Rihanna Doesn’t Owe Us Anything — We’re Lucky To Even Be Trolled By Her!

    “She’s also the type of person who’s courageous enough to be like, ‘No, I’m on my own time. I’m really working on something special for you guys.’”

    On today's episode of BuzzFeed Daily, we broke down the top pop culture headlines AND discussed Rihanna's next album. You can listen below or scroll down to read more about the interview!

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    So let's dive right into it! Recently we talked to Buzzfeed’s Natalie Oganesyan about Rihanna’s upcoming album and what artists and fans owe to each other. Here's some of what we learned:

    BuzzFeed Daily: It's been over five years since Rihanna's last album came out. Everyone is waiting for her new music. People make jokes about it all the freaking time. You actually wrote a piece for BuzzFeed back in September, right after she teased the upcoming album. So as our most preeminent Rihanna scholar, what should we be expecting from R9?

    Rihanna says her next album is "going to be completely different." Promoting her latest Savage X Fenty Show, the pop star says she's been "having fun" recording new music.

    Twitter: @APEntertainment

    Natalie Oganesyan: So she spoke to AP Entertainment a little bit ago, which I wrote an article about, teasing kind of a fun sound and experimental sound. That's something we've known for a while now. For Anti, which dropped nearly six years ago, it was very eclectic, genre-wise. There was pop, of course, but R&B, alternative, dancehall. So that's something I wanted to focus on. We knew before through interviews with Vogue and a Rolling Stone anonymous piece that she will be doing more of a reggae-infused album. So that's something we can expect. She cited Bob Marley as one of her top artists of all time, so that's a sound that we can really see her drawing from. She told Vogue back in November of 2019, "I like to look at it as a reggae-inspired or reggae-infused album." She said that's something that feels right for her. But at the same time, she will maybe possibly also be working on a pop-oriented album, so we might get a bit of a dual situation here.

    BuzzFeed Daily: I'm glad you brought that up, because there's speculation that the reason we're waiting so long is because Rihanna is planning on dropping two albums — one pop and one reggae. What do you think? Wild conspiracy theory? Or, potentially, we're getting two freaking albums?

    BuzzFeed Daily: In anticipation of this album, it feels like there are two separate aspects to what's been happening. There's the album and its release date, which we've talked about. And then there's the fan discourse, which has taken on a life of its own. Rihanna's fans, aka Navy, have been extremely vocal about wanting this album released, which raises the question: Do fans have the right to demand art from artists? What do you think about that?

    can someone tell rihanna that she need to release new music

    Twitter: @ckdollabillie

    NO: That's a really big question. I think it goes to show where we're at in the music world. There's so many artists that are kind of notorious for pushing back albums and release dates. One person I can think of is Kanye, and that's happening a lot more and more. Obviously the pandemic has influenced release dates and touring dates, of course. But there's also, on the flip side of that, musicians like Drake and Beyoncé, who have dropped surprise albums. I wouldn't rule it out from Rihanna of doing that. I'm just dropping it and being like, "Here you go. You've been asking for it. Here it is."

    But at the same time, going back to whether fans have that right to demand or kind of be like, "Oh, well, you said a year ago, or you said two years ago, you've been teasing it for so long" — I am of the opinion that they do not. I think right now in the streaming world, it just is a lot easier for fans to be like, "Well, we want content, we want this album. It's been so long." But also, music is an art form that I don't believe can be rushed. And if you really want a good, solid album from your fave, you have to let them go through that creative process. You have to let them redo things, narrow down records and tracks, and collab with whoever they feel like is going to produce the best work with them. So they're not commodities that can churn out products on demand. Some artists love to do that, and music helps them process things, and it's a therapy for them. But some don't want to do that, and some really want to hone their craft. And I don't think there's a right or wrong way, obviously, to go about it, but fans need to chill a little bit.

    BuzzFeed Daily: So say we have an artist who hasn't really been talking about anything and fans are begging for music and demanding it. Is there a difference between that and someone like Rihanna, who has multiple times spoken about how it's coming? And do you think she has to live up to that promise? Because from 2018 to now she's been teasing this album.

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    As always, thanks for listening! And if you ever want to suggest stories or just want to say hi, you can reach us at daily@buzzfeed.com.