A controversy sparked last fall by a portion of the soundtrack for Rihanna’s live-streamed 2020 Savage X Fenty show, subtitled “Vol. 2,” has a new chapter. To recap, as The Root reported last October: “A segment of the hourlong production was set to a musical track that reportedly included an Islamic Hadith—otherwise known as a ‘record of the traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, revered and received as a major source of religious law and moral guidance, second only to the authority of the Quran, the holy book of Islam’ ...Vocal samples of the Hadith had been sped up and layered over a dance track for the song ‘Doom’ by London-based producer Coucou Chloe [a stage name for French music producer and DJ Erika Jane].”
Amid the immediate backlash from many in the Muslim community, Rihanna and her camp quickly apologized for the song’s use, with the entertainer-entrepreneur issuing a statement via social media which read:
I’d like to thank the Muslim community for pointing out a huge oversight that was unintentionally offensive in our Savage X Fenty show.
I would more importantly like to apologize to you for this honest, yet careless mistake. We understand that we have hurt many of our Muslim brothers and sisters, and I’m incredibly disheartened by this! I do not play with and kind of disrespect toward God or any religion, and therefore the use of the song in our project is completely irresponsible! Moving forward, we will make sure nothing like this ever happens again. Thank you for your forgiveness and understanding, Rih.
Now, nearly a year after the fact, the controversy has prompted a $10 million suit from an Islamic musician who is now choosing to remain anonymous, meaning they may or may not be Chloe/Jane. The litigant claims that despite granting permission for use of the edited version of “Doom,” the incorrect version of the song was played. According to the suit, the error resulted in death threats including decapitation and forced the artist into hiding, as reported by Black Enterprise:
The lawsuit states that the musician informed Fenty there were two versions of her song, titled “DOOM.” One of the versions contained holy Islamic chants known as Hadiths, and the other without it. She allegedly warned the company not to use the version with the sacred text.
Despite Rihanna’s apology to the masses, the unnamed artist claimed she was forced to go into hiding after she was subjected to a plethora of death threats over the song. She alleges that the constant threats have led her to suffer from depression and anxiety.
The artist reportedly continues to fear for her life and is suing Rihanna’s Fenty company for damages.
As of the time of this posting, neither Rihanna nor Fenty has issued further comment on the controversy or the lawsuit, but the incorrect version of “Doom” was reportedly removed from all subsequent versions of the Savage X Fenty broadcast.