British music journalism giant NME is kicking off their weekly, free magazine in rock 'n' roll fashion, with Rihanna as their inaugural cover star. The free magazine launches its first edition on September 18, but released the cover image on Thursday. The shot features Rihanna in a classic pose: defiant, direct and with a cloud of smoke billowing out of her mouth. Wearing a shredded T-shirt with the word "Free," and wearing minimal makeup and a thick metal chain necklace, the singer embodies everything NME stands for.
In the interview, she gives an update on her long-awaited eighth studio album, tentatively titled R8. Guess what? It's not finished. "To me it's never done until it’s done."
She blames Kanye West, who is producing the album, for the delay, claiming that their incompatible schedules have gotten in the way. "We just have to wait to get back in the studio together," she says. "His schedule and mine are totally opposite right now, but I think this month we’ll be back in the studio."
She continues, "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."
NME teases talk about Taylor Swift, feminism, life in the public eye and more in the interview, which drops on Friday.
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(Photo: NME Magazine; September 18, 2015)