BadGyal RiRi Still Teasing That Eighth Album

It would not be an unfair generalization to say that magazine editors tend to ultra-competitive personalities who are not above a little schadenfreude now and then. I’m not too proud to say that, after pursuing my third Drake cover for several years while at Complex—and coming up empty, except for the time his publicist wanted us to go head-to-head with VIBE and we politely declined—I was rather amused when Drake bailed on a VIBE cover shoot and later Rolling Stone burned him and he swore off magazines altogether. The first two Drake covers I worked on—Lola Ogunnaike’s 2009 VIBE cover story “Rookie of the Year” (which earned a spot in DaCapo’s Best Music Writing anthology) and Damien Scott’s 2011 Complex cover story “The Long Way Home”—were pretty spectacular, so I was disappointed at the notion of Drake never doing press again. And I’m not so competitive that I was mad to see him finally do a Fader cover last year. As a music lover and a journalist I enjoyed reading a thorough profile of a fascinating artist. But here’s what did crack me up: When Rihanna snagged a recent Fader cover based on just five questions answered by email. There’s no doubt that her forthcoming release Anti is one of Most Anticipated Albums of 2016. But when a magazine gives you the cover, it’s just common courtesy to sit down for an interview—even a quickie, as Rihanna did for the 2013 Complex cover I edited. Not that she said much, but it’s just disrespectful to expect a writer to put a story together based on five emailed questions. Props to Mary H.K. Choi for doing a killer write-around, but I digress…  All of this is a long-winded reminder that Rihanna has already served noticed as to who calls the shots—like BRAP! BRAP! BRAP!  More After The Jump… Read more »