Rihanna has made it official, R9 will be a Reggae album but there’s no assurance of when the highly anticipated album is going to be dropped.
She recently revealed just a hint of what can be expected on the album to British Vogue, where she also becomes the first female in history to make the cover of the magazine wearing a durag.
She tells Vogue that: “I can’t say when I’m going to drop,” and added: “But I am very aggressively working on music.”
The album was expected sometime in 2019 but was never released. She also refuses to have her music feel too familiar and said she’s basically open to anything.
“I don’t want my albums to feel like themes. There are no rules. There’s no format. There’s just good music, and if I feel it, I’m putting it out.”
When she was asked if the album wasn’t reggae, she responded: “Oh no, that is happening.”
“I feel like I have no boundaries. I’ve done everything – I’ve done all the hits, I’ve tried every genre – now I’m just, I’m wide open. I can make anything that I want,” she continued.
In 2019 she also told Vogue: “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.”
R9 will be Rihanna’s first album since, Anti, which she released in January 2016. A slew of Dancehall and Reggae artistes are expected to be featured on R9 as well. Rumors floating around the industry indicate that Buju Banton may be one of those artistes.
There’s sure to be other veteran Dancehall artistes in the mix. Last year a miscommunication between Rihanna’s team and Shaggy led to a social media buzz.
Shaggy was quoted as saying :“They approached me for the Rihanna project yes. There’s a lot of great people involved but for me, I didn’t need to audition to be on the record, I’ll leave that to younger guys. But from what I hear it should be good.”
Rihanna’s team denied the claims and called into a popular morning radio show and disclosed: ““We are working on an album, not a talent show, so why would she (Rihanna) require Shaggy or any other artist to audition?”
They added: “after Rihanna had already gathered all the material for the album, Shaggy contacted her asking to be a part of the album. She explained to him that the album was pretty much completed and they were just working on mixing, mastering and deciding which songs to actually use. However, she invited him to submit some materials so she could see if it fits with the flow of the album. That was by no means asking for an audition, it was more going out of her way to get him on the album.”
Whatever the end product it’s clear that fans can’t wait to see what the multi-platinum recording artiste and now fashion queen has up her sleeve.