For more than a year, #Rihanna and her label #RocNation have been hunting for beats as they work to complete an album devoted to exploring the singer’s #Caribbean roots, according to conversations with eight sources close to the project. In addition, two of those sources suggest that the singer is simultaneously at work on another #pop-oriented album.
Rihanna first mentioned the possibility of releasing a #reggae-centric album publicly during a #Vogue profile for the June issue, but her and her potential collaborators have been quiet ever since. The magazine suggested that #SupaDups, the veteran #dancehall producer behind recent hits like #Drake’s “#Controlla,” was “one influence” on the album, though other details were scarce. (While Supa Dups did not respond to email requests for comment, two other sources with knowledge of Rihanna’s album confirmed the producer’s involvement.) Along with Supa Dups, most of the biggest producers and singers connected to dancehall and reggae have submitted material for the album, including producer-writer duo #RCity (Rihanna, #Beyoncé), Stephen “#DiGenius” McGregor (#VybzKartel, #SeanPaul), Linton “#TJRecords” White (#Serani, Vybz Kartel), producer-singer #RickyBlaze (#Gyptian), Tyshane “#Beam” Thompson (#YoGotti, #Lecrae), dancehall singer #Kranium and reggae singer #Chronixx. (The manager of Kranium and Chronixx declined to comment on his artists’ involvement.) According to one producer with knowledge of the album’s process, the mainstream Top 40 machine has been represented at some Rihanna sessions by superstar electronic producer #Skrillex and #Boi1da (Drake, Beyoncé and #JayZ). “[Rihanna’s team] have, no lie, 500 records for this project [from] different producers and writers,” says one dancehall producer
A dancehall- and reggae-inflected album is not entirely out of left field for Rihanna. She has explored these sounds on 2010’s “#ManDown”and 2011’s “You Da One,” while 2016’s Anti was boosted by the smash dancehall single “Work.” PARTYNEXTDOOR, a singer-songwriter of Jamaican descent who co-wrote “Work,” told Rolling Stone in 2016 that the song was not initially supposed to channel dancehall. #TheSavgeRoom #Savage