“Slack” is a word one would be hard-pressed to describe Robyn Rihanna Fenty. A prolific artist using a fresh blend of American Pop and West Indian musical traditions, Ri-Ri, has had the game on lock since her teens with eight chart-topping studio releases. But that would not be all we would get from Rihanna; an actress with prominent roles in 2012’s Battleship and Ocean’s Eight, a fashion icon with her own unique brand – Fenty. Take all of that and include her extensive philanthropic work, efforts that have garnered her awards such as Harvard University’s Humanitarian of the Year in 2017 and an NAACP Image award last year.
New @Rihanna @RIAA Certifications in the US:— Roc Nation (@RocNation) February 13, 2021
💿 “Work” 8x Platinum
💿 “Needed Me” 7x Platinum
💿 “Love On The Brain” 4x Platinum
💿 “Kiss It Better” 2x Platinum
Listen to #ANTI: https://t.co/ryGSWR32Fw pic.twitter.com/Kh7e8w1IH5
So what’s the hubbub with all of her stans clamoring for more from the Barbados-hailing icon?
if rihanna was like “i finished a new album and i won’t release it until britney is free” she would be out of the conservatorship in a matter of hours— Mira Gonzalez (@miragonz) February 9, 2021
Anti, Rihanna’s eighth album, and largely her most beloved and critically-acclaimed came out 5 years ago – in 2016. Anti, was a manifesto of sorts. It represented Rihanna shirking off the all too common pressures to, in her words, “sound like everybody else.” Anti was a massive collaborative effort that saw her join forces with hit-making titans like Timbaland and James Fauntleroy in a body of work that saw Ri-Ri eschewing the Pop and Trap commerciality in favor of dancehall, experimental R&B and Soul as well as some heartfelt and deeply vulnerable ballads.
In short: the fans tryna eat!
Me at Rihanna’s house looking for the USB with her new album— rihannas boyfriend (@Guyntoti_) February 8, 2021
Rihanna has been asked, interrogated, and outright badgered by the press on a date for what would be a ninth album. Her response has been largely the same: some form of elusiveness or dismissal. But now, a hint that those musical demands may become a tangible reality has risen to the surface.
In a recent Instagram story, Bad Girl RiRi dropped a clue that something is in the works, (albeit, largely slower than normal in a persistent COVID-19 world). Ms. Fenty is strutting in a bathing suit, pool side with a picturesque backdrop while dancing-walking to Diplo’s Looking For Me. She captioned the quick video with “Nobody: … R9:” Which can earnestly be interpreted as her – with stunning views surrounding her well known photogenic profile – putting in “Work, Work, Work, Work, Work” on her long-awaited ninth studio album.
Fans speculate that Ri’s schedule might be more open since her Fenty fashion brand partnership with LVHM is being suspended. Expectations are for the upcoming album to continue to feature her native Caribbean influence with heavy doses of Reggae and Dancehall.