Because pop fans are insatiable, people have been "where's the album"-ing Rihanna more or less since the moment she dropped ANTI back in 2016. I'd ordinarily tsk such needy behavior, but in this case the thirsty fans are right—summer truly doesn't feel quite right without at least one humid jam to blast from your rooftop for a few minutes. But if a new report from Rolling Stone is to be believed, we may not be too far away from a true treat for the year's hottest months: her rumored dancehall record that was first mentioned back in a Vogue profile in May.
Rolling Stone cites eight sources close to Rihanna and Roc Nation that say she's been looking for beats from Jamaica's finest producers for over a year. Some of the names floating around the project include Supa Dups—a longtime dancehall producer who most recently made mainstream waves with the beat for "Controlla"— along with R. City, Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor and Linton “TJ Records” White (both of whom have worked on big records by Vybz Kartel), the producer and singer Ricky Blaze, Tyshane “Beam” Thompson, and local hero vocalists Kranium and Chronixx. Skrillex and Boi-1da have also apparently been around, for whatever that's worth.
Between that massive crew of songwriting magnates and production whizzes, they've apparently turned out 500 sketches of songs that Rihanna and co. intend on narrowing down to 10 for the final record. “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,” one source told Rolling Stone. “I think they’ve got eight songs, but her A&R is still asking for records.”
So it seems still in the works, but it sounds significantly further along than the last time we heard about it, which is reason for celebration. And hey, if we don't get it before fall, that just menas another few months of listening to "Work" remixes, which should be fine. There's plenty of those to go around.
Read the full feature over at Rolling Stone.