Rihanna, who semi-emerged from musical retirement with a PARTYNEXTDOOR single last week, has given her loyal fans an official update on what the next few months of her life will look like, and where she’s been when she’s not in a London studio.
It was nearly one year ago when she let The New York Times in on what her luxury label, Fenty (then just launching), would entail. In the same interview, Rihanna inadvertently revealed that she had been living in London for months. Until then, there had been speculation about where she spent most of her time, but she was reportedly shacked up with her billionaire boyfriend at the time, Hassan Jameel, in the United Kingdom whenever she wasn’t visiting family in Barbados, or traveling to Paris to cut deals with LVMH.
In her British Vogue May 2020 cover interview, the entrepreneur revealed that she has a fourth destination in which she has been living part-time: Mexico. “I just love Mexico,” she told the magazine.
But her love of Mexico doesn’t exist solely because it’s a place where she feels relaxed. The musician and entrepreneur said she feels a kinship with the people of Mexico because of her own personal history, growing up with an immigrant mother in Barbados. Her mom, Monica Braithwaite, was born in Guyana when it was a British colony, before moving to Barbados.
“The Guyanese are like the Mexicans of Barbados,” Rihanna said. “So I identify—and that’s why I really relate and empathize with Mexican people or Latino people, who are discriminated against in America. I know what it feels like to have the immigration come into your home in the middle of the night and drag people out.”
The artist further explained her experience with immigration officials invading her home to forcibly remove a family member. “Let’s just say I know what that fight looks like. I’ve witnessed it. I’ve been in it,” she said. “I was probably, what, eight-years-old when I experienced that in the middle of the night. So I know how disheartening it is for a child—and if that was my parent that was getting dragged out of my house, I can guarantee you that my life would have been a shambles.”
The rest of the interview includes updates on her ninth studio album, for which she cannot reveal the release date but can promise that she is “very aggressively working on” it and that there will be some reggae on there, as many have anticipated for years now.
Rihanna also acknowledged her newly single relationship status, but that it pretty much has no bearing on her future, in which she plans to have three or four kids, whether she’s partnered or not. “They diminish you as a mother if there’s not a dad in your kids’ lives,” she said. “But the only thing that matters is happiness, that’s the only healthy relationship between a parent and a child. That’s the only thing that can raise a child truly, is love.”
And because she’s Rihanna, a person who amasses groundbreaking first after first (she is the first woman to build a LVMH brand from the ground up, and the first black woman to be in charge of a LVMH brand, for example) seemingly with ease, her British Vogue cover marks the first time someone has worn a du rag on the cover of the magazine.