Though Anti dropped in 2016, it feels like it's been ages since we got a new Rihanna album. To numb the pain, I still routinely spin Rihanna's cover of Tame Impala's somber classic "New Person, Same Old Mistakes." However, thanks to a fresh investigative piece from Rolling Stone, we finally have some fairly detailed intel on what exactly RiRi is cooking up for her next release.
Roc Nation and Rihanna's team have reportedly been mulling "500 records" for a new full-on dancehall album. Citing multiple anonymous producers and other sources close to the writing sessions, the report claims that a assembly of dancehall and reggae talent has been submitting potential tracks over the past year and a half.
Supa Dups (Drake, Nicki Minaj), R. City (Beyoncé, Simple Plan), Tyshane "Beam" Thompson (Yo Gotti), Skrillex, Boi-1da, and Kranium are among the producers and artists who are said to have been involved with the writing sessions for the possible 10-track album. "If the Rihanna album sells great numbers, faith will be restored in the [dancehall] genre as something to be invested in," one source, an unnamed producer, said.
Another source spoke of attending secret "writing camps" in Miami and Los Angeles. "[Rihanna's team] have, no lie, 500 records for this project [from] different producers and writers," the source claimed. "They're only choosing 10 records." Additionally, separate sources have suggested to Stone that Rihanna is also prepping a more traditional pop album.
A full-on dancehall album from an artist of Rihanna's stature, of course, has the potential to push the mainstream even further toward embracing the genre as an influence. While one source expressed hesitance at this notion, "most" of the producers and singers who provided anonymous insider info about the sessions agree that Jamaican creatives stand to benefit greatly from such a project.
No timeline has been given as far as when to expect new music from Rihanna, be it dancehall or pop. If recent top-tier releases are any indication, there will likely be little to no advance warning and we'll all just wake up one morning to one of the finest gifts the universe could provide: 10 new Rihanna songs.