Rihanna couldn’t have been more casual about the announcement the Navy has awaited for years. It showed up on Wednesday, in the comments of her Instagram about making history as the first Black woman to have an album (2016’s Anti) on the Billboard 200 chart for five straight years.
Congratulations from the “diehard supporters” she thanked quickly poured in, altogether racking up nearly three million likes. But a significant number of the thousands who commented also got down to business, repeating a question they’ve posed for years: When, exactly, will the ninth studio album she’s promised is “next level” ever be released?
As usual, both Rihanna and her fans couldn’t help but troll. (“Can’t wait for her to tease it for the next 40 years” pretty much sums up the latter’s response.) One of the nicer ones managed to catch Rihanna’s eye: “I think I should [soon],” she replied to a suggestion that she celebrate by releasing a song. “Just 1 tho lol.” Note the use of “should,” not “will.”
But Rihanna was just getting started with dropping hints. She went on to leave two equally promising Instagram comments, suggesting that the song might be with Caresha of City Girls, as well as her longtime producer Kuk Harrell. “Need a session ASAP,” she wrote, again using the “soon” emoji. “Let’s Goooo!!!!”
In Rihanna’s defense, she has been churning out plenty of content—just not of the musical sort. Savage x Fenty, Fenty Skin, and Fenty Beauty drop seemingly constantly, and a cookbook of her favorite Caribbean-inspired recipes is currently in the works. She isn’t alone in not sharing the music she’s “always” making, and acknowledging as much in an Instagram reply. “I honestly have no idea,” Adele recently responded to one of the many asking if her first album in five years will ever see the light of day.