeans, and begins singing and dancing the song, causing the DJ, played by DJ Cipha Sounds, to turn the music up and for everybody to start dancing. Scenes of people dancing in the club are intercut with images being juxtaposed of Rihanna leaning against the wall wearing a light blue short dress, singing to the lyrics of the song. Rihanna is also featured belly dancing in the video and Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall makes a cameo appearance. The video ends with people in the club formed in a circle dancing in the middle of the dance floor.

Single artworkEdit

Track listingEdit

  • Radio edit
  1. "Pon de Replay" (Radio edit) — 3:34
  • CD single
  1. "Pon De Replay" (Radio Edit) — 3:34
  2. "Pon De Replay" (Elephant Man Remix) — 3:37
  • CD maxi-single (European version)
  1. "Pon de Replay" — 3:36
  2. "There's A Thug In My Life" — 3:34
  3. "Pon de Replay" (Cotto's Replay Dub) — 6:48
  4. "Pon de Replay" (Instrumental) — 4:05
  • German CD Single
  1. "Pon de Replay" (Album Version)
  2. "Pon de Replay" (Cotto's Replay Dub)
  • iTunes EP
  1. "Pon de Replay" (Pon De Club Play Version) — 7:32
  2. "Pon de Replay" (Cotto's Replay Dub Version) — 6:47
  • UK iTunes EP
  1. "Pon de Replay" — 3:35
  2. "Should I" (with J-Status) — 3:07
  3. "Pon de Replay" (Cotto's Replay Dub Version) — 6:49

LyricsEdit

Come Mr. DJ song pon de replay
Come Mr. DJ won't you turn the music up
All the gyal pon the dance floor wanting some more what
Come Mr. DJ won't you turn the music up

It goes one by one even two by two
Everybody on the floor let me show you how we do
Lets go dip it low then you bring it up slow
Wind it up one time wind it back once more

(Come)
Run
(Run)
Run
(Run)
Everybody move
(Run)
Let me see you move
(And)
Rock it to the groove
(Done)

Shake it 'til the moon becomes the sun
(Sun)
Everybody in the club give me a run
(Run)
If you ready to move say it
(Yeah)
One time for your mind say it
(Yeah, yeah)

Well I'm ready for ya
Come let me show ya
You want to groove Im'a show you how to move

Come Mr. DJ song pon de replay
Come Mr. DJ won't you turn the music up
All the gyal pon the dance floor wantin' some more what
Come Mr. DJ won't you turn the music up

Come Mr. DJ song pon de replay
Come Mr. DJ won't you turn the music up
All the gyal pon the dance floor wantin' some more what
Come Mr. DJ won't you turn the music up

Hey Mr.
Please Mr. DJ
Tell me if you hear me
Turn the music up

Hey Mr.
Please Mr. DJ
Tell me if you hear me
Turn the music up

It goes one by one even two by two
Everybody in the club gon' be rockin' when I'm through
Let the bass from the speakers run through ya sneakers
Move both ya feet and run to the beat


(Come)
Run
(Run)
Run
(Run)
Everybody move
(Run)
Let me see you move
(And)
Rock it to the groove
(Done)

Shake it 'til the moon becomes the sun
(Sun)
Everybody in the club give me a run
(Run)
If you ready to move say it
(Yeah)
One time for your mind say it
(Yeah, yeah)

Well I'm ready for ya
Come let me show ya
You want to groove Im'a show you how to move

Come Mr. DJ song pon de replay
Come Mr. DJ won't you turn the music up
All the gyal pon the dance floor wantin' some more what
Come Mr. DJ won't you turn the music up

Come Mr. DJ song pon de replay
Come Mr. DJ won't you turn the music up
All the gyal pon the dance floor wantin' some more what
Come Mr. DJ won't you turn the music up

Hey Mr.
Please Mr. DJ
Tell me if you hear me
Turn the music up

Hey Mr.
Please Mr. DJ
Tell me if you hear me
Turn the music up

Turn the music up right now

Okay everybody get down if you feel me
Come and put your hands up to the ceiling
Everybody get down if you feel me
Come and put your hands up to the ceiling

Everybody get down if you feel me
Come and put your hands up to the ceiling
Everybody get down if you feel me
Come and put your hands up to the ceiling


Come Mr. DJ song pon de replay
Come Mr. DJ won't you turn the music up
All the gyal pon the dance floor wantin' some more what
Come Mr. DJ won't you turn the music up

Come Mr. DJ song pon de replay
Come Mr. DJ won't you turn the music up
All the gyal pon the dance floor wantin' some more what
Come Mr. DJ won't you turn the music up

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