Do you happen to remember the season 2 episode of Girls when Hannah does coke with her ex-boyfriend Elijah and they boogie feverishly at a club to Icona Pop's "I Love It" and shortly thereafter every radio station was playing that song 24/7 and we all had the lyrics stuck in our head ("You're from the 70s but I'm a 90s bitch…") because it was the catchiest dance song EVER? Well, that everyone's-suddenly-obsessed-with-it song was supposed to be "Talk That Talk" by Rihanna, but Rihanna refused to let HBO use it.
It seems like kind of a weird decision, don't you think? Why would someone like Rihanna draw the line at letting Girls feature her music? Was it the fact that it was intended to accompany a drug-fueled, nipple-exposing, hedonistic dance scene?
Okay, THAT seems unlikely. I mean, it is Rihanna we're talking about here -- I doubt she tut-tutted the context of the scene while adjusting her ankle-length skirt, or whatever. Ahem:
I guess it could have been a money issue, like maybe HBO simply didn't offer enough of a television licensing fee. Or maybe she has her own personal reasons for not wanting to be associated with the show, or has no interest in exposing her music to the Girls viewing demographic.
In retrospect, though, I'd say it was a bad call by the Rihanna team that ended up being incredibly fortunate for Icona Pop. Who knows if "Talk That Talk" would have become quite as popular as "I Love It," but Girls' music supervisor Manish Raval says he's thrilled Rihanna's decision led him to a different song:
People responded so much to the Robyn song ["Dancing on My Own"] in season one, I knew people were going to have the same response to the Icona Pop thing. And also because they were an unsigned band and no one knew the song. It was going to be an inherently original moment.
As for why Rihanna said no?
They didn't give a reason, we didn’t ask for a reason. So I can't speculate as to why, but you know, it's a happy accident.
Personally I don't think the scene would have been nearly as good with the Rihanna song. Here's what "Talk That Talk" sounds like:
And here's the Girls clip from season 2:
What do you think? Would Rihanna's song have gone viral the way "I Love It" did if it was used in that scene?
Image via Rihanna Now