Rihanna To Drop Her New Album This Weekend? Rumors Suggest Surprise Release For ‘R8’

Rihanna may be making headlines for her non-music related projects, such as her newly released fragrance “RiRi,” fashion collaboration with Puma, and role as key advisor on season 9 of The Voice, but is Rihanna planning on surprising eager fans with the release of her new album this weekend?

According to gossip site Media Take Out, Rihanna is set to drop her new album, tentatively titled R8, at some point this weekend.

An alleged insider reveals that Rihanna initially completed work on her eighth studio album earlier this year, but scrapped the record in favor of a “fresh” sound with the help of her “FourFiveSeconds” collaborator, Kanye West.

The source alleges, “Yeezy was brought in basically to make sure that the album would work,” noting that the project has been approved by Jay Z’s entertainment company, Roc Nation.

The insider also fuels rumors of an ongoing feud between Rihanna and Beyoncé, noting that Rihanna is planning a surprise album release “just like Beyoncé did last November,” adding, “Rihanna and Def Jam plan to ‘secretly’ release the album this weekend.”

The source concludes their statement regarding the album’s “surprise” release by suggesting that “this album will make Rihanna the number one artist in the world. Bigger than Taylor Swift or Beyoncé,” before noting that the album is titled 1988 and not R8.

Interestingly enough, Rihanna made headlines earlier this week after she was spotted getting some new ink by famed tattoo artist Bang Bang during her trip to NYC on August 13, People reports.

Rihanna showed off her newest tattoo on Instagram, sharing a photo of her new “1988” ink with the caption, “88 killz Tagged by my dear friend @bangbangnyc.”

🎱🎱 killz Tagged by my dear friend @bangbangnyc

A photo posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

While Rihanna has not spoken out about the latest rumors surrounding her new album’s release, the songstress did caution her fans against believing the hype surrounding R8‘s rumored release last year.

“ANY news about #R8 will be delivered directly from me!!!!” Rihanna tweeted to her followers on November 25, 2014.

While news regarding R8‘s release has been minimal, Rihanna did dish to MTV News in March that she is committed to making songs that she “could perform in 15 years.”

“I’ve made a lot of songs that are just really, really big songs. From the jump, they just blow up. And I wanted to kind of get back to—not that they weren’t real music, but I just wanted to focus on things that felt real, that felt soulful, that felt forever. I wanted songs that I could perform in 15 years; I wanted an album that I could perform in 15 years. Not any songs that were burnt out. I find that when I get on stage now, I don’t want to perform a lot of my songs. They don’t feel like me. So I want to make songs that are timeless.”

While Rihanna’s new album is sure to be an instant hit among eager fans, neither Rihanna nor anyone from Def Jam Recordings have confirmed rumors of the album’s release this weekend.

Do you think Rihanna will drop her new album this weekend?

[Image Credit: Getty Images / Imeh Akpanudosen]