Rihanna covers Essence Magazine

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Rihanna is featured in Bang Bang’s new book My Life as Ink, where she discusses her tattoos and Bang Bang’s impact on her body art:

“I met Bang Bang because about ten years ago I used to hang out downtown, by the tattoo shop where he worked. I would usually just roam around the streets, but one night I went into the shop and started looking around at nipple rings, and asking all kinds of questions about tattoos.”

“Tupac was playing loud, and Bang Bang was just sitting there, looking at me – with this face on – thinking, this girl isn’t going to buy shit. I could tell! He was like, this girl would never get a piercing… she would never get a tattoo.”

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Posted by An.J / Filed under: Interviews, News, Rihanna Talk / Leave a comment?

Famous tattoo artist Bang Bang showed a preview of the content of his new book, where Rihanna is featured. He has tattooed Rihanna multiple times, and made the art on her body iconic.

In time for his book release, Bang Bang shared a video of Rihanna and asked her a question:

I asked @badgalriri “of all the people you meet, how do you choose who to call a friend?” ….. Rih thank you so much for helping with this book, your support through the years has meant the world to me. You define style and the world follows. It’s a privilege to decorate your body, it’s an honor to be your friend? #ShesMySpiritAnimal 11.17.15

In the beginning of his career, Bang Bang was rejected dozens of times before a ‘dilapidated’ shop on Fourth Street and Sixth Avenue hired him. He soon moved on West Village prlor Whatever Tattoos – where he would meet the client who would change is life.

In 2005, a 17-year-old Rihanna strolled into the shop looking for a nipple ring. When she asked the store piercer, Joe Snake, for the best tattoo artist in the city, he told her Bang Bang was the man she was looking for, showing her a Freddy Krueger tattoo he had done on the store manager’s thigh.

Rihanna was impressed and and on the day of her consult with 19-year-old Bang Bang she explained that she wanted a tattoo a necklace made up of Sanskrit writings on the back of her legs.

A few days later she came back with a Paper magazine reporter in tow, and while she originally wanted the tattoo running down her leg, Bang Bang says ‘it did not look sexy’ when they put the stencil on it.

Instead, he convinced her to put it on her hip, which Rihanna is still grateful for. Ten years later, he and the singer, who is now 27, is still a client and a ‘forever friend’. She even wrote the foreword of Bang Bang’s book.

‘The thing I value most about Bang Bang is his honesty,’ Rihanna reveals.

‘He will never tattoo a bad idea—like EVER. That is the best thing about him—he has shut down so many of my crazy ideas.’

She goes on to say that when she was getting her now infamous gun tattoo, he was the one who talked her out of getting two of them on her collarbones.

Bang Bang credits Rihanna for leading him to the likes of Katy Perry of Cara Delevingne, explaining that much of his notoriety has been from word of mouth and later celebrity photos and shout-outs shared on social media.

Posted by An.J / Filed under: Interviews, News, Rihanna Talk / Leave a comment?

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The author and filmmaker Miranda July asks the pop superstar what turns her on, how she handles the pressure of public scrutiny and why she’s been Googling childbirth. (Then they become best friends.)

I DRESSED VERY CAREFULLY for her, the way I would for a good friend, thinking hard about what she likes. What I think she likes. I ordered Uber Black — the highest level of Uber I’ve ridden. The driver said it would be about an hour and a half to Malibu, a long time to resist telling him where I was going.

‘‘I’m going to meet Rihanna,’’ I finally yelled over the radio.

He turned the radio down.

‘‘Rihanna. I’m going to meet her, to interview her. That’s where we’re going.’’

‘‘You kidding? That’s my girl,’’ he said. ‘‘I love her. She’s so down-to-earth. She always keep it cool with her friend and her family. Her and Melissa, I think they are the best celebrity friends. I always say that.’’

‘‘Melissa Forde,’’ I said, to show that I knew who he meant.

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Rihanna is firmly in control of her life and career—but not of her image, which has veered between club-hopping temptress and poster child for victims of domestic abuse. As the 27-year-old readies her long-awaited new album, she talks candidly about the chasm between her reality and her reputation.

What makes Rihanna special—outside of the music—is that she is someone who is genuinely herself. People connect with her. You are seeing the authentic version of who she is. You can see her scars and her flaws…. She’s gone through things that everyone’s gone through—dysfunctional relationships, things that played out in front of everyone’s eyes—and she’s done a real good job of keeping her life private, but just living her life as a young person … unapologetically. You have to have a tough skin in this business; you’re going to hear some things about yourself that you’re going to think, What?? Are you crazy? — Jay Z.

I honestly think how much fun it would be to live my reputation. People have this image of how wild and crazy I am, and I’m not everything they think of me. The reality is that the fame, the rumors—this picture means this, another picture means that—it really freaks me out. It made me back away from even wanting to attempt to date. It’s become second nature for me to just close that door and just be O.K. with that. I’m always concerned about whether people have good or bad intentions. — Rihanna

Rihanna sits across the table from me in the private room at Giorgio Baldi, her favorite restaurant in L.A. Her hair is reddish, wavy; her face seems free of makeup. She’s even more beautiful in person than she is in her photos. She’s wearing a white crop top, denim cutoff shorts, Puma sneakers, and a flowing Chinese-patterned robe. When she orders three half-portions of pasta dishes (spaghetti pomodoro with basil, gnocchi, and ravioli), I ask how she maintains her curvy but slim figure.

She says, “Legit, I have been in the gym every day this week because I am not willing to give up my food. But I will sacrifice an hour for the gym.”

The 27-year-old woman in front of me is not the provocative, wild hip-hop prom queen, the sexy girl allegedly at the center of a jealous, bottle-throwing brawl in a nightclub, nor the habitué of L.A. and New York hot spots 1Oak and Up & Down. Nor is she the woman who has been described as badass, shocking, naughty, tough—pictured in tabloids and online with various rumored rapper/actor/athlete boyfriends. She is elegant, funny, straightforward, and downright horrified (and laughs hysterically) at all of the rumors I toss at her. And while people may assume that her life is just one big, long, sexy night out on the town, she insists it’s not true. I ask about her bad-girl reputation.

“Honestly, I’ve been thinking lately about how boring I am,” she says. “When I do get time to myself, I watch TV.”

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Rihanna NME Magazine

She’s the first artist to shift 100m digital singles; Vogue calls her the world’s most exciting fashion muse; in music, her varied collaborators are an A-list dream team, from Drake, Paul McCartney and Coldplay to Eminem, Kanye and Nicki Minaj. Rihanna is, therefore, a person who can afford to run to her own schedule. It’s approaching midnight when she sits down with NME in the low-lit upstairs room of an LA photo studio.

It’s been a long day. We first meet during the afternoon, and while it’s hard to predict how a Rihanna greeting might unfold, NME isn’t quite prepared for the breezy stride into the room, the smiley “Hi!”, the hug and the high five. “I’m off!” she then declares grandly, waving her arm around her head, “to transform!”

She disappears into the room next door. At another shoot down the corridor Will Ferrell comes and goes, but not before popping in to say hi to Rihanna.

When Rihanna reappears, she does so with a melodramatic, pre-emptive cry of “Finally!”, but it’s fine: waiting a few hours is fine for Rihanna.

Rihanna-NME-2Between 2005 and 2012 Rihanna released or re-released at least one album a year, every year. Then in 2013 something strange happened: no Rihanna album. But at least it’s finished, right?

“It’s not done!” Rihanna chortles. By now she’s curled up on a sofa and draped in an oversized green bomber jacket. “To me it’s never done until it’s done. Until the final moment.”

So her eighth album proper doesn’t yet have a tracklisting (“I have so many songs I love – and they’re so different – that it’s hard to actually put them all on the same album”).

And there’s no title yet – Rihanna’s whittled it down to two, but acknowledges that fans will probably always call it ‘R8’, the name they’ve given it in the absence of concrete information.

“No matter what I post online, within three comments there’s somebody saying, ‘Where is ‘R8’?’” She cackles. “I could post anything. Nothing else matters. They don’t care about anything but that.”

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RihannaRihanna says she’s thrilled to have had a decade-long career in music and she plans on celebrating the feat at some point this year.

“Definitely a very big deal for me. You know, I can’t believe it’s 10 years already, but we definitely have to celebrate this year,” the singer said during an interview Monday. “There are a few things I have in mind, so you’ll have wait on that, but don’t think I’m forgetting because this means a lot to me that I made it to 10 years.”

Rihanna released her debut album, “Music of the Sun,” in 2005. The 27-year-old has released seven albums, launched multiple Top 10 hits and won eight Grammy Awards.

This year she’s dropped three singles, including the Top 5 hit “FourFiveSeconds,” and says she’s busy working on her eighth album.

“New album is going really, really great. We have recorded a lot of songs and I can’t wait to finish and put it out. That’s my next step,” she said.

Rihanna made the comments at Macy’s in downtown Brooklyn at the launch of her new fragrance called Ri Ri. Feverish fans screamed inside the packed store, singing her lyrics to past hits and dancing wildly as one of her songs blasted from from speakers.

“I know I made a great decision coming to Brooklyn because Brooklyn fans are on another level,” she said. “They are full of energy and they’re loud and I like that. They’re going to turn up in here today.”

The singer said Ri Ri is the first of a new trilogy of fragrances. She’s had more than a half dozen other fragrances in the past.

“I intentionally wanted to do something fun, something that made you feel young, flirty, you know, cute,” she said with a smile. “It’s like a brand new pair of shoes.”

Posted by An.J / Filed under: Album, Music, News, Rihanna Talk / Leave a comment?

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Rihanna is one of the world’s biggest stars. But who shapes her success?

In time for Rihanna’s decade long anniversary as an artist, UK’s BBC Radio 1 have made a radio documentary called ‘Who Makes Rihanna’. Rather than focusing on the lady herself, they’re celebrating the people who have made her who she is today.

Sarah-Jane Crawford goes beyond the hits and headlines to discover Who Makes Rihanna and keeps her on top.

We hear from those who make the music and decide whether her songs get played on the radio. Plus, we find out what it’s like being on tour with Rihanna from the man in charge of her shows.

Sarah-Jane also speaks to those behind the hype, from photographers to magazines, online blogs and fansites. And we explore who helps create her style with the team behind her first high street fashion line and RiRi’s tattoo artist.

Ultimate-Rihanna had the chance to be part of the documentary to share on what it’s like to be part of Rihanna Navy.

The programme will be aired at the following times:

BBC Radio 1Xtra – Sun 30th August – 9PM GMT

BBC Radio 1 – Tues 1st September – 9PM GMT

Don’t forget to tune in to listen to the 1h documentary to find out Who Makes Rihanna!

Posted by An.J / Filed under: Audio, News, Rihanna Navy, Rihanna Talk / Leave a comment?