It’s appropriate that Rihanna’s new album is called “Rated-R” — the singer has done a lot of maturing since she offered to let us stand under her umbrella. But she says mature subject matter is not the only reason for the title of her fourth studio effort.
Your last album was “Good Girl Gone Bad” and the new one is “Rated-R.” Are you getting more and more sultry with each album?
Not purposely. “Rated-R” really stands for me. My image is sexy and that’s just the way I am.
Your image and sound are darker and edgier on this album, too.
For an artist, an album is a reflection of who they are at that point in their life. I put out my last album when I was 19; I’ve grown up a lot in two years. So the image is going to change, the sound is going to change, and I learned a lot more about music.
You were signed by Jay-Z on Def Jam and he’s no longer at the helm. Did that change the way you made this album?
It definitely did. There were some difficulties politically, but they wanted to work with me. They look at me as their little girl.
Your album has guests Young Jeezy, Will.i.am and Slash, and Justin Timberlake has penned a song. How did you snag them?
They all came last-minute, especially Slash and Will.i.am. Will.i.am sent me some songs that he had in mind for us and ... we went back to his house to his studio. For three hours, we sat across from each other and battled it [out], and finally he gave it to me.