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"I just feel like I can do any part of life by his side," the singer and designer, 34, told Vogue for the mag's May cover story.
The pair goes way back professionally and, as he previously teased, their young romance took off during COVID lockdown when they road-tripped cross-country on a tour bus. Starting a family wasn't planned, she told the outlet, but wasn't something they were actively preventing either.
"Planning? I wouldn’t say planning," the Fenty fashion mogul who just joined the billionaire's club said. "But certainly not planning against it. I don't know when I ovulate or any of that type of s***. We just had fun. And then it was just there on the test. I didn't waste any time. I called him inside and showed him. Then I was in the doctor's office the next morning and our journey began."
And what a journey — from their pregnancy reveal, images captured of them walking the wintery streets of Harlem with her belly exposed, to her showcasing her stunning, womanly body at every chance.
"People don't get out of the friend zone very easily with me," she said of the "Praise the Lord (Da Shine)" rapper. "And I certainly took a while to get over how much I know him and how much he knows me, because we also know how much trouble we can land each other in."
A decade ago, and years before they got together, he joined her onstage for her 2012 MTV VMA performance of "Cockiness" — and infamously grabbed her butt midway through the performance.
"He grabbed my ass on stage," she said. "That was not part of the rehearsal! I was like, What are you doing!?” While her team expected her to be upset, she let it go. "My manager was like, Oh, God, she must like this guy a little bit. She never lets this s*** slide."
The next year, he opened for her Diamonds World Tour. But things ramped up in December 2019 when they walked the British Fashion Awards red carpet together. The next month, her split from Hassan Jameel was confirmed — and they spent even more time together behind closed doors as lockdown began.
"He became my family in that time," she said as they road-tripped from Los Angeles to New York, visiting six cities and a few national parks. Rocky (born: Rakim Mayers) recalled them listening to the Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead and Curtis Mayfield along the way. He also talked about dropping acid and tie-dying T-shirts he bought at a gas station. She grilled their food — barefoot — at their stops.
"I cooked our food on this little janky grill I bought from Walmart," she said. "I still have it, too. It works like nobody’s business ... I love the simple things but also the grand adventures. There's no pretentious my-brand-your-brand bulls***, it's just us living. I just feel like I can do any part of life by his side."
She said their trip to her native Barbados, in December 2020 for Christmas, solidified their romance. It helped that her mom, who is tough to win over, liked him immediately.
"We were going home," she recalled of the milestone. "My mother has a really good read on people. She observes first and then she'll move slowly. I guess I'm like that too. There are some guys that I've dated that she won't even look at to this day. But she was charmed by him from the jump."
Rihanna said Rocky also connected with his roots there. While he grew up in Harlem, his late father emigrated from Barbados. So "to see him in a space where he's imagining his dad as a boy, walking the same streets as his dad walked, eating the same food as his dad ate, it was really heartwarming."
Rihanna said what she loves most about their relationship is "transparency with everything: how we're feeling, what our goals are, what our fears and insecurities are. The vulnerability to be able to say what you feel about each other."
She talked all about her pregnancy, including how she's done little prep at home for the baby. For now, they plan to have their mothers come help. She also had a night nurse on hold. She said Rocky, an interior design geek, has ideas for the nursery, but she expects the baby to sleep in their bedroom at the start.
They're also talking about where they'll raise the baby, noting, "Rocky asked me recently if I had a dream place, where would it be? I told him home, Barbados. I always imagined it being that way. But realistically it probably won't be."
She said pregnancy has been good so far with no morning sickness and mood swings that have been manageable. ("I was bracing myself for something insane because I knew I wouldn't have my usual coping mechanism: I can't just go and smoke a joint right now.") She's thinking ahead to giving birth — in her own non-traditional style. She quipped with COVID restrictions limiting the number of people who can be in the hospital with her, "Maybe I'll just have a party bus parked outside or something."
Until then, she'll be out and about — showcasing her pregnancy body in such a way that it inspires New York Times think pieces and makes social media buzz.
"I think I even say yes to more now because I know it will be different on the other side of this," she said. "At first I expected some magical change, but really I remain who I am ... None of the dials are turned down."