Apparently, being a part of one of the most streamed tracks in the world wasn't high on Rihanna's priority list. Diplo, an uber successful electronic dance music DJ approached her about singing on his smash hit, "Lean On" and Rihanna turned him down. The Barbados-bred music icon showed no regard for Diplo's celebrity during the curve, reportedly telling the American songwriter, producer, and DJ that she "doesn't do house music."
News of the encounter broke after an interview with GQ Style in which Diplo reports being involved in a recording session with Rihanna, Future, and Atlanta trap producer, MetroBoomin. In the session, Diplo recalls Future playing Rihanna "700 songs", looking for her approval. Near the end of the session, Diplo finally played tracks for Rihanna and much to his dismay, Rihanna told him that one in particular sounded like a reggae song at an airport.”
This isn't the first time a major recording artist has had pitched records to Rihanna and been turned away. Rihanna is one of the biggest music superstars in the world in recent years and she fields tracks from artists like Sia and Grimes often. Many of these songs have gone on to become big records in the future.
Sia's song Cheap Thrills was initially intended for Team Rihanna during her Unapologetic era. It became one of Sia's biggest hits after being rejected. There may be countless other stories about Rihanna, and other mega-artists like Beyonce being introduced to songs long before we ever hear them. If the public ever actually hears the song can depend solely on how the artist feels that night.
One thing is for sure, Rihanna isn't an industry pushover. She prides herself on putting out records that are not only hot at the moment, but will stand the test of time in the fickle music industry. In order to do this, she links with best writers in the world and the most authentic music she can find. While other artists may have been amazed by Diplo's presence, Rihanna's response shows that she needs to be amazed by the music or it's a no-go.