'I Feel Attacked!' All the Ways Birthday Girl Rihanna Has Joked with Fans About Her Long-Delayed New Album

It's been four years since the star's last project, and fans haven't been shy about demanding more music

Rihanna has been super busy since the release of her 2016 album, ANTI. In just four years, she’s launched Fenty Beauty, unveiled her Savage x Fenty lingerie line and announced the Fenty Maison line under French luxury goods conglomerate LVHM, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. She dated billionaire Hassan Jameel for nearly three years until they split in January 2020, and starred in a handful of films, including Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Ocean’s 8 and Guava Island.

We’d be remiss to not include the fact that when the star dropped ANTI, the album was Grammy-nominated six times, including for best urban contemporary album and record of the year for “Work.”

Although the ultra-private star opened up about including personal days in her hectic schedule to give herself more time to nurture her then-relationship and her new fashion and beauty business ventures, she still managed to become the world’s richest female musician in 2019. Clearly, a few personal days here and there did not stop her grind — but that’s no excuse for delaying her highly anticipated new album R9, according to fans.

Rihanna has done her best to avoid revealing any real reasons why there’s been such a delay with her work. So can you blame her dedicated fan base — known as the Rihanna Navy — for being, frankly, fed up? The only way Rih has been able to deal with the Navy hounding her for answers is by defusing the situation with a lot of humor.

Rihanna
Caroline McCredie/Getty

“i feel attacked,” she posted on Instagram in October 2018, along with a meme of herself wiping off sweat as fans mob her in the background. The pressure seemed to be getting to the star, so two months later, she finally gave her fans a solid release date.

Once the bad gal officially made it known in December 2018 that the new reggae album would be coming in 2019, fans rejoiced.

“The drought is almost over,” one Twitter user responded. “Praise the Lord,” another tweeted. But 2019 came and went, and now it’s 2020 and there’s still no album. She even poked fun at herself for claiming her release date too soon.

During her music hiatus, she commented on rapper Wale’s Instagram to support her fellow artist and friend, knowing that the Navy would be watching. “let’s GO!” she wrote before adding, “**hides from navy**”

To Rih’s defense, she did eventually acknowledge that she’s been taking longer than expected. She posted a heartfelt note in November 2019 to update the Navy on the album and her own personal status.

“to all my friends/family/coworkers who I have yet to get back to in the past months…please forgive me,” she began.

“this year has been quite an overwhelming one, and I’m working on that ish called Balance,” she wrote before adding, “brb.”

The note may have kept fans at bay for a little, until Rihanna began filling her feed with all of her new and exciting projects, none of which included music.

The star debuted her new coffee table book, to which one fan responded, “you said ‘please don’t stop the music’ at the beginning of the decade and in the end you STOP IT BY YOURSELF, ROBYN WE NEED TO TALK GIRL !!!”

When she tweeted about the devastating wildfires burning through Australia, another fan jokingly tweeted, “Is this the album cover?”

Even as Rih announced she was being honored with the President’s Award at the NAACP Image Awards, the Navy swooped in to remind her that they haven’t left her off the hook.

Throughout all the noise, the star has still kept her silence on the matter. If and when R9 gets released, it’ll be on her time, so put on some Fenty highlighter and sit tight until the queen says so.

But, if you too are wondering what the status is on her album, check out the cheeky clip she posted in December that says it all.

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