Rihanna's 30 Greatest Songs, Ranked

From "Pon de Replay" to "Umbrella"

Load Previous

19. "Disturbia" (2008)

Goth Rihanna steps into the darkness with her summer-of-'08 hit "Disturbia" – a prescient sign of how twisted she could get. The lyrics could come straight from an early Black Sabbath record, yet it bumps and grinds with a beat engineered for the dance floor. Over that eerie disco chant of "bum-bum be-dum-bum-bum," Rihanna sings about feeling her brain get consumed by paranoid hallucinations, asking, "What's wrong with me? Why do I feel like this?" By the chorus, she's the star of her own horror flick: "Am I scaring you tonight?/Your mind is in Disturbia!" It's a song where staring at the phone waiting for it to ring turns into a full-blown mental breakdown. "Disturbia" was written by then-boyfriend Chris Brown, before his violently abusive side went public. But it became the most futuristic of her early hits, opening up the darker places she'd keep exploring in her music.

Back to Top