Rihanna’s new album may be the most postponed one this decade. Her album campaign started off well with the hit “FourFiveSeconds,” a duet with Paul McCartney and Kanye West. That song hit the top five, but became the first time a brand new single from Rihanna hadn’t hit number one in years.
Then, things got worse as Rihanna’s “new album” kept getting delayed. She released her next single “B***h Better Have My Money,” which received mixed reviews. After the song flopped on the charts, Rihanna released a video that helped it hit the top 15. However, the video received mixed reviews. The Guardian details the fallout.
“Depending on which commentator or social media spat you choose, the video – viewed 12 million times since its release – is either an empowering challenge to music industry stereotypes or a racist and gory piece of misogyny.”
The Guardian went on to note that a headline of one site read, “Not Safe for Work or Feminists,” while Twitter users said Rihanna was glorifying violence against women. There were also a lot of people on Twitter who think Rihanna’s video was racist. Sarah Vine of the Daily Mail was the biggest critic of Rihanna’s controversial video.
“This video contains, in no particular order, extreme violence, torture, drug-taking, guns, negative racial stereotyping (towards both black and white), sexual exploitation and murder. Actually, sorry: not just contains, but also glorifies and justifies.”
Rihanna then went back to the drawing board and released “American Oxygen,” a song that became her lowest peaking song on Billboard‘s Hot 100 to date by only peaking at No. 78. A lot of people liked the song, but blame the failure on the fact that it was launched on Tidal, Jay-Z’s much-maligned streaming service.
Rihanna’s album was then cut from its planned summer release. Fans were impatient and critics accused Rihanna of trying to avoid a flop. People forgot about Rihanna’s troubles for a while, and then, in November, she finally announced that an album, titled Anti, was officially coming. Billboard talked about its alleged Tidal release.
“As the buzz for Rihanna’s eighth studio album Anti continues to grow, the latest rumors indicate the album could arrive this Friday, Nov. 27, with a one-week exclusive on Tidal before going wide to other distributors. And if that’s the case, the Roc Nation singer can expect lower than usual first week streams.”
The album didn’t arrive on Tidal or any other service. Then, there was speculation that the title would arrive on Christmas Eve.
“After the release of ‘FourFiveSeconds’ and ‘B—h Better Have My Money’ and then taking the navy on a scavenger hunt of sorts with her Samsung sponsored ANTIdiaRY, rumor has it, Rihanna will finally be releasing her long-awaited project, Anti Thursday (December 24) just in time for Christmas,” claimed Vibe.
December 24 came and there was no new Rihanna album. Then came Dec. 25 with no Anti release, and Rihanna’s fans had a fit on Instagram.
Unfortunately for Rihanna’s fans, they will have to wait a little longer. Unfortunately for Rihanna, this means that she missed the holiday season, where music sales are far better than they are the rest of the year. When Rihanna finally releases Anti, they’ll be more speculation on the album’s possibly poor sales than the actual music.
[Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]