Rihanna looking to go dancehall on new album project

Ri-Ri is known for her high energy hits, but could she be turning things back toward her island roots?

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Ever since she released her last project, Anti, in 2016, Rihanna and her label Roc Nation have been on the hunt… for beats.

According to Rolling Stone, the Barbados native has been working on an album devoted to exploring her island roots. Rihanna first mentioned the possibility of releasing a reggae inspired album last month but has been quiet ever since.

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Rolling Stone said that Supa Dups, the veteran dancehall producer behind recent hits like Drake’s “Controlla,” was “one influence” on the album. Other producers rumored to be apart of the project include R. City, Tyshane “Beam” Thompson, Skrillex, Boi-1da, and Kranium are among the producers and artists who are said to have been involved with the writing sessions for the possible 10-track album.

“[Rihanna’s team] has, no lie, 500 records for this project [from] different producers and writers,” an anonymous producer told Rolling Stone. “They’re only choosing 10 records. They’ve been having writing camps and trying to keep them quiet for almost a year and a half now.

“I’ve been flying to Miami, flying to LA, cutting records nonstop for this project,” the producer added.

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Rihanna has dabbled in dancehall in previous projects and this potential project will mix in many of the pop elements that have made her so popular. Another producer said that Rihanna’s team has been “tweaking” submissions for the album, but some fear that the pop elements will overtake the dancehall spirit of the project.

“Their whole thing was, ‘Yo, we’re gonna make this album real dancehall, real Caribbean,’” says another unnamed producer. “Rihanna is Bajan, so let’s make this a full project like that.

“To me, it hasn’t been going that way,” he added. “They’re kind of mixing it up, putting in the pop. If the reggae artists and producers won’t get the chance on the pop album, at least let us survive on the dancehall album. They’re changing up the direction continuously.”

Rihanna and her team have offered no comment on the potential album.

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