"What's My Name?" is a song recorded by Barbadian recording artist Rihanna, for her fifth studio album Loud (2010). Featuring guest vocals from Canadian rapper Drake, the song was released as the second single from Loud on October 26, 2010 through Def Jam Recordings. The electro-R&B song was produced by the Norwegian production duo StarGate, and was written by the duo along with Ester Dean, Traci Hale, and Drake. Lyrically, it incorporates themes of sexual intercourse and romance.
"What's My Name?" topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, giving Rihanna her sixth number-one single in 2010, as well as her eighth overall on the chart. The song also topped the charts in Hungary and the United Kingdom and reached the top five in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and Slovakia. The song received a nomination at the 54th Grammy Awards for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
An accompanying music video, directed by Philip Andelman, portrays a romantic encounter between Rihanna and Drake in a grocery store along with romantic scenes between the pair and Rihanna walking through Manhattan's Lower East Side. "What's My Name?" was promoted with live performances, including Saturday Night Live in America and the series seven finale of The X Factor in the United Kingdom.
In November 2009, in an interview with MTV News, Canadian rapper Drake praised Rihanna's then-upcoming fourth studio album, Rated R (2009). During the same interview, he revealed that they have collaborated on a track that didn't make the final cut on the album, "the record we have is great. It's a special record, so for it not to make it, I know something had to click. It's all good. I think the project's gonna be great no matter what." Talking for the same publication, Tor Erik Hermansen of Norwegian production duo StarGate recalled that during an event Rihanna met with Drake backstage and asked him to record a verse on her song, "She's calling me up saying, 'Where are the files?' That's one thing you don't hear often from artists on her level." "What's My Name?" was written by Mikkel S. Eriksen, Hermansen, Ester Dean, Traci Hale and Drake, while the production was done by StarGate. In an interview for HitQuarters, Hale explained that she got into the project that's to a phone call she received from Dean. She also elaborated that her work on the song was mostly lyrical, while Dean and StarGate did most of the music. When asked what's the inspiration behind the song she stated, "Oh love, love, love! And it’s sexy – it started as a real sexy track and then you put something sexy over it."
The collaboration was originally planned to be a remix of the song, while the solo version would have been included on Rihanna's fifth studio album Loud. However, in the end it made the final cut on the album. Regarding Drake's inclusion on the song, Rihanna told MTV News, "Drake is the hottest rapper out right now and we've always been trying to work together." According to her, when he heard the song he liked it and wrote his verse after three days. Rihanna has further described the song as very youthful, playful and very melodic track; according to her that's why Drake was the perfect choice to be on it, "cause he's a young rapper who has incredible melodies". "What's My Name?" was released as the second single from Loud; it was sent to contemporary hit and rhythmic radio in the United States on October 26, 2010. The single was made available for digital download on November 12 via the iTunes Store. A CD single featuring the song and a remix of it was released on January 21, 2011 in Germany.
"What's My Name?" is a mid-tempo electro-R&B song, produced by Norwegian producers, StarGate, who return Rihanna to the "Island-pop" of her early career with a backing track consisting of "heavy reggae" and ska beats with synthesised organs. Bill Lamb from About.com noted that before Rihanna's vocals start, there is an internal buildup of "dreamy drum machine rhythms". Overall he described the backing track as "simple" and "atmospheric". The song was written by Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Ester Dean, Traci Hale and Drake and incorporates themes of "sex and romance". Jocelyn Vena from MTV described the vocal delivery and lyrical content of the song as "sassy". Lamb as said that "lyrically, amounts to romantic, sexual sweet nothings". Rihanna called the collaboration "young and playful", something which Stacy Anderson from Spin and Nick Levine of Digital Spy both picked up, when commenting on the sexual innuendos in the lyrics. In particular, Anderson and Levine noted an arithmetic-based joke during Drake's guest vocal, where he says "The square root of 69 is 8 something, right / 'Cuz I been trying to work it out". Megan Vick from Billboard noted that "Rihanna's lush vocal turn denotes a startling leap in maturity from previous singles".File Hashes