Rihanna in Manhattan in July 2021.
James Devaney/GC Images


Rihanna Teases ‘Experimental’ New Album

“Whatever you know of Rihanna is not going to be what you hear.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Rihanna is the premiere multi-hyphenate of our time. She’s created what is the only necessary celebrity makeup and beauty line, a lingerie collection that routinely includes the most avant-garde runway shows, calls one of the prettiest men alive her boyfriend, and as if that wasn’t enough, still manages to be one of the best pop stars out there. Her legions of fans, often referred to as the Navy, have learned to respect that time moves differently when you’re Rihanna. It doesn’t matter that it’s been over five painful years since the release of her opus Anti. You will get new Rihanna music when it is given to you! And that’s final!

Rihanna’s glacial pace when it comes to releasing new music has become its own meme. Which will come first, Fenty Healthcare, or a new album? Although Rihanna has famously opted for a troll-forward initiative when it comes to inquisitive fans online, the singer finally handed over a morsel of new information regarding her highly-anticipated new album while promoting the her latest Savage X Fenty show. (This bad gal stays working!)

“You’re not gonna expect what you hear. Just put that in your mind,” she told AP. “Whatever you know of Rihanna is not going to be what you hear. I’m really experimenting. And music is like fashion, you should be able to play. I should be able to wear whatever I want, and I treat music the same way. So I’m having fun and it’s gonna be completely different. That’s it.”

It’s not the first time Rihanna has brought up her desire to get more experimental with her new era of music. During her Fall 2020 Savage X Fenty show, she said: "I just want to have fun with music. Everything is so heavy. The world we live is a lot, it’s overwhelming every single day. And with music, I’m using that as my outlet. I just want to have fun with that. Now it’s more, 'What do I feel personally, what do I want to put out, and as an artist, how do I want to play with my art? How do I want to interpret that, how do I want to reimagine it?'"

Longtime Rihanna scholars know that R9 was initially promised to have a reggae influences, but at this point, we really have no idea what Rihanna is cooking up in the Fenty lab, only that whenever it does come out, it’s going to be fun as hell.

Watch the clip below.