I know I make it seem like I’m only here to write about beauty, but you guys know what my real beat is: Rihanna.
Did you see all those headlines in the past day or two about how one of Rihanna’s songwriters went on a Twitter rant about how her alleged boyfriend, Travis Scott, has been the reason for the delay of her long-awaited eighth album, ANTI?
This caught my eye for a millisecond and I thought nothing of it, because even from first glance, there are a lot of red flags. I’m not going to make you read it tweet by tweet because it, like me, is an exhausting mess. Here’s the jist of it:
Songwriter Glass John who wrote “Kiss It Better,” a song that Rihanna previewed on her Instagram last December, popped all the way off on Twitter, saying that the song was supposed to be the lead single from the album, but Travis Scott has been delaying both the song and the album by “putting doubt in her mind” and telling her she needs to make an “all hood trap ghetto album.”
If that wasn’t weird enough, he goes on to refer to Rihanna as his wife numerous times. Later on in the two hour rampage, he says that he is on a conference call with “his wife” and Jay-Z (head of Roc Nation who Rihanna is signed under) trying to convince him to release it. …As if two of the most powerful people in music could just drop what they were doing to hop on a call, let alone, with someone who is currently airing out their dirty laundry, true or not, on social media.
Obviously, this is all a delusional hot-ass mess. I’m only writing about it because everyone else ran something about it, only spreading the rumor that Travis Scott is actually the bad guy here. But I feel like no one talked about how weird this all was.
Glass is talking about an album release from one of our biggest pop stars as if it’s as easy as uploading the album to SoundCloud. All album rollouts are different, and we’ve seen them become mercifully shorter and more concise over the past two years, even from our biggest pop girls like Taylor and Adele. No more five month gap between the first single and the album. To imply that a simple phone call from one of the many people involved in the album could speed up its release is all kinds of crazy.
While, from the outside, the promotion and release of this album may not make any sense, its clearly (probably?) all planned out.
Not to give her all the credit, but Beyoncé really did change the game back in 2013 when she stopped the world with BEYONCE. Now, we’re living in an era of surprise drops and no release dates, which puts the power back in the hands of the artist, and reminds us that they really don’t owe us anything but music.
Most of all, I think it’s laughable that we’re giving any time to the thought of Rihanna letting any man she is or is not seeing have any say in how she runs her career.
It pains me to admit it, but I do not know Rihanna personally. Be that as it may, she’s built her brand about being in control of herself, her career, and her life, whether there’s a man in the picture or not. The Rihanna that we know wouldn’t let a man influence her work, because her work isn’t about him. It’s about Rihanna.
We saw the same sort of thing happen with BEYONCE, which I’m only referencing again because, in the same way, we knew the record was coming, but knew nothing about it. In a very Queen Bey fashion, everyone was talking about the album all of 2013 without saying anything herself. Everyone had a piece of information, few of which turned out to be true.
The same thing has been happening with ANTI. People know that anything, true or not, with satiate the people who are thirsting for the album, many of whom are the ones writing headlines just like this one. Am I saying that Glass only ranted for press? If that is the case, it worked. So maybe we should put a little bit of thought into what we’re hearing about artists, and from who, before we jump to writing headlines of our own.
And for those of us waiting on ANTI, the key takeaway can be taken from Rihanna herself.
Tynan is waiting for ANTI on Twitter @TynanBuck.