“I like to look at it as a reggae-inspired or reggae-infused album,” Rihanna told the publication over a year after she previously announced the highly anticipated studio set — her first since 2016’s Anti — would incorporate the Jamaican genre.
“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.”
The singer and Fenty Beauty makeup mogul added that reggae music has been a long-standing favorite of hers, partly due to her Caribbean roots.
“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,” she said.
“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 honed in on completely for a body of work.”
Still, she remained tight-lipped on a release date for the project (her ninth LP overall, which fans have affectionately dubbed R9), but she did confirm she’s already in the “discovery stage” for her 10th album.
She also added that she “absolutely” turned down an offer to headline a recent Super Bowl halftime show in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
“I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people,” she said. “I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”
Rihanna also addressed mass shootings, responding further to comments she had made after the shooting in El Paso in which she called out President Donald Trump for calling it “an act of cowardice” instead of a terrorist attack.
“People are being murdered by war weapons that they legally purchase. This is just not normal,” she said.
“That should never, ever be normal. And the fact that it’s classified as something different because of the color of their skin? It’s a slap in the face. It’s completely racist. Put an Arab man with that same weapon in that same Walmart and there is no way that Trump would sit there and address it publicly as a mental health problem. The most mentally ill human being in America right now seems to be the president.”
Check out the full interview at Vogue.com.