Rihanna

Some of this could be incorrect but RideOrDie (an often reliable ATRL insider) has spilled some Rihanna tea. A lot of the ANTi stuff in particular is legit. You can see variations of these track lists in the Rihanna book.

Gather round Navi, I know y'all been suffering from the drought so I thought it'd be interesting to revisit Anti and share some interesting tidbits from the messy ass recording process of this album, as well as share some exclusive tea from her now scrapped reggae/dancehall album that she was getting ready to release in 2019/2020. Buckle up!

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Anti and Home were two side by side projects in the making with writing sessions taking place for both of these records. Home was scheduled to be released in fall 2014, followed by Anti in 2015. Anti had many iterations and draft tracklists, with tracks often being considered for both of these projects and moving between them.

In February 2014, both of these records were in very early stages. Anti, which was still an untitled batch of songs looked like:

1. "Precious Time" (Prod. Darkchild)
2. "Souls & Bedrooms" (Prod. Darkchild)
3. "As Real As You And Me" (Prod. Darkchild)
4. "Love On The Brain"
5. "In The Dark"
6. "Coals Burn Out" (Demo by Charli XCX & Sia exists, Drake and Kanye West were also interested)
7. "(Dep extra)" (yet to be made by producer Dep)
8. "Club Electra"


In April 2014, Anti was taking shape to be an interesting album with a lot more generic pop songs, it's interesting to see how Love On The Brain is the only song from this time to actually make it to the final product, a testatement to it being one of her best songs.

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1. No Angel/Lying (Kayne West)
2. Desert Flower (Stargate) [Also recorded by Kylie Minogue]
3. Stay High (DJ Mustard)
4. Twice (DJ Mustard)
5. Sun of A Beautiful Morning
6. Stay Forever (Stargate/Chase&Status)
7. Love On The Brain (Fred Ball)
8. OPH - Over Priced Hoes (Tricky Stewart)
9. American Oxygen (Alex Da Kid)
10. Sucker For Pain (Alex Da Kid) [Released by Imagine Dragons for Suicide Squad]
12. I Hate It (Kirby Lauryn)
13. Pray For Me (Key Wayne)
14. Let Me In (Sam Smith)
15. Sledgehammer (Jesse Shatkin)


At this point, earlier songs such as 'Precious Time', 'As Real As You And Me', 'In The Dark' were considered for the Home soundtrack.

By June 2014, lots of additions were made to this album while some songs were taken off. At this point Rihanna had only recorded her vocals for only 3 songs 'I Hate It', 'Sledgehammer', and 'Living On Top'. A lot of movement was happening with songs being moved from one project to another, such as 'Coals Burn Out' and 'Living On Top'.

1. Coals Burn Out
2. Twice
3. Love On The Brain
4. American Oxygen feat. X Ambassadors
5. Sucker For Pain
6. I Hate It
7. Pray For Me
8. Let Me In
9. Sledgehammer
10. Living On Top formerly known as Cigarettes & Lipstick
11. Fun- Coldplay Duet (Released by Coldplay on their album ft/ Tove Lo)
12. Remember Him - Eminem Duet (written by Skylar Grey)
13. Never Ending


Once we hit 2015 and Home got released, all the focus was now on getting Anti released by November 2015. By summer 2015, we had a tracklist consisting of:

1. American Oxygen (VIDEO released on Tidal 4/6/15--- need to release ASAP for all, POTENTIAL SINGLE)
2. Only If For A Night (Interlude) (done as an interlude first, Rihanna wanted to do a longer version, seems to have been blocked by Roc Nation higher ups)
3. Four, Five Seconds
4. ***** Better Have My Money (formerly known as 'You Owe Me', single #2)
5. Ain't None of this Promised (video planned)
6. Never Ending (video planned)
7. Love On The Brain
8. Sledgehammer
9. Kiss It Better (potential single)
10. Lemon
11. Precious Time (moved back from Home)
12. Ah!
13. James Joint formerly known as I Rather Be (Interlude) 1:06 - now FULL SONG (???????)
14. Power (not mixed or mastered)
15. Mind Body Soul
16. One Way Ticket
17. Love You More
18. Higher
19. Pose
20. Lock And Key
21. Small Dirty Secrets (NEXT SINGLE)
22. As I Am
23. Just Feel It
24. JOYRIDE (Leave Tinashe ALONE!!)
25. Only One
26. Petty Nonsense
27. Yesss *****
28. More Than You'll Ever Know


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In October and November 2015, the album went through many changes on a weekly basis. It seems like the process was picking up speed to get this album done and released ASAP as there was now a huge Samsung deal made.

October 2015:
1. Only If For A Night (INTERLUDE (if 120 seconds or less)
2. Just Feel It
3. Pose
4. Only One
5. James Joint
6. Kiss It Better
7. Love On The Brain
8. Higher
9. Close To You
10. Joy Ride (Poor Tinashe)
11. Mind, Body, Soul
12. Let Me In
13. One Way Ticket
14. Lock And Key
15. Sledgehammer
16. Petty Nonsense
17. Yeah, I Said It
18. 3RD Hit-Boy Track - "TBD" (which became Woo)


November 2015:
18. Woo
19. Company
20. Needed Me
21. Walk Away
22. Body Language
23. Sex Is Amazing
24. Abort
25. Paradise
26. Brand New


After the album release in 2016, there were "B" List and "C" List outtakes she had in the vault that were potential future releases she wanted to keep.

B-List:
Yesss ***** (This went on to be considered for R9)
Brand New
Small Dirty Secrets (This was once going to be a single in 2015)
Petty Nonsense
Lock And Key (This also went on to be considered for R9)
Joy Ride (Let Tinashe LIVE!!)
Company
Body Language (this track sampled "Soulful Moaning" performed by Dale and was cleared)
Just Feel It (Interlude)
"Sledgehammer (Being used in movie)"
Paradise
Love You More


C-List:
Ain't None Of This Promised
Drop That
I Hate It
Lemon
Power
Mind, Body, Soul


These are the tracks she let go of:
Walk Away
Only Fun
Let Me In (written by Sam Smith)
Abort (written by Kehlani)
One Way Ticket (Credit dispute between producers.)
Only One
Petty Nonsense (produced by Timbaland)
Ahh!
Precious Time
Space Between (Sia snatched this one back)


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FUN FACTS:
  • ***** Better Have My Grammys video cost around $700,000+. The song was formerly titled You Owe Me.
  • Kanye West was paid a million dollar advance for 4,5 Skips. Paul McCartney got 7% royalties.
  • Rihanna's publishing splits on Anti tracks range from a measly 2% on Higher to 20% on Consideration and Yeah I Said It. She has a 10% split on Goodnight Gotham, for doing WHAT?
  • Desperado and Woo had infringement claims. For Desperado, they managed to settle it out of court in August 2016. Banks got paid $73,000 and received a writing credit. This was pretty much "we'll pay you off if you don't sue us and take it to court". Stream Waiting Game.
  • At one point Rihanna intended to cover and actually sing Only If For A Night. This was titled 'A Night' in 2014. In the end they only kept it as a sample interlude. One reason for that was they would have needed to pay 3% royalties if the song was longer than 2 minutes.
  • 'Small Dirty Secrets' was definitely going to be a single in 2015 following 'American Oxygen', whereas 'Kiss It Better' was a potential single consideration. 'Ain't None Of This Promised' (when it was still part of the album) and 'Never Ending' had video shoots to be scheduled.
  • Dido got 12% publishing share for 'Never Ending'. This was finalised in 2014. This was one of the earliest songs made for the album that actually ended up on the final tracklist, along with Love On The Brain.
  • Even though 'Same Old Love' was heavily rumoured to be for Anti, this song was never in heavy consideration for either Anti or Home. This might be because she was offered no publishing/writing splits (0%) and a music exec at Roc Nation called it off for this song.
  • Just like Same Old Love, there were a lot of songs recorded or considered during this time. One example was a song titled 'Beatles' which sampled Come Together by The Beatles. This song was not really considered for anything. Dozens more titles were recorded, such as Taurus (Kanye West), Spaceships (by Emeli Sandé which was going to be taken back by her and released on her album) and a song called Raggamuffin. It's never exactly clear if she had actually cut vocals for any of these songs or if they were just submitted to her and considered, but we all know some of them like 'Same Old Love' has demos leaked.
  • In 2013, RiRi renewed her recording deal for 5 years for 4 albums owning all her masters. Each album would receive an advance of $1.5 million. Get that money b*tch!

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By 2019, Miss Fenty had an active draft for what was going to be her next album R9. This reggae inspired record consisting of 19 songs was nearing completion in 2019. Supa Dups was a big producer for this album, but other writers and producers included names such as Fernando Garibay, Koz, Coffee, Jon Bellion, Stereotypes, Beam, De Marco and more with a good portion of them being Jamaican reggae artists. Some of the B-List outtakes from Anti such as 'Yesss *****' and 'Lock And Key' were also heavily considered for this album, but this one also had its own list of side B tracks in the consideration. Compared to Anti, Rihanna seemed to be more involved with this album as her splits mainly fell around 20 percent for majority of the tracks. There were also few samples of older reggae songs. During 2019 a lot of the songs considered for this album were registered on sites like ASCAP.

TRACKLIST:
1. BOOMERANG
2. RIGHTEOUS
3. PUM PUM
4. START IT
5. REWARD
6. LET ME IN
7. FREEZE IT (formerly known as STREETZ PON LOCK)
8. BREAKUP TO MAKEUP
9. THIS FEELING
10. GWAN LOOK PON IT
11. WHERE'D THE MAGIC GO
12. WHAT YOU'RE MISSING (formerly known as PRIVATE LOVING)
13. LIGHTS UP
14. LOVE LOOKS LIKE US
15. MY WORLD
16. DWEET
17. PUT IT PON ME
18. GARDEN
19. NO DISTURB SIGN (COVER by Beres Hammond)


There were also more tracks in the making such as Quickly (Pharrell), Fireburner and Real High which were finished later on in 2020. Real High was rumoured to have a music video made and the instrumental was played on Savage x Fenty Show, with a potential single release that never happened.

And there you have it Navé, that is all I have for you today. I hope you enjoyed looking back at the creation of her only interesting album, fuelled by dozens of writing camps, Roc Nation meddlings, producer/writer disputes, 2% writing splits, infringement claims, several delays, Tidal releases and scrapped songs + music videos.

- xoxo, RideOrDie
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Enjoyed reading every sentence of this.

Shocked, but also not, that her team/label have never cobbled together some of what was left on the cutting room floor to release a collection of sorts whilst she’s MUA.

Shame about the album/s not happening in 2019/20.

These days… I’m less and less sure she’ll ever release new music. Or at least, an album, ever again.
 
I keep seeing AI generated photos of Rihanna at the Met Gala wearing amazing elaborate outfits today.

Now use that AI to generate an album because she’s not dropping one any time soon.
 


She probably got the news of the certifications and thought, "I guess I still don't have to make any new music and still dominate!"

I mean... if I was her, I guess I would also not really be in a rush to release anything new unless I really wanted to or enjoyed it.
 

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