Rihanna Takes Over Vogue April Issue And Website
The cover interview dives into how her career has been killing her love life and addresses rumors of a rivalry with Beyoncé as well as plenty of talk about her fashion aesthetic and role as a new designer.
Hit the flip for some excerpts and more photos from the issue.
VOGUE/Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott
On Her Relationship Status:
“My schedule is so crazy right now.” It’s why, she says, she’s single: “It’s definitely going to be a challenge when I do decide to pursue a relationship . . . but I have hope!”
Exercise is also hard to find time for. “I don’t work out as much as I’d like to,” she says, “but my trainer Jamie is a beast and she makes me pay for it.”
On Embracing A New Sound For ‘Anti’ Album
Had Rihanna gotten bored with the pop formula? “Very much,” the singer says. “I just gravitated toward the songs that were honest to where I’m at right now.”
From the first song, “Consideration,” a trip-hop collaboration with SZA, the message is clear. The chorus has Rihanna singing, “I got to do things my own way, darling.” It’s “like a PSA,” she tells me.
She recognizes the risks: “It might not be some automatic record that will be Top 40. But I felt like I earned the right to do that now.”
On Musical Inspiration And Drake
Another song, “Higher,” reveals a woman who’s been burned by love. Rihanna compares it to “a drunk voice mail.” She explains, “You know he’s wrong, and then you get drunk and you’re like, ‘I could forgive him. I could call him. I could make up with him.’ Just, desperate.”
“We just said, ‘You know what? Let’s just drink some whiskey and record this song.’ ”
Then there’s “Work,” on which she repeats the word work until it is no longer recognizable, a flourish one critic called “post-language.” While it evokes a technofuture, it’s actually a nod to her home culture in Barbados.
“You get what I’m saying, but it’s not all the way perfect,” she says. “Because that’s how we speak in the Caribbean.”
In the accompanying video she made with Drake—“Everything he does is so amazing”—Rihanna grinds and jerks in a knitted Rasta-colored Tommy Hilfiger dress at a raucous dance-hall party, the kind “we would go to in the Caribbean and just dance and drink and smoke and flirt,” with her real-life best friends, Melissa Forde and Jennifer Rosales.
Hmmmm everything he does is so amazing huh? Do you think this confirms the reunion rumors for them?
On The Beyonce Rivalry Rumors:
With the sudden release of “Formation” during Anti’s week of ascendance up the charts, it’s no wonder the Internet is pitting Beyoncé and Rihanna against each other.
But that’s not how Rihanna thinks. “Here’s the deal,” she says. “They just get so excited to feast on something that’s negative. Something that’s competitive. Something that’s, you know, a rivalry. And that’s just not what I wake up to. Because I can only do me. And nobody else is going to be able to do that.”
Hit the flip for her take on going braless to the CFDA’s in 2014
On Going Braless And Loving Bedazzled Thongs:
Just consider the dress she wore to accept the Fashion Icon Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2014, a sheer, Swarovski-encrusted fishnet number by Adam Selman that left little to the imagination.
“I just liked it better without the lines underneath. Could you imagine the CFDA dress with a bra? I would slice my throat. I already wanted to, for wearing a thong that wasn’t bedazzled. That’s the only regret I have in my life.” Wearing a thong that wasn’t bedazzled is your greatest regret in life? “To the CFDA Awards. Yes.”
On Becoming The First Black Face Of Dior:
Last year, Rihanna also became the first black face of Dior, a distinction that was initially lost on her, so caught up was she with “the Dior aspect.” “I was already proud to be a Dior woman, but to be a black Dior woman and the first: It did something else for me.”
That’s dope. Glad she’s been able to break so many barriers. Hopefully in the future Dior and other huge fashion houses won’t require their black spokespeople be international pop stars riiiiight.
On Breaking Gender Norms:
“I always wanted to do what my brothers were doing,” she says. “I always wanted to play the games they played and play rough and wear pants and go outside.” She still wants to. “Women feel empowered when they can do the things that are supposed to be only for men, you know?” she says. “It breaks boundaries, it’s liberating, and it’s empowering when you feel like, Well, I can do that, too.”
VOGUE/Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott