In the May 2020 issue of British Vogue, Rihanna revealed that she's "very aggressively working on music" for what would be her ninth studio album. Still, she remains noncommittal on providing an exact date, saying, "I can't say when I'm going to drop." Her last full-length project Anti was released in January 2016.
When asked to expand on what we can expect to hear on the project commonly referred to as R9, Rihanna said she doesn't feel the need to commit herself to anything in particular. "I don't want my albums to feel like themes," she said. "There are no rules. There's no format. There's just good music, and if I feel it, I'm putting it out." That doesn't mean that she's abandoning the idea of a "reggae-inspired or reggae-infused album" that she spoke about last year, adding, "Oh no, that is happening."
"I feel like I have no boundaries," Rihanna continued. "I've done everything – I've done all the hits, I've tried every genre – now I'm just, I'm wide open. I can make anything that I want."
Rihanna further proved that she can do anything she wants by becoming the first person to ever grace the cover of British Vogue with a durag on. British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful commented on Instagram on her groundbreaking moment, one that he admittedly never could've imagined happening.
"Although this potent symbol of black life – of self-preservation, resistance and authenticity – has an important place in popular culture, it is rarely viewed through the prism of high fashion," Enninful wrote. "Yet, here we have the most fabulous, aspirational and beautiful durag, worn by a woman who is breaking every boundary she comes up against. How exciting."
Rihanna also said she wants to "live differently," especially when it comes to having children. "I'll have kids – three or four of 'em," she said, even if it means raising them on her own.
"I feel like society makes me want to feel like, 'Oh, you got it wrong…' They diminish you as a mother if there's not a dad in your kids' lives," Rihanna said. "But the only thing that matters is happiness, that's the only healthy relationship between a parent and a child. That’s the only thing that can raise a child truly, is love."