8 October, 2015 - NME.com
Though Rihanna has been teasing her eighth LP for months now with singles and public appearances, the album launched officially last night with an exclusive Los Angeles gallery party, with the star revealing both the title and the artwork for her new album. Hosting the event at Mama Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District, the singer revealed the new album’s title, 'Anti', with a written explanation on the entryway wall, defining the word as "a person opposed to a particular policy, activity or idea". "In her collaboration with Roy Nachum, Rihanna has changed the history of album art. By continuing to follow her own instincts, her work strives to make an impact by doing the very antithesis of what the public expects," it read. Inside the event, various braille art pieces graced the walls. Upon entry, the fans were given red sashes and then later used them as blindfolds, adding their own fingerprints to the Israeli artist’s pieces. Press Midway through the event, Rihanna arrived and spoke about both the new album and the artistic collaboration with Nachum. “It started with a random conversation in the studio at 4am when a friend brought up the artwork of Nachum,” Rihanna told onlookers, “and when we met, he just asked me ‘what would make me a happy girl?’” The resulting artwork is taken from a childhood photo of Rihanna, and given a black balloon and a crown covering her eyes. Included is a braille poem, titled 'If They Let Us,' written by friend Chloë Mitchell, which reads: “I sometimes fear that I am misunderstood. It is simply because what I want to say, what I need to say, won’t be heard. Heard in a way I so rightfully deserve. What I choose to say is of so much substance That people just won’t understand the depth of my message. So my voice is not my weakness, It is the opposite of what others are afraid of. My voice is my suit and armor, My shield, and all that I am. I will comfortably breathe it in, until I find the moment to be silent. I live loudly in my mind, so many hours of the day. The world is pin drop sound compared to the boom That thumps and bumps against the walls of my cranium. I live it and love it and despise it and I am entrapped in it. So being misunderstood, I am not offended by the gesture, but honored. If they let us…” Rihanna would go on to say that the use of braille was inspired by the idea that those can see the best, sometimes see the least, while braille is something that has characterized Nachum’s artwork in the past. Before handing the microphone off to Nachum and posing for photos with some fans while the DJ played 'Bitch Better Have My Money,' Rihanna added “this is my favourite album artwork yet in my career.” Still, no release date for 'Anti' was given, and no new music from the collection was unveiled. Rih says this is her favorite album she's ever done #r8 pic.twitter.com/r2hiwszHOy— ™ (@Dragging1D) October 8, 2015 Front and back album artwork for @rihanna's 8th studio album. #R8 pic.twitter.com/zsiYHZyWOF— The FADER (@thefader) October 8, 2015 Front and back album artwork for @rihanna's 8th studio album. #R8 pic.twitter.com/zsiYHZyWOF— The FADER (@thefader) October 8, 2015 There are Braille translations of the interior artwork for @rihanna's 8th studio album packaging #R8 pic.twitter.com/mX7Rdgru2D— The FADER (@thefader) October 8, 2015 The title of @rihanna's 8th studio album is "Anti" pic.twitter.com/RTjeclX5PN— The FADER (@thefader) October 8, 2015 pic.twitter.com/EgEoTUD4Od— The FADER (@thefader) October 8, 2015
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