Rihanna Says She’s ‘Refusing’ to Release Her New Album

It’s been nearly four years since Rihanna released her last album, 2016’s Anti, and fans are desperate for more. While she previously said the project would come out in 2019, that no longer seems so likely. In a recent social media post, the “Needed Me” singer said that she is “refusing” to release her highly-anticipated ninth studio album.

Rihanna at a fashion event in 2019
Rihanna at a fashion event in 2019 | Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage

Everything we know about Rihanna’s new album

Rihanna announced on Instagram in late 2018 that the project would come out in 2019. The album is heavily influenced by reggae — something Rihanna hasn’t really done since her earlier works.

“I like to look at it as a reggae-inspired or reggae-infused album,” she said in Vogue’s November 2019 issue. “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.”

“Though it’s too soon to name a full list of collaborators, one early influence may be Supa Dups, the Jamaican-born record producer who has worked with such dancehall greats as Beenie Man, Sean Paul, and Elephant Man,” writer Chioma Nnandi said in Rihanna’s cover story for Vogue’s June 2018 issue.

In January 2019, songwriter and producer The-Dream said the long-awaited project was nearly finished.

“She’s cooking. … She’s about done. Super close,” he told Hot 97, according to Billboard.

But Rihanna hasn’t said much since then. Instead, she’s been busy building her portfolio as a businesswoman. She’s mostly focused her attention on her cosmetics line, Fenty Beauty, and her fashion brand, Fenty.

Rihanna keeps trolling fans about the album

Rihanna consistently been trolling fans who have been pleading for her to release the follow-up to Anti. On one occasion, she unveiled a shirt that had “No More Music” written on the front. On another, she shared a meme that showed her dodging a crowd of people.

Most recently, Rihanna posted an Instagram video of a dog dancing alongside the caption, “update: me listening to R9 by myself and refusing to release it.” (Rihanna and her fans refer to the album as R9.)

Rihanna may have been joking, but she also told Interview magazine in June that she really is taking her time with the album and is in no rush to release it.

“I used to be in the studio, only the studio, for three months straight, and an album would come out,” Rihanna shared. “Now, it’s like a carousel. I do fashion one day, lingerie the next, beauty the next, then music the next. It’s like having a bunch of kids and you need to take care of them all.”

“It really does suck that it can’t just come out because I’m working on a really fun one right now,” she continued. “I’m really happy with a lot of the material we have so far, but I am not going to put it out until it’s complete.”

Well, in case it wasn’t already clear, we’re ready when you are, Rih.