Rihanna has been dropping a million different silent hints when it comes to her forthcoming album. Busy promoting films, a cosmetic company, successfully high fashion brand, and lingerie the mogul has been very busy while holding the title of the richest Female Entertainer in the world. It’s been just under four years since the Bad Gal has released a studio album, ANTI, and the Navy has been somewhat patient now that details have been trickling in about the project.
In her 2018 cover story with Vogue, Rihanna first confirmed that a new album is underway, although very tight lipped about the details at the moment. Now almost a year since the announcement, Ri has been a little bit more vocal about the emerging album.
Here’s everything we know about the budding masterpiece thus far.
Ri has been referencing the title as ‘R9’
It’s definitely true that Ri here’s the cry of the Navy. In a previous interview last year with New York Times Fashion mag, T Magazine, Rihanna laughed with the reporter about the name of the Album being ‘R9,’ a title decided by her fans via Social Media while turning the pressure up about the album and its release. The title comes from the first initial of Rihanna and the next album being her ninth project. “I’m about to call it that probably, ’cause they have haunted me with this, ‘R9, R9, when is R9 coming out?’” she stated. “How will I accept another name after that’s been burned into my skull?” Although very catchy, the title has not been officially confirmed.
The album is drawing inspiration from reggae
The most talked about topic behind the ‘R9’ release is the inspiration of where the tunes are coming from. Also in her Vogue 2018 cover story, Ri talked about the possibility of the album being Reggae focused. Stating that the album would be influenced by the genre’s most referenced legend Bob Marley and it would be spearheaded by Reggae super-producer Supa Dups, known for his work with Beenie Man and Sean Paul.
In her recent 2019 story, she said that the project is still heading in the same direction, but will shock fans as it may not be exactly what they’d typically expect. “I like to look at it as a reggae-inspired or reggae-infused album,” she said. “It’s not gonna be typical of what you know as reggae. But you’re going to feel the elements in all of the tracks. Reggae always feels right to me. It’s in my blood. It doesn’t matter how far or long removed I am from that culture, or my environment that I grew up in; it never leaves. It’s always the same high. Even though I’ve explored other genres of music, it was time to go back to something that I haven’t really homed in on completely for a body of work.”
Rumored recent collaborators include Lil Nas X and The-Dream
With Ri on a track, it’s always golden, but with her long standing relationship with some of the greatest musicians of our time her list of potential collaborators is deep. In her interview with Abby Aguirre, she hinted at a potential Rih-Lil Nas X collaboration which she “Can’t disclose details but says it “may not even be with music.” One of her favorite producers, The Dream, collaborates heavily with her. She took to InstaGram while in New York somewhat criticizing him before she caught herself saying, “Dream, whenever you’re done designing clothes and shit we need to get back in the studio” where she caught herself and realized she’s doing the same thing. The mega-producer spoke briefly with Hollywood Life on the album and confirmed that he is “definitely” working with Ri on the album.
Rihanna might be already be working on her 10th album at the same time
Abby Aguuire also stated that Ri has already began the “discovery stage” for her 10th album. “We always went into the music this time around saying that we were going to do two different pieces of art,” Rihanna explained. “One was gonna be inspired by the music that I grew up listening to. And one was gonna be the evolution of where I’m going next with music.”
Back in July of last year, sources close to the mogul stated that she was working on dual projects at once, composed of a dancehall album and a pop album. Producers like Boi-1da and Skrillex had been involved in sessions with her for the pop album. The line-up for the “reggae-infused” project included the likes of Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, R. City, Linton “TJ Records” White, Kranium, and a list of others submitting work for collaborations on the project.
It’s expected to drop before the end of the year
Last December, Rihanna took to Social Media platform, Instagram, that the album will be released in 2019. In the comments of the post, a Navy fan asked Ri “But when is the album dropping Robyn? Can we have a release date for that?” in which Ri responded, “2019.” The act was later confirmed at Universal Music Groups annual “Open Session,” which is a sort of press conference of what’s to come for the artist where reports overheard and confirmed that we can expect the new tunes from Ri final quarter of 2019.