A Closer Look At Rihanna’s ‘#R8’ Album Era — What Is Going Wrong?

Pop Perspective: "Bitch Better Have My Money"
All four Idolator editors review Rihanna's new single "Bitch Better Have My Money".

We’ve been hearing talks about Rihanna’s imminent #R8 album for months now (and we still don’t have a set title), but the Bad Gal has been playing games with her dedicated Navy fanbase by not properly promoting the next era.

The singer is known for dropping radio-ready singles that would head straight into the Top 10 with the click of her blunt-holding fingers, yet recently that has not proven to be the case. Rather, Rihanna is focusing more on landing endless magazine covers than backing up her music — which is leading many fans to ask, “Where the f**k is #R8?!”

But let’s keep it real here: the singer-turned-model has given less and less of a “phuck” (in her terms) about promotion. The last time we received a substantial album era was for 2010’s Loud. Three albums and five years later, that energy placed in interviews, radio appearances, late night performances, etc. have all dwindled into a cloud of hazy smoke.

#R8 will be Rihanna’s eighth — yes EIGHTH — album! Many pop stars of today are struggling to get over that sophomore slump after the hype of their buzz singles have died down, so why are we letting her slide? With so many musical projects under her belt, Rihanna should be showing growth instead of relying on her name and clout to have fans blindly do the work for her. Back in November, Ne-Yo — who is working on the album among many others (except for Calvin Harris) — ominously stated: “The stuff I’ve heard is absolutely incredible. I can’t speak on what it sounds like because I’ll get in trouble. But I definitely feel like people are gonna enjoy it.” But I’ve yet to hear just what will make this project so ground-breaking.

So what is really going on with Rihanna’s #R8 era? Why is it not making the impact that the singer is known for?

Let’s start by dissecting her current singles (if we can even call them that)…shall we!

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