500 records submitted.
Rihanna’s next record will be reggae-inspired.
UPDATE // JULY 19:
Rihanna is still very much on board with creating a dancehall album. Rolling Stone published a huge report today detailing the makings of R9.
According to Jamaican producers and songwriters they spoke with, “500 records” have been submitted for the new album. Of that, Rih will choose the best 10 for the album.
“[Rihanna’s team] have, no lie, 500 records for this project [from] different producers and writers,” says one dancehall producer. “They’re only choosing 10 records. They’ve been having writing camps and trying to keep them quiet for almost a year and a half now. I’ve been flying to Miami, flying to L.A., cutting records nonstop for this project.”
It’s worth mentioning Rih incorporated this sound in song’s like 2010’s “Man Down,” 2011’s “You Da One” and 2016’s “Work.”
“Every artist, every producer, every songwriter in Jamaica or of Jamaican descent has been working on [Rihanna’s album] and has little snippets of publishing or production credits on it,” another source close to the project says. “I think they’ve got eight songs,” he continues, “but her A&R is still asking for records.” “They’re looking for one more [song],” adds a third source with knowledge of the album-making process.
A separate producer who submitted material for the album low-key confirmed the rumor that she’s creating two separate albums: a dancehall album and a pop one.
“Their whole thing was, ‘Yo, we’re gonna make this [album] real dancehall, [real] Caribbean,’” says the producer. “Rihanna is Bajan, so let’s make this a full project like that. To me, it hasn’t been going that way. They’re kind of mixing it up, putting in the pop. If the reggae artists and producers won’t get the chance on the pop album, at least let us survive on the dancehall album. They’re changing up the direction continuously.“
Interestingly, labels are already gearing up for a dancehall craze because of Rih. One of the producers said the record companies are “asking if I had any songs that [Rihanna] didn’t take.” “People are already gearing up to go in that direction [towards dancehall] because somebody as big as her is doing that,” he said. “If an artist like Rihanna comes out and does [an album influenced by Jamaican pop], that’s definitely going to shift the needle.”
EARLIER // MAY 3:
There’s been a lot of chatter surrounding Riri’s ANTi followup. Word on the street says she’s planning to release two albums – one that’s radio friendly and taps into her Talk That Talk era, and the other more experimental. Perhaps the latter will incorporate a reggae sound. Say what?
Ri is Vogue’s latest cover girl. In their interview together, the magazine says she “plans to make a reggae album.” They touch on her love of Bob Marley and being influenced by Supa Dups, the Jamaican-born record producer who has worked with such dancehall greats as Beenie Man, Sean Paul, and Elephant Man. I didn’t see this coming, either.
You can read her entire interview here.
I’ll admit… I’m a little hesitant about this revelation, but Rihanna has yet to disappoint me so I’ll trust her judgement. As long as we get that pop-influenced album, too, reggae away.