Is "James Joint" About Weed or Dangerous Love? The Answer Is Both

After the much-anticipated release of Anti, Rihanna's eighth studio album, on Wednesday night, the music world is buzzing about RiRi's latest. In the year leading up to Anti's arrival, Rihanna said in interviews that her newest album would have a different sound, telling MTV that she wanted to make songs that were "timeless" and "felt real, that felt soulful, that felt forever."

So what to make of "James Joint," the second, and shortest track on Anti? The muted, slow moving interlude opens with Rihanna crooning "I'd rather be smoking weed." So is this a new stoner anthem? Not exactly.

Read more:
° "Never Ending" Lyrics: Rihanna's Heartbreak Song Sounds Like Dido's 1998 "Thank You"
° Rihanna Has Finally Dropped 'Anti' — And You Can Listen to It on Tidal Now

The song pivots quickly from marijuana to lost love, as Rihanna sings, "Don't say that you miss me/ Just come get me," not an especially radical sentiment for a break-up song. 

But in the hook and the second verse, the lyrics paint a darker picture. "Don't know why, just know I want you," could read as a flippant declaration of residual love post break-up, but it may also describe a dangerously addictive kind of relationship (which comes back around to the drug metaphor). And "We're too busy kissing/ Just making scenes/ Here come the police," evokes tumult and violence — perhaps an allusion to Rihanna's ex-boyfriend, singer Chris Brown, who pleaded guilty to assaulting her in 2009.

But "James Joint" barely gives the listener time to process before it ends with a fade-out. The full lyrics of "James Joint" are available from Genius.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Anna Swartz

Anna is a staff writer for Mic covering breaking news. She can be reached at aswartz@mic.com.

MORE FROM

The 'Pretty Little Liars' series finale reveals the identity of A.D. and answers 7 other questions

You won't believe who the father of Alison and Emily's baby is.

7 times women in Hollywood pushed back against the pressure to lose weight

They're not here to fit any sort of body standard.

Kendrick Lamar's "Element." video shows a violent portrait of black life in America

"I done cried for this shit, might take a life for this shit/ Put the Bible down and go eye for an eye for this shit."

Nicki Minaj was given the key to Queens. These 9 verses prove she deserves it.

"A star will arise/ And she'll originate from the streets of Southside"

Here's everything you need to know for the 'Pretty Little Liars' finale tonight

Secrets abound in the 'Pretty Little Liars' season finale.

Algiers' 'The Underside of Power' is a soundtrack for every revolution — past, present and future

'Mic' talks with the experimental, Atlanta-bred group about their latest improbable fusion of industrial, punk, gospel and soul.

The 'Pretty Little Liars' series finale reveals the identity of A.D. and answers 7 other questions

You won't believe who the father of Alison and Emily's baby is.

7 times women in Hollywood pushed back against the pressure to lose weight

They're not here to fit any sort of body standard.

Kendrick Lamar's "Element." video shows a violent portrait of black life in America

"I done cried for this shit, might take a life for this shit/ Put the Bible down and go eye for an eye for this shit."

Nicki Minaj was given the key to Queens. These 9 verses prove she deserves it.

"A star will arise/ And she'll originate from the streets of Southside"

Here's everything you need to know for the 'Pretty Little Liars' finale tonight

Secrets abound in the 'Pretty Little Liars' season finale.

Algiers' 'The Underside of Power' is a soundtrack for every revolution — past, present and future

'Mic' talks with the experimental, Atlanta-bred group about their latest improbable fusion of industrial, punk, gospel and soul.