Artist // Twitter
Two years ago, Rihanna tweeted the words: "You're just another brick and I'm a sledgehammer." Back then, we probably overlooked it, shrugging it off as a cocky "rih"velation. She'd added the hashtag "#barz," so we also likely figured that it was a lyric from a studio session song that ended up on the cutting room floor. The point is that there was no way of knowing then what we know now, which is that it would become the backbone to her new track "Sledgehammer," the theme song to the upcoming film Star Trek Beyond.
Co-written by Sia, it should come as no surprise that Rihanna completely embodies (or appropriates) the fellow singer's cadence; she has the tendency to do that—if you need proof, look no further than their other collaboration, 2012's "Diamonds"—so it takes a second for the song to even sound like it belongs to RiRi. It's only when she repeats the aforementioned lyric with her signature slur, that it feels like she took liberty with the track, going off-script from its demo.
If you can look past all that though, the track is, as most theme songs for dramatic films are, overwrought. And if you're into that sort of thing, then you'll likely appreciate its enormous rumbling drums and steady piano chords. It even opens with some lonely, stark keys that recall Kanye West's "Runaway." And the lyrics are underdog encouragement at its finest: "I'm bracing for the pain and I am letting go/ I'm using all my strength to get out of this hole/ I hit a wall, I thought that I would hurt myself/ Oh, I was sure your words would leave me unconscious/ And on the floor I'd be lying cold, lifeless/ But I hit a wall, I hit 'em all, watch them fall."
But because its imagery is so reminiscent of, well, a wrecking ball, you can't help but think that someone already did this, but better.
Star Trek: Beyond is out July 22.