In the internet content game, it’s good to be correct, sure, but it’s even more important to be first. That probably explains how the folks at Mic, the millennial-focused web publishing concern hilariously valued at $100 million, and Yahoo!, the default homepage of aunties everywhere, managed to bungle this post about the forthcoming Rihanna album, Anti.
— Luke O’Neil (@lukeoneil47) November 27, 2015
The post, which has since been deleted, but is still the top result on Google if you search for Rihanna, was pre-written, in order to be ready to publish immediately had Rihanna’s album actually been released today. Fair enough, sites do that sort of thing all the time, and it’s a longstanding practice in newspaper publishing to have, say, obituaries pre-written in the event a notable person dies. But it’s rarer, or it should be anyway, when it comes to criticism of a piece of art. Since no one had actually heard the album yet, that presented a number of problems in prepping a review ready to go right away, such as, you know, what it sounds like, or what guests appear on it. The result was a sort of musical reporting Mad Libs.
The 27-year-old performer’s latest album has [NUMBER OF TRACKS] and its lyrics [HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS] continue the “BBHMM” storyline of an even edgier, freer Rihanna than fans were introduced to in her last album three years ago, Unapologetic. Rihanna especially pushes the edge in [NAME RELEVANT SONG FROM ANTI THAT MATCHES DESCRIPTION], where she sings:
It’s an embarrassing mistake, but you can’t fault the writer too much. Instead blame the culture of web media that pressures sites to sling endless shovelfuls of crap at the wall and hope, fingers-crossed, that their version of the same thing everyone else is writing about grabs the eyeballs first.