Highlights From Rihanna’s NY Times’ T Magazine Interview

A rare and ‘candid’ interview with Rihanna.

Riri gave a rare interview to the NYTimes where she opens up about how race plays into business, reflecting on her upbringing and why she’s not dating right now.

What makes a good Instagram photo:
“There’s no rule about whether you have to be clothed or not. I want to see a naked woman who isn’t even aware of her nakedness… And men are gonna do what they do — and I am gonna do what I do.”

Being a ‘next-moment’ person:
“I’m the same way. Only now are things hitting me, like I’m feeling them emotionally. I used to feel unsafe right in the moment of an accomplishment — I felt the ground fall from under my feet because this could be the end. And even now, while everyone is celebrating, I’m on to the next thing. I don’t want to get lost in this big cushion of success.”

“Guys need attention. They need that nourishment, that little stroke of the ego that gets them by every now and then. I’ll give it to my family, I’ll give it to my work — but I will not give it to a man right now.”

What turns her on:
“I’m turned on by guys who are cultured. That’ll keep me intrigued. They don’t have to have a single degree, but they should speak other languages or know things about other parts of the world or history or certain artists or musicians. I like to be taught.”

When she first learned of sex:
“Well, there’s always this human instinct about that, even from a very, very young age, but by like age 11, girls were talking about what they had and hadn’t done. I hadn’t even kissed a boy yet, so it always made me feel insecure, like I was never gonna be good or ready or know what to do — I didn’t even have boobs.”

The beginning of her stardom:
“That’s something I don’t think I could ever do. Send my only girl to another random country to live with people she’d just met. It had to be God that paralyzed Monica Fenty’s emotions so that she’d say, ‘Yes, go.’ To this day, I don’t know how that happened. But thank God it did.”

What impresses her mom:
“She’s always impressed when she sees me being a little sassy or sharp, when she sees me defending myself. It makes her feel safe, like she doesn’t have to worry about me.”

Her race in relationship to business:
“You know, when I started to experience the difference — or even have my race be highlighted — it was mostly when I would do business deals, and, you know, that never ends, by the way. It’s still a thing. And it’s the thing that makes me want to prove people wrong. It almost excites me; I know what they’re expecting and I can’t wait to show them that I’m here to exceed those expectations, but I have to bear in mind that those people are judging you because you’re packaged a certain way — they’ve been programmed to think a black man in a hoodie means grab your purse a little tighter. For me, it comes down to smaller issues, scenarios in which people can assume something of me without knowing me, just by my packaging.”

If she’d go to West Africa:
“You know what? If I ever go to West Africa, it would probably be for a free concert. I would want to do something for the people there. Maybe we can make a whole event, the way Bob Marley would have done it. Just for the people. And if they climb over the gate, let them climb over the gate.”

Thoughts? Let us know in Exhale!