Rihanna is so happy right now. That’s what I’m getting from her British Vogue cover story – she’s just in a really great place in her personal and professional life, she loves being a mom to her son and she can’t wait to expand her family (she’s preg right now), she loves ASAP Rocky and all of her businesses and projects are going well. It feels like she’s all grown up, yet she’s still a rock star. She made the British Vogue interviewer come to her at 3 am on a weekday! Which is hilarious and awful. This was also the beach photoshoot which was supposed to introduce Rihanna’s son to the world. Except a paparazzo got shots of the baby, so Rihanna posted photos and videos on her social media to ruin the pap’s exclusive. Still, the Vogue photoshoot is lovely – that baby has Rocky’s whole face. Some highlights from the interview:
The baby sleeps but Rihana still stays up all night: “Oh, he sleeps through the night now. You know I don’t [sleep]. Look at us right now. No, I’m up. I’m like, ‘OK, time to watch some Housewives.’ These are my hours.”
First months as a mom: “Oh, my God, it’s legendary. It’s everything. You really don’t remember life before, that’s the craziest thing ever. You literally try to remember it – and there are photos of my life before – but the feeling, the desires, the things that you enjoy, everything, you just don’t identify with it because you don’t even allow yourself mentally to get that far, because… Because it doesn’t matter.”
It was a “blessed, beautiful” birth: But the “head-f**k” was real though. “I cannot believe it. Essentially, from one person I became two. You walk into the hospital as a couple and leave as a family of three. It’s nuts. And oh, my gosh, those first days are insane. You don’t sleep. At all. Not even if you wanted to. We came home, cold turkey, had no one. It was just us as parents and our baby. Man, you’re a zombie for the most part. You’re just going through the motions and even then you’re so paranoid. Because you’re like: they trusted us to come home with this baby? This new life? With us? No doctors, no nurses, we’re just… going home?”
Mornings are her favorite: “Those were always my favourite, his little wake-up face, seeing his face change, seeing his colour come in, just all of these changes.”
Maternity dressing versus postpartum dressing: “Dressing for pregnancy was such a piece of cake. But dressing in postpartum, what the f**k do you do? The week that I came home from the hospital – that was nothing but sweats and hoodies. But the weeks after that, you don’t know what to put on. Everything is too small or too big. You kind of just gotta wait it out otherwise you end up buying so many clothes you’re not going to use. Well, unless you get pregnant again.”
Why she decided to do the Super Bowl after saying no because of Kaepernick: “There’s still a lot of mending to be done in my eyes but it’s powerful to break those doors, and have representation at such a high, high level and a consistent level. Two Super Bowls back-to-back,” she says, referring to last year’s headliners, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J Blige and Kendrick Lamar, “you know, representing the urban community, globally. It is powerful. It sends a really strong message.” There’s another key difference this time as well. “Of course,” she says, becoming visibly moved by this thought, “raising a young Black man is one of the scariest responsibilities in life. You’re like, ‘What am I leaving my kids to? This is the planet they’re gonna be living on?’ All of those things really start to hit differently.”
The paparazzi taking photos of the baby: “It’s the thing you never want to happen. We get to decide as parents when and how we do that. End of story. Throw me to the wolves. Do what you want with me. But he doesn’t have a say in any of this. We’ve been protecting him thus far and you don’t have any consent to be posting photos or selling photos of my child, a minor. Get the hell out of here with that.”
On ASAP Rocky: “We’re best friends with a baby. We have to be on the same page, but we’ve always kind of had that in our relationship. Everything changes when you have a baby but I wouldn’t say it’s done anything but made us closer.” She marvels at the connection he has with their son. “I’m just sitting on the sidelines when they’re together. I’m literally the girl trying to get into the boys club, waiting for my turn. He is obsessed with his father. And I’m like: ‘Didn’t I give birth to you? What is going on?’ Their connection is undeniable. The second Rocky makes eye contact with him he is on fire. The whole thing they say about sons and moms, it’s a myth. Sons and fathers is crazy. I realised that the validation that you really need as a boy is from your father.”
She’s commissioning special baby clothes: “I like to dress him in things that don’t look like baby clothes. I like to push it. I put him in floral stuff. I put him in hot pink. I love that. I think that fluidity in fashion is best. I always shop in the men’s department, you know.” Often she gets his clothes made. “When you come up with something in your head, half the time it is not available because kids’ clothes are so… they’re sooo boring. I’m like, ‘This is what y’all been doing to these people’s kids all along?’”
A new album this year? “I want it to be this year,” she says, at this stage very much unaware she is pregnant again. “Like, honestly, it’d be ridiculous if it’s not this year. But I just want to have fun. I just want to make music and make videos.” She misses the visuals almost more than music. “And I need the right background music with the visuals. I can’t just go shoot a video to me talking.”
She also says that Rocky wanted to know what they were having and he wanted a boy, so Rihanna hoped to give Rocky what he wanted. I kind of wonder if they’re hoping for a girl this time around so Rih won’t be outnumbered. It’s cute that the baby is obsessed with his father too – it sounds like Rocky is a hands-on dad and that he’s as obsessed with the baby as Rihanna. The whole part about Rihanna commissioning baby clothes and worrying about babies not having cool style…it’s a little bit much for me, but it’s totally on-brand for Rihanna. She dissed maternity-wear, of course she’s dissing kids’ clothes. And lol, she’s not releasing an album this year. Don’t get your hopes up. It’s not happening.
Cover & IGs courtesy of British Vogue.