Wondering Where Rihanna’s ‘ANTI’ Is? Consider Blaming the Unstoppable Adele!
What in the actual phuck is going on with Rihanna’s ANTI campaign?
By now you may have heard that Rihanna has not released an album since 2012’s Unapologetic. You may also have heard that her long-awaited eighth studio album, which is called ANTI and already has artwork and everything, is rumored to drop sometime in 2015. Please, find your way to a calendar and note the date: it is November, which means there are only two months remaining in 2015. And yet, here we are, with no concrete information about ANTI’s release. What gives?
A recent rumor had Rihanna planning to surprise drop ANTI Beyoncé-style this Friday, Nov. 6. Maybe that will still happen, but honestly, it’s looking less likely. (Unless, of course, these rumblings are a deliberate attempt to throw everyone off the suspected Nov. 6 date. Conspiracy!)
Hits Daily Double reports on a few rumors swirling around Rihanna’s much-desired and (at this point) frustrating project. First of all, there is apparently a question of partnership strategy: Samsung, with whom Rihanna has a $25 million deal, was reportedly planning on giving away copies of ANTI. Those free copies, however, would not count as sales, and so would ultimately hurt ANTI’s chart position. There are also whispers that Rihanna may make ANTI available only as a TIDAL exclusive for its first week, which, objectively, seems like a terrible idea considering the lack of interest in that platform. (It would also, certainly, severely impact the album’s chart position.)
Chart position is important, because Rihanna, despite unparalleled success topping the Hot 100 singles chart, has only ever had one No. 1 album (Unapologetic). Given the hype surrounding the project, it is likely very important to both Rihanna and her label that ANTI debuts atop the Billboard 200. Understandable. However, there is a problem, and that problem has a name: Adele. Adele’s 25 is set to drop Nov. 20, and it will, without question, dominate the remainder of the fourth quarter. Some early predictions have 25 moving two million copies in its first week alone. If sales of the album’s first single “Hello” are any indication, those predictions seem within reach. And if those numbers are anywhere close to accurate, it is likely Adele will hold down the No. 1 spot on the album chart for the remainder of the year. So where does that leave ANTI?
According to the rumors, Rihanna’s camp has been struggling to find a release date for some time. Initially, apparently, ANTI was set for a Nov. 20 release, but was moved off that date when 25 was announced. Now dates like Nov. 6, Dec. 4, and Dec. 11 are being considered. Pushing the album back to 2016 also seems like a (very unfortunate) possibility. (Releasing the week of Nov. 13 is out of the question too: Justin Bieber and One Direction’s new albums hit shelves that day. Bieber will likely come out victorious, and Rih would not want to risk coming in second let alone third.) So, what? Rihanna can release Nov. 6, release in December sometime after 25 drops and risk not scoring a No. 1 album, or make fans wait until 2016. Only one of those seems like a good option. But!
Then there’s this little tidbit: Rihanna’s father, Ronald Fenty, was recently quoted in The Sun as saying Rihanna is “not happy” with the album and has gone back, yet again, to tinker with things. If that’s the case, all of the strategizing and wondering is for naught, and we should all just resign ourselves to waiting and waiting and waiting.
My advice, Riri: release this Friday or wait out Hurricane Adele and say “hello” to a 2016 release.