TGJ Roundtable: Rihanna’s iHeartRadio Music Awards Performance

Published: Monday 30th Mar 2015 by Sam

Welcome to the latest TGJ Roundtable!

Over the years, That Grape Juice has established a distinguished voice that – whether loved or loathed – sparks discussion, debate, and on occasion drama!

Though comprised of seasoned writers who share a similar outlook on Urban Pop culture, the idiosyncrasies of the TGJ team members often lend for quite heated debates “behind the scenes” about the hottest topics.

Now, we give you a front row seat to the show. In a format similar to ‘The View’ or ‘The Real’, TGJ editors – Sam, David, Rashad, and Joe – get real in a very candid way.

Today’s roundtable topic asks…

Was Rihanna’s iHeartRadio Music Awards Performance Of ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ A “Hit” or “Miss”?


Rihanna did that.

And, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t pain me to say it.

I don’t believe in applauding medicorisy, hence why we never gloss over the various shades of “basic” she’s showcased over the years.

Yet, it’s equally imperative to give credit where it’s due and last night she earned it in abundance.

The song, much like her voice, still leaves much to be desired, but from a performance perspective, she delivered all I’ve ever wanted from her on a consistent basis. She put on a spectacle.

Yes, the helicopter prop was a cool concept, yet it was merely one awesome layer of an amazingly executed performance. Indeed, from the moody mise-en-scène to the commitment Rih showed to the choreography, to the “bad gyal” swag, it was just all sorts of on-point.

For the first time, it feels as though the Pop Pinocchio is cutting the strings and finally becoming what its manufacturer long hoped it would be – an authentic, compelling, and captivating performer.

Of course, this is one showing of what is sure to be many more attached to this 8th album cycle. As such anything can happen. However, in the here and now, Ms. Fenty has hit a home-run.



Rihanna will have little to no trouble selling tickets for her forthcoming world tour if last night’s performance was anything to go by.


Three words. She.Nailed.It.

Fully aware of her capabilities as an artist, the Pop purveyor turned to a ‘Gotham’ inspired set, military style (yet easily replicable) choreography, fashion and sass to deliver an A* performance.

Call me crazy, but I think Rihanna’s found her very own ‘Control’ in ‘Bitch’, released a time when- like Janet- the star makes the right moves towards becoming the captain of her own career’s ship.

So, it was only right that she dished up a performance just as powerful as the cut’s message…and that she did.

If last night’s show taught us anything it’s that a little creativity and effort can go a long way for an act like Rihanna, often unable to compete with the likes of Beyonce and Ciara on a dance front.

Fortunately, she no longer has to, especially if she continues to soak her sets in the fashion, live arrangements and replicable choreography that made last night’s showing what it was.

It seems, even in the face of intense competition, Rih’s reign continues to show no signs of letting up.



I, for one, am very mixed on how I feel about Rihanna’s performance.  I can’t lie, as a lover of the 90’s, I got my life from the visual – namely her Lil’ Kim/Puff Daddy-esque wardrobe, dancers, and staging.  But, there’s something about that performance that seemed like organized chaos.   Most importantly, it did NOT sell me on the song nor make me want to listen to it again.

All in all, I was disappointed because her performance game has stepped up significantly in the last year, but something about last night’s showing reeked of “Rihanna 2009” – talked vocals, slightly absent look, and – as stated before – organized chaos.  The only thing missing was her signature p-patting.



Being rather unfazed by ‘Money’, I wasn’t expecting anything special, especially since Rihanna is not a “dancer”. I can gladly say that I was pleasantly surprised by her performance yesterday.

First things first: that mid-90s flavoured entrance alone was a highlight for what was a great showing by the Queen of iTunes. The new instrumentation made it sound like a whole other track, the structure was clearer, the hooks more apparent. Though not a Ciara, it’s always refreshing to see Rih do a little bit of choreography and not some random walking & whining. Her vocals were good too.

Having said that, I’m still not sold on the song and the reason why it’s been chosen as a single. When you think about it, Ms. Fenty’s “grittier” material isn’t the one which has gotten the most charts love over the years, and seeing as this one is her least radio friendly song EVER, it doesn’t add up, especially for her “comeback” album… hey, it still got to #1 on iTunes, I guess.

Good job Robyn, now bring on ‘American Oxygen’!


Do you agree with our points? Who was spot on? Let us know your thoughts on the latest TGJ Roundtable and Rihanna’s performance below!

Your thoughts?

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  1. SURPRISE…….(DEC.13) March 30, 2015


  2. tits mcgee March 30, 2015

    It was pretty phucking good! And she looked hott!

  3. I STAN(D) FOR TALENT March 30, 2015

    SHE. NAILED IT. You better stan BITCHH.

  4. tits mcgee March 30, 2015

    The live performance actually sold me on the song. The power of imagery I guess.


  5. Teacher( AOTY My Ass) March 30, 2015

    LOOOL Sam you’re full of s***! Idgaf if you praised The Queen! I still say F*** YOU! And Rashad she’s rapping…’talked vocals’..?.BYE! F*** TGJ!

  6. robyn March 30, 2015

    Wow I’m really suprised that sam was a little less negative, by the way I do agree with david. The woman was on point on errrrthing. Well done Rih slay mamma slay

  7. tits mcgee March 30, 2015

    I thought the performance was inspired by Janet (dancing) and Kim’s Kim for the outfit.

    She is no Janet when dancing, but she has improved quite a bit..

    • tits mcgee March 30, 2015

      ***Lil’ Kim

  8. I STAN(D) FOR TALENT March 30, 2015

    Bye Rashit. You know what, Sham probably wrote that.

  9. Suicide Blonde March 30, 2015

    Her performance was decent, the song make “Pour It Up” sound like “Killing Me Softly”, that’s how bad it is, she’s better than that.

    • Molly March 30, 2015

      Its too ghetto for your taste?

      • Suicide Blonde March 30, 2015

        It’s not that, i like PIP but BBHMM lacks something, definitely her worst single.

    • tits mcgee March 30, 2015

      Lol @ your comment.

      I think both songs are ratchet as hell, but she makes them work for her.

      • Suicide Blonde March 30, 2015

        I don’t like this song at all.

      • tits mcgee March 30, 2015

        To each his own hun. I hear you.

      • Suicide Blonde March 30, 2015

        If her hardcore fans are happy then my opinion means nothing.

      • tits mcgee March 30, 2015

        I’m not a hardcore fan but I like it! It’s kewl to me, but we all have different tastes..

  10. I STAN(D) FOR TALENT March 30, 2015

    Now I need ‘Towards the Sun’ to be front and centre. That song is amazing. I would be an easy chart toper and a classic.

    • I STAN(D) FOR TALENT March 30, 2015


  11. Molly March 30, 2015

    The performance was ok whenever Rihanna gives some type of choreography I applaud her cause we all know she’s lazy ass shît when it comes to performing.

    • MisdamenorFan March 30, 2015

      Alright Ms Fenty you betta give us an ole nasty 2 step! The performance definitely made me go purchase the song. Not to mention she actually gave props to the person that inspired her look instead of ducking and weaving like someone we know.

      • rihicon March 30, 2015


    • ~The Arcade~ March 30, 2015

      Thank you for that link, talk about being brutally honest lol


    Chile, I was so proud to stan so hard last night! She gave me ghetto-classy Kim “Crush on You” teas so well! I bet Kim was impressed. Now, let’s watch it slay these lessor h***’ songs on the charts.

  13. I STAN(D) FOR TALENT March 30, 2015

    Bye Molly.


    Gurl, don’t even get me started on that gangsta choreography she executed so well! She wasn’t playing any games and I’m sure Ms. Swift left that innocent girl persona at home and learned to get ratchet with Queen Rih quickly! I can’t wait for the song to debut on the Hot 100. Some h*** will learn what it means to seethe…..and not be able to do anything about it.

  15. Mark111 March 30, 2015

    Dose Rih need to be a Janet or Ciara when dancing? No, does she needs to be a Whitney or Beyoncé with vocals? No. Rihanna has swag and attitude like no other. Her shows are fun, it’s so Rihanna. People are putting her up against GREATS and not her peers. Not to down them, but put her up to Katy, Miley, Shift, even Gaga imo, she’s better without even trying. She sounded like the record, yes there was a backup, but I rather have a back up than a play back (Chris Brown). Was it the best? No, was it the best of that night? Yes.

    • tits mcgee March 30, 2015

      Exactly. Rihanna brings what she brings to the table. That’s fine with me and apparently the general pop. So it’s whatever.

  16. I STAN(D) FOR TALENT March 30, 2015

    So “Aaliyah stan” likes Iggy too, kinda like #Jackie? LOL. Bye Molly. You ain’t fooling anybody.

    • Mark111 March 30, 2015

      Right? No Aaliyah fan hates Rihanna or likes Uggly. Clearly a Ciara

    • Molly March 30, 2015

      My fúcking impact so anyone who likes Iggy is me now Lmfao the struggle .

      • I STAN(D) FOR TALENT March 30, 2015

        No. I never said that, but it’s pretty evident. You can’t be a dragger and one of those nice commentators at the same time Molly. Pick a side/role. And ‘impact’ would be someone like me. I started this thing of replacing vowels so that cuss words could appear, e.g. ‘F****’. That was cute btw. Lol

  17. Eloviano March 30, 2015

    I’m over the fence over this performance. It’s better than what she has done in the past, but I felt like something was missing. It was cute(for her standards). But she can do better than that.

    • Eloviano March 30, 2015

      After watching her performance last night. I’d say her Grammy performance is better than this one.

  18. SLAYRIAH CAREY (TOUR DE FORCE) March 30, 2015

    So even Samantha shady ass is stanning for the performance! Case closed, SHE KILLED THAT!

  19. I STAN(D) FOR TALENT March 30, 2015

    You can’t be a dragger and one of those nice commentators at the same time Molly. Pick one. Enough with these troll accs. You’re really becoming fleahive. You’re morphing into the likes of tyler and Slay_bottom with these troll accs. 😐

    • Molly March 30, 2015

      Oh ok so this is about you being upset because I’ve become cool with the hive. Lol get tf over it hahahaha


      Tyler Slay_Hive and Naomi >>>>> You, Lb,Mark and the rest of your raggedy navy.

      • I STAN(D) FOR TALENT March 30, 2015

        Cling bïtch!!! You’re such a serial clinger. Even Career clocked you on that. And… who’s Naomi? …Anyway, carry on, even though those names don’t even acknowledge your ass. #CarryOn

      • tits mcgee March 30, 2015

        @ I Stan

        Exactly. She is clinging and name dropping like crazy, yet I am showing out for ” the girls”.

        Her brain doesn’t work too well since her diet consists of just cup o noodles and 4 loco beverages…

  20. Molly March 30, 2015

    So I give the navy and their fav credit yet they still wanna try me?

  21. Rihboy March 30, 2015

    It slayed. My only issues are: the end of the song is empty. It’s fit for a rapper of her caliber to jump on/ on the b**** better have my money part I feel as though more could have been done as far as harmonizing or effect. I’m pretty sure someone will jump on the track soon. The performance was good. I’m actually glad she moved. However it’s outstanding that she has an urban cut thriving at the top of iTunes. She is trending everywhere.

  22. Choupette March 30, 2015

    I enjoyed her set last night alongside Iggy’s.

  23. Bammmm March 30, 2015

    It was good…but not good enough to leave people talking or to make a impact.

  24. Molly March 30, 2015

    Look at @TitsMcgee and @IStandInLineForWelfare seething over me kii you girls are a mess forever coming for me just so you can get an once of RELEVANCY on this site. And now bïtches wanna claim im an Aaliyah stan stanning for Crackney and Tranet kiii the things you bîtches come up with.

    • #JACKIE March 30, 2015

      No sis, your me remember? Kii

    • tits mcgee March 30, 2015

      There you go again. I’m not worried about relevancy on a blog. I am relevant in my real life.

      You are such a stupid ghetto b1tch that you will never get why my relevancy trumps yours.


      Stay mad cause you know it’s true. 🙂

  25. RihAmerican (hives scared of R8) March 30, 2015

    She slayed!!! And Rihanna doesn’t need to do some big dance routine.She is edgy and knows how get the crowd hype. The choreography fits the song.Rihanna is growing as a performer.I love that spin tho.Somewhere lil kim is pleased and stannin

  26. #TeamTinashe Stan (“All Hands On Deck” Music Video Is Coming Out Soon) March 30, 2015

    I agree with Rashad. Now y’all know I was anticipating this performance but this DIDN’T DO IT for me. I like the fashion but she didn’t give me LIFE out of this performance.

    You can tell this record smells like a Travis Scott record all OVER it. It seemed like he just gave her one of his songs(And yes I do know he wrote the song).

  27. #JACKIE March 30, 2015

    She f****** sucks and I love how my name is on b****** fingertips and I haven’t been on here in days #MYIMPACT

  28. ~The Arcade~ March 30, 2015

    It was just ‘alright’ by Rihanna’s standard. That’s all I got peeps 🙂

  29. ~The Arcade~ March 30, 2015

    To me her best performance was at the AMA’S 2010 when she did “what’s my name/ only girl in the world.”

  30. Dossome March 30, 2015

    You gotta love when Sam tries to sound intelligent
    *Plays Brandy’s Almost Doesn’t Count*

  31. Hadley March 30, 2015

    People always lower their standard when it comes to Rihanna. Put her up real performers she was trash.

  32. RihYonce March 30, 2015

    I just want to see her & Beyoncé in the forefront together Beyoncé need to drop something lol they never do stuff at the same time, when one era ends the next begins

  33. ~The Arcade~ March 30, 2015

    I don’t agree with Joe stating that she’s not a dancer… seriously we’re still running with this logic? her earlier works we SAW her dancing, she just got lazy and did not not perfect it over the past few years; which in turn causes her live performances to be a drab.

    Bottom line: if you’re gonna do it, do it right!

    • Tyler Makaveli March 30, 2015

      But she’s not. Janet, Chis Brown, and Ciara are because they are dancers above anything else. We can’t say the same about Rihanna.

      • ~The Arcade~ March 30, 2015

        I feel like people are making way too many excuses on her behalf. At the end of the day, I still stand behind my statement in the last sentence.

  34. Caribbean Native March 30, 2015

    Sam is a dude? The way he b****** on this site I thought he was a woman hmmm

  35. Tyler Makaveli March 30, 2015

    Be real! Her performance was good for what is was, and who she is. She’s not a killer dancer, an amazing vocalist, or an exceptional overall performer.

    I don’t praise mediocrity. That’s why I don’t like nor respect Rihanna as an entertainer but it was good for her standards #CarryOn

  36. Jim Jay March 30, 2015

    I feel like it wasn’t a bad performance, but it was a far cry from captivating. Rihanna gave me nothing new. Vocals=flat, wardrobe=cute, hair= a boot, choreo= meh. I just wanted her to give some life and effort into her performance. Rihanna’s method is give them just enough but don’t break a sweat. I’ll pass.

  37. FutureCIARA March 30, 2015

    I agree with Sam And Rashad! I said It before, But I was pleased with the effort that she gave in that performance, I must savor it because we all know she’s about as inconsistent as Lindsay Lohan on coke….

    • NENE March 31, 2015

      Why don’t you worry about jackie that has already flopped

  38. ChiTown March 30, 2015

    She better put Lil Kim on this track after mimicking her video from the 90’s! Bow down baby girl…..wait a minute did she just throw a shot at Beyonce and Jay… “your wife in the back seat”

  39. rihicon March 30, 2015

    I liked and enjoyed it, and it probably will be her 14 #1, so seethe.

  40. Cold March 30, 2015

    Im probably going to get dragged for this but, whatever. That performance is why Im not a Rihanna stan. She killed it no lie, no shade but, she doesnt kill ot often enough. Its got me thinking shes lazy. She got this in her but she always give us crap preformances.

    • RihAmerican (hives scared of R8) March 30, 2015

      Since the era started she hasn’t been giving crap performances.Stop crying.She delivered at the Grammys and now I Heart Awards.She is growing as a performer.

  41. JuJu March 30, 2015

    The performance took the song to a whole other level, I honestly expected to just wild around on stage like the rappers, and i didn’t think that there would be choreography…. I HAVE THIS PERFORMANCE ON REPEAT!!!!! Rashad just doesn’t get it, it’s called ATTITUDE! not everyone is gonna have a focused Vogue face on stage!

  42. JuJu March 30, 2015

    The performance took the song to a whole other level, She should include the guitar guy on it’s album version please, give it some flavour, I honestly expected her to just wild around on stage like the rappers, and i didn’t think that there would be choreography…. I HAVE THIS PERFORMANCE ON REPEAT!!!!! Rashad just doesn’t get it, it’s called ATTITUDE! not everyone is gonna have a focused Vogue face on stage!

  43. Royalkev March 30, 2015

    This was pretty grand for Rihanna! The helicopter, those boots, the attitude! She delivered a swagged-out performance of an uptempo song. I feel like the song even makes more sense now. I don’t know why, but she’s reminding me of Whitney soooo much here (I never really noticed that comparison before). This was cute!

  44. RihAmerican (hives scared of R8) March 30, 2015

    People dont understand what shes trying to do with this song.Its not about sounding good,she is sending a message to someone.Who?? IDK someone pissed her off lmaoo she landed a helicopter on that stage.Who’s wife is she pimpin in the back seat?? People are going wonder.Its the perfect single to release. Very catchy and ratchet!!!!

    • RihAmerican (hives scared of R8) March 30, 2015


  45. Junior in Jamaica March 30, 2015

    Very balanced views…for a change. 🙂

  46. Real 90’s gen March 31, 2015

    The picture already looks amateur. And you are not the 90’s generation, I am and don’t want anything to do with Rihanna’s crappy music and performances.

  47. NENE March 31, 2015

    Rihanna moves very original. this bish is everything.

  48. C March 31, 2015

    The vocals were on fleek, she owned the stage it was iconic. And the music is her own new music she owns the rights, the choreography, the energy, she exuded confidence, who else coming through in a helicopter – your favorite could never, while Madonna’s dancers are dragging her off the stage by her cape, and Beyonce is signing other peoples songs at televised events worldwide (Say Yes, Stevie Tribute, Selma Soundtrack et al) Rihanna this far into her career is creating iconic new moments and looks whilst staying true to her fan’s as a artist – that was some next level performance. In conclusion the vignette Rihanna created was akin to Michael Jackson – Billie Jean at Motown 25. that Rihanna reign just won’t let up! She needs to drop her secret album R8 with all it’s videos via Tidal

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