The “Rude Boy” singer became the first person in the history of the publication to sport a durag on the cover. Rihanna’s longtime hairstylists, Yusef Williams, and Naphia White helped bring the iconic look together by styling her hair in dramatic Black hairstyles for the cover feature.
As far as the wide-ranging interview, everything was covered, including the “Fenty effect,” her highly-anticipated album, her love life, racism, and more.
On when fans can expect R9:
“I can’t say when I’m going to drop. But I am very aggressively working on music.”
On what the album will sound like:
“I don’t want my albums to feel like themes. There are no rules. There’s no format. There’s just good music, and if I feel it, I’m putting it out. I feel like I have no boundaries. 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.”
On her breakup with Saudi Billionaire, Hassan Jameel:
“Since I turned 32, I’m realizing life is really short. You don’t have a lot of time to tolerate shit, you know? You put so much on your plate. When you’re overwhelmed, you need to start cutting things out. And I’m overwhelmed too much. What’s happening now is that I’m going back to black and white. My grey area is shutting down.”
On the “Fenty Effect”:
“I’m shocked by people saying, ‘Oh my god, what made you think of making make-up for black girls? I’m like, ‘What? You thought this was like, a marketing strategy? Like I’m a genius?’ It’s shocking most of the time […] Then it turns into disappointment that this is groundbreaking right now. In my mind, this was just normal.”
“I think police brutality is probably extremely severe in America, but racism is alive everywhere. Everywhere. It’s the same [in the UK]. It’s either blatant, which is becoming more and more of a norm, or it’s underlying, where people don’t even know they’re being obvious about it. You know, it’s just a subconscious layer that’s embedded from their entire core.”
You can head here to read the full story, the magazine hits newsstands and will be available for free digital download April 3.
Photo: Paras Griffin / Getty