Music

Rihanna’s ‘I’m Retired’ Shirt Has the Navy Wondering If R9 Is In Permanent Dry Dock

It’s pretty easy to imagine that by now Rihanna is sick to death of people asking her when R9 is coming. After dropping albums at a furious, nearly one-a-year pace through 2012’s Unapologetic, the singer has kept her Navy in dry dock since releasing 2016’s Anti. Which is why every time RihRih steps out to do anything the inevitable “when is R9 coming?” questions rain down on her.

There are two ways to deal with that kind of relentless pressure: ignore it or have a laugh. On Thursday (June 6), the “Umbrella” star appeared to take the latter path while out for a stroll with boyfriend A$AP Rocky in New York. Rocking a pair of blue Dior shield sunglasses, red sneakers and a dark blue maxi skirt, Rihanna grabbed attention with a momcore blue graphic t-shirt featuring the message, “I’m Retired This is as Dressed Up as I Get.”

Wait, what?

The reaction from fans on X ran the gamut from chuckles to serious concern. Among the comments on posts about the shirt were: “That’s the name of the album ????,” “Well, there’s yall answer,” “It’s giving expect no album,” “can’t say I blame her,” “oh we never gettin an album,” “id be retired too if i had a billion dollars” and “I hope she’s not serious but she could be deada–.”

A spokesperson for Rihanna had not returned Billboard‘s request for comment at press time.

In April the singer made it seem like music is in the works, but gave no timetable for a release. “It’s gonna be amazing,” she said of what to expect while talking to Extra. “It has to be — that is the only reason it’s not out yet. If I’m not feeling it and I’m not feeling like it represents the evolution, the time I spent away… There should be a show of growth, right?”

A week earlier, she said more explicitly, “I already got stuff that I feel like I could make hits out of,” adding that the work in progress is “so good” so far.

For now, Rihanna is focusing on her mega-successful Fenty line of beauty products, which will expand next week when she launches Fenty Hair.

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