Why Slash From Guns N’ Roses Refused to Appear in a Rihanna Video

It might sound odd, but Rihanna once collaborated with Slash from Guns N’ Roses. Rihanna made a video for the song that didn’t feature Slash at all. Here’s why Slash wasn’t in the video — and what he thought of it.

Rihanna wearing an earing
Rihanna | ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Rihanna’s music has evolved throughout her

Rihanna got her start making bubblegum music before transitioning to a more mature sound with Good Girl Gone Bad. Her next album, Rated R, saw her experiment beyond the pop and R&B music that made her famous. The album includes dubstep, Latin pop, and even some rock music. Rihanna brags about being a rock star even though she’s a pop star on a track called “Rockstar 101.”

The song features none other than Slash of Guns N’ Roses. He’s credited as a featured artist even though he plays on the track rather than sings — an unusual feat. However, Slash is nowhere to be seen in the video for “Rockstar 101.” In an MTV News interview, Slash explained why.

Rihanna wearing a diamond earring
Rihanna | ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

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The rock star who isn’t in Rihanna’s ‘Rockstar 101’ video and the rock star who is

“I was supposed to actually be in that video,” he said. “I played on the song, and they called me up to ask me to play in the video, but my record was just coming out, and I was sort of worn thin. She was really sweet. She sent me this pleading text to come do the video, but I couldn’t make it work. I told her that me not being in the video wasn’t going to make or break it.”

Though no members of Guns N’ Roses appear in the video, a member of another famous rock band does. Billboard reports Travis Barker of blink-182 plays the drums in the footage for “Rockstar 101.” In addition, part of the footage shows Rihanna dressed as Slash in a wig, top hat, and sunglasses. Her clothes show Slash had a significant impact on a video in which he did not appear. What did Slash think of Rihanna’s choice of wardrobe?

Myles Kennedy singing into a microphone next to Slash with a guitar
Myles Kennedy and Slash | Theo Wargo/Getty Images for SiriusXM

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“The video is way better with her being me than with me being me,” he opined. “All things considered, it brings an element of sexuality to it that I probably wouldn’t have been capable of. I think it’s hot, and I sent her a text this morning telling her it was definitely hotter with her doing it than with me doing it. Everything works out the way it’s supposed to.”

How the world reacted to ‘Rockstar 101’

Slash enjoyed the video for “Rockstar 101,” but the song didn’t seem to resonate much with audiences. The track only reached No. 64 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Considering how Rihanna’s given the world several No. 1 singles, the track isn’t one of her biggest hits. However, because “Rockstar 101” is a collaboration between two musical legends, it’ll always have a place in the music history books.