Artist of the Week: Rihanna

“Anti is here.” The headline of the email from Tidal popped up in my inbox. My Stomach dropped and my eyes widened as I tried to keep breathing in my early morning lecture. Such a subtle update, for such a momentous occasion. Rihanna’s eighth studio album was finally, finally here.

2603921942(Cover art for Anti designed by Israeli artist Roy Nachum unscripted in braille poems written by Nachum and Chloe Mitchell)

A little background for those of you who aren’t in the Navy (the group title of Rihanna’s Fans) and haven’t been painstakingly waiting for this to happen for over 3 years now…

This album is the followup to Unapologetic (2012) the last of a 7 year streak of releasing albums annually since her career as a pop icon started in 2007 with Music of the Sun.

It was not only the waiting period that had us chomping at the bit, but the mystery of the content the album would posses and the buzz surrounding it. In 2005 after a private audition with Jay-Z and the release of Rihanna’s first single “Pon De Replay”, immediately followed by her signing a 6 album contract with Def Jam Recordings, the Barbadian singer blew up over night. Rihanna then continued to release album after album, changing up styles and the pop music biz as a whole year after year. The final album that released under Def Jam Recordings was Unapologetic, putting an end to an era.

Now, 4 years later, she has released her first album under Jay-Z’s label, Roc Nation. This past year, singles were released including,  “B*tch Better Have My Money” and “American Oxygen”, as well as the Paul McCartney and Kanye West featured track “FourFiveSeconds”, after which we learned Kanye would be producing her next album. In the past few months she has increased our impatience with numerous ambiguous tweets, an album cover debut party, and the final blow being this week with the release of “Work ft. Drake” tweeting this would be the actual first single of the album. The anticipation could not have been more palpable.

Yesterday, January 28th, the album Anti was released, streaming exclusively on Tidal with Rihanna giving out free download promo codes via twitter. Though I might be slightly biased, I think we can agree that we have not been disappointed with our first listens of  13 track record. Her music this time takes on a more vulnerable approach though still sticking with her roots in dance sound. The album is not mixed with radio hits and filler songs, but instead creates an experience sharing to the world an introspective look at her true self.

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 07: Singer Rihanna at Rihanna's 8th album artwork reveal for "ANTI" at MAMA Gallery on October 7, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for WESTBURY ROAD ENTERTAINMENT LLC)

Anti can be heard exclusively through Tidal for the time being and her tour will be hitting the London Wembley Stadium on June 24th!