Rihanna is spilling details on her highly awaited ninth studio album.
The 31-year-old singer covers the November issue of Vogue and is asked about her new music, which her fans have been feverishly anticipating. She acknowledges that she doesn't have as much time as she used to, given her incredibly successful forays into the fashion and beauty worlds.
"I have been trying to get back into the studio," she says. "It's not like I can lock myself in for an extended amount of time, like I had the luxury of doing before. I know I have some very unhappy fans who don’t understand the inside bits of how it works."
Still, she does reveal what fans can expect from the album, which they've dubbed R9.
"I like to look at it as a reggae-inspired or reggae-infused album," Rihanna 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," she continues. "It's in my blood. 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. It's always the same high. 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."
She also reassures fans that she will never stop singing despite her other interests.
"Oh, nooo," she says about the possibility of one day quitting music. "Music is, like, speaking in code to the world, where they get it. It's the weird language that connects me to them. Me the designer, me the woman who creates makeup and lingerie -- it all started with music. It was my first pen pal-ship to the world. To cut that off is to cut my communication off. All of these other things flourish on top of that foundation."
Later, Rihanna is point blank asked if she turned down the Super Bowl halftime show in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. Although the magazine does not specify which Super Bowl show -- the 2019 show that ended up going to Maroon 5 or the upcoming 2020 show that has Jennifer Lopez headlining -- last October, a source told ET that Rihanna was the frontrunner to be the performer at the 2019 Super Bowl, but that she "decided to pass due to the NFL and the situation regarding players kneeling."
"Absolutely," she tells Vogue about declining the high-profile gig for political reasons. "I couldn't dare do that. 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 now resides in London and grew up in Barbados, but she says she still feels very much in touch with issues in the United States.
"I don't feel outside the fray," she says. "When I see something happen to any woman, a woman of any minority, kids, black men being murdered in the streets -- I can't remove myself from that."
Last October, our source said Rihanna declined the 2019 Super Bowl for personal reasons even though it would have benefited her.
"The offer and exposure would have been great for Rihanna as she's planning a new album and tour but she stuck to what's right in her eyes," the source shared at the time. "She stands with the players and Colin Kaepernick."
ET spoke to Rihanna last month at her Savage X Fenty show at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, where she explained why headlining the upcoming Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show was still not on her radar.
"I still got an album to finish," she told ET, jokingly adding, "You gonna ask me about Super Bowl? My fans about to have my neck."
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