“‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ could totally use an update” are the words I imagine went through Rihanna’s head when she first heard her new song, “American Oxygen” — because that’s exactly what it sounds like. Rihanna debuted the sobering ode to the American dream at a performance during March Madness in Indiana (where she also slammed the state’s proposed anti-gay legislation) on Saturday. And a day later, the track was made available to stream on Tidal. But just in case the song doesn’t wind up replacing our national anthem, it’d also make for the perfect Empire theme song. “We sweat for a nickel and a dime / Turn it into an empire” — obviously, Cookie would approve.
Update: Rihanna has released the “American Oxygen” video via Tidal.