Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, And Their Baby Boy Cover British Vogue
Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, and their wildly adorably baby boy, whose name we still don’t know, cover the March issue of British Vogue. The interview was conducted five weeks before her performance at the Super Bowl, and she talked about her halftime show plans, life as a new mom, and her long-awaited ninth album, which she claims will likely be out this year. I want to believe her; I really do. But I’m scared that this is a trick, and “Album” will actually be the name of a new Fenty highlighter. Fool me once…
The British Vogue interviewer met up with Rihanna at her apartment in Century City at 4:00 AM: “It takes a certain sort of hutzpah, a certain level of shimmering enormity, to establish your own time zone.” Apparently, RiRi had been rehearsing for the Super Bowl ’til midnight. She explained that while her nine-month-old baby is sleeping through the night, she isn’t. She likes being up during “rockstar hours” to do whatever she wants. For example, catching up on The Real Housewives. Smart woman. Even smarter priorities.
The interviewer writes that, since giving birth last May, Rihanna’s been “perhaps the most off-grid since she became a star in her mid-teens.” Rihanna described her birth experience as “beautiful,” but it was still a “head-fuck”:
“I cannot believe it,” she says, still floored by the experience. “Essentially, from one person I became two. You walk into the hospital as a couple and leave as a family of three. It’s nuts. And oh, my gosh, those first days are insane. You don’t sleep. At all. Not even if you wanted to. We came home, cold turkey, had no one. It was just us as parents and our baby. Man, you’re a zombie for the most part.”
Then Rihanna gets into the Super Bowl stuff. Back in 2018, she turned down the NFL’s invitation to perform in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. She says there’s still “a lot of mending to be done in my eyes,” but her view changed:
“Two Super Bowls back-to-back,” she says, referring to last year’s headliners, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J Blige and Kendrick Lamar, “you know, representing the urban community, globally. It is powerful. It sends a really strong message.” There’s another key difference this time as well. “Of course,” she says, becoming visibly moved by this thought, “raising a young Black man is one of the scariest responsibilities in life.” It’s made her re-evaluate everything. “You’re like, ‘What am I leaving my kids to? This is the planet they’re gonna be living on?’” She shakes her head. “All of those things really start to hit differently.”
Rihanna says she felt emboldened by motherhood, and she still can’t believe she said yes to the halftime show:
“What the heck am I thinking? But you’re geeked on a challenge like that because you know what your body just did. You feel this sense of ‘Nothing is impossible.’” Not that the nerves aren’t jangling; of course, she had no clue when she accepted that she would be pregnant again by the time of the performance. “It was almost like an out-of-body experience,” she says of the day it was announced. “I have not been on stage in seven years,” she says. “Seven years! From zero to Super Bowl? That’s mental.”
She explained that her goal was to “put on a show” and “have fun” for her fans. She didn’t want to do any costume changes, cuz it’s only a 12 to 13 minute performance, and “costume changes aren’t fun.” But she promised, “So. Many. Dancers.”
At the beach shoot for the Vogue cover, “Baby promptly stole the show.” But, soon, Rihanna noticed paparazzi in the distance taking photos of her son. She and A$AP immediately went to their car to chat about how they wanted to handle the situation:
But they knew the clock was ticking. “As we were speaking, we knew they were making calls and deals.” They couldn’t bear the idea of the first public glimpse of their son being photos they hadn’t consented to, sold to the highest bidder. So, she sent a couple of cute, candid snaps from her camera roll to a friendly blogger and then, in a typically boss move, she joined TikTok, posting an adorable video of her son gurgling away in his car that promptly racked up some 20 million views.
Rihanna told Vogue that she thinks her last album, Anti, was her “most brilliant.” She blames her perfectionism on why it’s taken her so long to put out a ninth album:
Rihanna never stopped recording. The past years are littered with songs she’s fallen in and out of love with. She says that listening back to an unreleased song is “almost like trying to dress like you used to dress. It’s like, ‘Ew, no. I would never wear those again.’ Your taste changes, your vibe changes.” But all being well, I venture, a new album this year?
“I want it to be this year,” she says, at this stage very much unaware she is pregnant again. “Like, honestly, it’d be ridiculous if it’s not this year. But I just want to have fun. I just want to make music and make videos.” She misses the visuals almost more than music. “And I need the right background music with the visuals. I can’t just go shoot a video to me talking,” she says, laughing once again.
Here’s the full Vogue cover and more pics of Rihanna’s son:
Eeeeee, that baby! Look at his chubby little arm rolls and his teeny little mouth and his baby cute-boy eyes! Ugh, if Rihanna’s unborn child looks anything like this one, I totally forgive them for slowing their momma down a bit at the Super Bowl.