Rihanna hasn't been exactly doing nothing. Between developing her own lingerie line, starring in Ocean's 8 alongside an all-star crew including Sarah Paulson and Anne Hathaway, keeping the hype alive for Fenty Beauty, going steady with her billionaire boyfriend, and, you know, casually meeting with world leaders, Rihanna has in fact been going nonstop lately—so nonstop that it feels a bit cruel to dwell on the fact that releasing new music seems to have gotten lost somewhere in that expansive mix.
To be fair, Rihanna released her most recent album, Anti, in 2016, but it was so good that it seemed cruel for her to not provide the world with more. (Many of her fans, for example, have been coping by basically auto-replying to each of her posts about her achievements in other arenas with something along the lines of Congratulations, but please don't forget about your music.)
To that end, there could be no story more welcome than the one that Rolling Stone published on Thursday morning, with the headline "Inside Rihanna’s Upcoming Dancehall Album." Rihanna, of course, hasn't forgotten about her music; in May, in fact, she mentioned plans to make a reggae album in her Vogue cover story. Now, according to eight sources that Rolling Stone says are working on the project, Rihanna and her label, Roc Nation, have been slowly but surely working to make that a reality for more than a year, along with another album that's a bit more pop-friendly, if two more sources are to be believed.)
If you're wondering what exactly they've all been up to for all those months, the answer is, apparently, quite a lot. One dancehall producer, who's reportedly been flying between the coasts "nonstop" to cut records for RiRi, said that although the final number of tracks that will feature on the album will be just 10, her team's quest to select only the best possible has seen them gather, so far, "no lie, 500 records" from which to choose—a process that has also apparently included "having writing camps and trying to keep them quiet for almost a year and a half now."
As for what's to come, it seems that Rihanna is embracing the dancehall reggae sound she experimented with (at first unintentionally) on her last album through songs like "Work," which featured the Caribbean-Canadian artist PartyNextDoor singing in patois. According to Rolling Stone, she's "already corralled a large number of demos from top-tier Jamaican talent." Another source even went further, saying that "every artist, every producer, every songwriter in Jamaica or of Jamaican descent has been working on [the album] and has little snippets of publishing or production credits on it."
If the rumors are true, only one or two more songs remain out there to be found. And if you can't get over the fact that there's still no hint at a release date, just keep an eye on her Instagram comments—and keep reminding yourself that one or two is a lot less than 10.