Hear the two new Rihanna and Chris Brown collaborations

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More or less since that night three years ago when Chris Brown assaulted Rihanna on the way to the Grammy Awards, the rumor that the two had reconciled, or even got back together, was persistent. I mean, if you're going to base your tabloid and internet gossip on incredibly sketchy sources or make them up out of whole cloth, that would obviously be the most shocking choice. (And would probably make the Chris Brown fans melt. Or get rage? I'm not sure how to predict their actions — they're a volatile and contrary species.)

Well, if anything would fan the flames of such speculation (besides paparazzi shots of the two making out), it's this: two remixes have been released this week, one of Rihanna's "Birthday Cake" featuring Brown and one of Brown's "Turn Up The Music" featuring Rihanna. So, yeah… that happened. I mean, RIhanna's life is hers and if this is what she wants to do, then that's her choice. But still: him?

"Birthday Cake":

"Turn Up The Music":

Of course, maybe she's simply thinking about her career, and knows that people will speculate wildly about these songs for at least a week. If so, it's a clever move — because neither of these are particularly great. You need to get people to listen to them somehow, right?