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And lo, on this fair Boxing Day, just before the fifth night of Hanukkah and the first night of Kwanzaa, Rihanna has gifted us, the dedicated members of the Navy, with… a photo. But not just any photo: A cryptic photo that potentially means something!
After over a year of anticipation, it seems we (maybe) will actually get to blast the multi-hyphenate’s as-yet-untitled new album before the end of 2019. Def Jam Recordings posted a tweet with a photo of the singer and a diamond emoji in the middle of the day on December 26, and while it doesn’t necessarily mean anything, it definitely doesn’t mean nothing. It’s a clue. Let’s go to the conspiracy board, shall we?
Three hundred and seventy days ago (but who’s counting?), Rihanna made an Instagram post teasing the release of Fenty Beauty’s Flamingo Acid Mattemoiselle Plush Lipstick. In the comments, a brave commander in the Navy stepped forward to speak for the masses, asking when RiRi’s new album was dropping. Badgalriri deigned to respond with the vague but hope-provoking numbers “2019.”
Experts say it has been 2019 for at least seven years now, and though no album has emerged, Rihanna has teased its existence throughout the interminable year. As recently as last weekend, Rihanna whipped fans into a tizzy with a taunting Instagram post of a puppy leaping in the air as “Jump Around” by House of Pain plays. “Update: me listening to R9 by myself and refusing to release it.”
This tweet from Def Jam Recordings could be seen as just another troll by a team of very rich, talented people we are deeply worshipful of, but the proximity to Rihanna’s “Jump Around” post proves one thing: The taunts are increasing in frequency. It is still possible that we will get R9 in “2019” and the seismic social media activity around that fact suggests said possibility is becoming more of a probability. There’s just over five days left in the year; the album could drop any minute. Scientists are urging caution, however, as a tweet is just a tweet and, as Rihanna herself sang in 2016 (also the last year that she released a studio album), “nothing is promised.”