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Rihanna and Chris Brown's new song: Does a hit single trump domestic violence?

Cast member Rihanna poses at the American premiere of the Universal Pictures film "Battleship" in Los Angeles May 10, 2012

REUTERS

Yesterday, Nobody's Business, a new track by Rihanna featuring Chris Brown, was leaked online.

Hold on a second: What are they even doing recording a song together?

Has Rihanna completely forgotten that domestic violence episode from February 2009 when Brown, her boyfriend at the time, left her with visible injuries to her face?

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Impossible.

So then maybe their volatile history is precisely the point.

The duo recorded a song together last year. Moreover, Rihanna continues to evade questions about whether they are back together.

It's no one's business; we get it. But then how do listeners reconcile their feelings about a seemingly abusive relationship with the fact that the duet is rather… likeable?

The beat is undeniably persuasive and the hook has earworm potential (when a song burrows inside your head). E Online has noted a Michael Jackson influence.

Is it possible to detach the song from the singers? And does liking the song mean turning a blind eye (or deaf ear) to domestic violence?

A comment on Idolator's post about the song suggests, "She can do what she wants – but waving it in our faces, in other victims [sic] faces, is just wrong."

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Rihanna's new album is titled Unapologetic and she's never once portrayed herself as a victim. Playing the part of such a tough girl somehow glosses over the seriousness of their history.

So far, neither artist has commented on the song. And it's not even clear whether they actually recorded it together. But if all of this was pushed upon Rihanna by some record exec, then the pop star is being victimized beyond the bruises and busted lip.

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