Rihanna just made any other news today irrelevant. Earlier today, in a snowy New York City photoshoot that is fit for the couple that shuts down any city they’re in, Rihanna exposed her pregnant belly for the first time, confirming she is officially with child.
Taken by celebrity photographer Miles Diggs, Rocky and Rihanna’s pregnancy reveal shoot looks like a surprisingly unglamorous stroll to the bodega through Rocky’s hometown of Harlem. But, as is typical with the Barbados national hero, Rihanna’s illuminating essence is uncompromised by the frigid New York City temperatures, with her picture-perfect face striking poses made for the cover of Vogue as she rubs her pregnant belly. As is typical with the world, Rihanna won’t be going through this pregnancy alone because the entire world is freaking out and lending their insights to the soon-to-be first-time mother.
While we all may be in shock, Rihanna having a baby in 2022 aligns perfectly with her plan for motherhood. In 2019, she told Extra she was preparing her body for pregnancy by taking supplements and working out. A year later, the billionaire mogul told British Vogue she was determined to have a child in the next few years regardless of whether there was a man in her life or not. She went as far as saying she’ll have upwards of four children by 2030, so Rihanna may not be anywhere close to done with breaking the internet with pregnancy photoshoots. Since being with Rihanna went from a dream to a reality, Rocky has also begun publicly expressing his desires for being a father. In his June/July GQ cover story, the notorious hip-hop playboy expressed how fatherhood is part of his destiny in the most A$AP Rocky way possible.
“I think I’d be an incredible, remarkably, overall amazing dad,” he beamed. “I would have a very fly child. Very.”
As overjoyed as we all are about Rihanna producing more greatness for the world, the initial fear that befell everyone was the thought of pregnancy keeping her from completing her elusive ninth studio album. Some think we’re only getting a new album from Rihanna if she names her baby “album.” Others can relate to Rihanna not wanting to do the extra work of putting out an album when she’s already rich and gorgeous. And a select few are jokingly ready to go to extreme (read: illegal) means to procure the album, baby or not. But, they’re all looking at Rihanna’s pregnancy all wrong. If anything, a pregnant Rihanna might speed up the process of putting out an album.
While promoting Ocean’s 8 with an Interview Magazine feature, Rihanna explained how making albums used to be easier for when she could spend three straight months locked in a studio. But, you can’t be in the studio that much while also acting in a movie, running fashion, lingerie, and cosmetic companies, and trying to get the little sleep she can get. She described all of her endeavors as children that all need attention from her. “It’s the reason why an album isn’t being spat out like it used to,” she admitted.
In a 1999 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Lauryn Hill explained how pregnancy actually renewed her drive to finish her seminal album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
“I was very pregnant, and I should have been tired. But I had a huge amount of energy instead. I had all these ideas and I'd be in the studio till 3 in the morning. I remember recording one vocal while I was flat on my back because I was so big I couldn't stand for long periods anymore.”
Hill remarked how giving birth added a level of finality to an era of her life she was trying to properly encapsulate in her debut solo album. No two women or pregnancies are the same, but Rihanna potentially lessening her day-to-day responsibilities in order to focus on pregnancy could lead to more time comfortably sitting in place and documenting her changing emotions through song. Whether she works on an album or not, Rihanna will be busy with her greatest creation to date for the remainder of 2022.