Rihanna is a person who stands by her convictions.
The “We Found Love” singer is on the November cover of Vogue, and in the issue she opens up about everything from her upcoming album to Donald Trump.
She also addresses the longstanding rumour that she turned down the Super Bowl halftime show in support of former NFL quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick.
“Absolutely. I couldn’t dare do that,” she says. “For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”
Rihanna also teases the style of her long-awaited ninth studio album R9, which she confirmed she was working on over a year ago.
“I like to look at it as a reggae-inspired or reggae-infused album,” the 31-year-old says. “It’s not gonna be typical of what you know as reggae. But you’re going to feel the elements in all of the tracks… Reggae always feels right to me… It doesn’t matter how far or long removed I am from that culture, or my environment that I grew up in; it never leaves…Even though I’ve explored other genres of music, it was time to go back to something that I haven’t really homed in on completely for a body of work.”
On the issue of politics, Rihanna talks about her response to the U.S. president after he tweeted about mental illness in the wake of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. “Um . . . Donald, you spelled terrorism wrong!” she wrote in her response.
“It is devastating,” the singer says of America’s epidemic of mass shootings. “People are being murdered by war weapons that they legally purchase. This is just not normal. That should never, ever be normal. And the fact that it’s classified as something different because of the colour of their skin? It’s a slap in the face. It’s completely racist.”
She continues: “Put an Arab man with that same weapon in that same Walmart and there is no way that Trump would sit there and address it publicly as a mental health problem. The most mentally ill human being in America right now seems to be the president.”
Despite all the troubles in the world, Rihanna is still able to search for hope around her.
“I feel like the darkness has actually forced people to find this light within them where they want to do better,” she explains. “It’s easy when you think everything is going really well and perfect. When everything is flowers and butterflies and you’re in your own bubble and your own world. But to see it, to know it’s happening—it pushes you to want to be the light in the world.”