In the Vogue profile back in May, there was a talk of a Dancehall album from Rihanna being in the works.
It looks like it is not a drill at all. According to a report from Rollingstone, Rihanna has been working on the Dancehall inspired album for over a year and has amassed close to 500 records for the same. According to sources close to the singer and her label Roc Nation, several high profile producers and songwriters have submitted their work to RiRi whose roots are in Barbados. “[Rihanna’s team] have, no lie, 500 records for this project [from] different producers and writers,” one dancehall producer who asked to remain anonymous told the publication. “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 L.A., cutting records nonstop for this project.”
Supa Dups, who produced Drake’s hit ‘Controlla’ is one of the producers reportedly involved in the project, although he declined to confirm it. Some of the other talents include producer-writer duo R. City (Rihanna, Beyoncé), Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor (Vybz Kartel, Sean Paul), Linton “TJ Records” White (Serani, Vybz Kartel), producer-singer Ricky Blaze (Gyptian), Tyshane “Beam” Thompson (Yo Gotti, Lecrae), dancehall singer Kranium and reggae singer Chronixx.
Rihanna has also done some sessions with Skrillex and Boi-1da. RiRi and her team are supposedly working on narrowing down the album to 10 songs. “Every artist, every producer, every songwriter in Jamaica or of Jamaican descent has been working on [Rihanna’s album] and has little snippets of publishing or production credits on it,” one source told Rolling Stone. “I think they’ve got eight songs, but her A&R is still asking for records.”
A third producer who has “done quite a lot of stuff” for the album said that the labels have started reaching out to him “asking if I had any songs that [Rihanna] didn’t take.” “People are already gearing up to go in that direction [towards dancehall] because somebody as big as her is doing that,” he adds. “If an artist like Rihanna comes out and does [an album influenced by Jamaican pop], that’s definitely going to shift the needle.”