Rihanna gave more hints about her new music in an interview for Vogue‘s November cover story. The singer and designer also spoke candidly about turning down the Super Bowl halftime show, as well as Donald Trump.
In the midst of her busy New York Fashion Week where she hosted the star-studded Savage x Fenty show and her annual Diamond Ball charity gala, Rihanna sat down with Vogue to offer a few more hints about her long-awaited ninth album.
“I like to look at it as a reggae-inspired or reggae-infused album,” she said. Rihanna first revealed that her album would have reggae influence in her last Vogue cover story, in June 2018. Eight sources close to the project offered more details to Rolling Stone soon after, revealing that more than “500 records” had been submitted to the singer and her label for consideration.
“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,” she continued.
The politically outspoken star also confirmed that she turned down an invite to headline the Super Bowl halftime show in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. The football player made waves when he began to kneel during the National Anthem before games as a protest in response to a wave of racially charged police brutality incidents.
“I couldn’t dare do that,” she explained. “For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. 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.”
Recently, Rihanna’s mentor Jay-Z and label Roc Nation partnered with the NFL to help plan the halftime shows and address issues around “social change.”
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.”
The Barbados native further addressed immigration issues in the United States. When asked if she had anything she would say to young immigrants, she responded, “What do you say? What can you say? It’s gonna get better? I almost feel sick to my stomach. I don’t even believe this is happening in real life. In front of my eyes. In front of the world. It’s not even hidden. This is blatant.”