It’s almost hard to think about Rihanna’s career without remembering her assault at the hands of her ex Chris Brown in 2009. However, in the April issue of VOGUE Magazine, the singer says the dark incident brought positive change into her life and led her through some rough phases.
“It actually gave me a lot of liberation,” said Rihanna. “What I mean is, I was able to tap into the personal part of my music. I started to tell stories through my music that were actually my stories. My album before that, there was still a little bit of protection, there was still an innocence to me. And what that time in my life did was kind of wake people up.”
Perhaps there was no better sign of that innocent loss than Rihanna’s “Rated R,” the album that was released in November of 2009, less than ten months after the now infamous drive home with Brown after a pre-Grammy party. Many of us we taken aback by the sound of Rated R, with the singles, “The Wait Is Over” and “Russian Roulette” showing a complete 180 from the more upbeat singles that had catapulted her to stardom early in the game.
Now, Rihanna says that she looks back at that album and sees a different person from who she is now:
“It was darker, edgier, more aggressive. I can’t come out singing happy songs if I’m not happy. Even the look of it, the styling, what I wore. But I quickly found peace in myself: who I am and what I want to do in life. I couldn’t hold on to all that pain and anger, because I knew that wasn’t me at all.”
The VOGUE interview has been highly anticipated as the singer opens up about her estranged relationship with her father, Ronald Fenty. The two have had their issues but Rihanna says after he spoke to the press about the incident with Brown and never called her, she stopped speaking to him altogether.
Despite the betrayal from her father and abuse from Brown, Rihanna has not given up on the idea of love. She is simply putting it on the backburner. After splitting with Dodger outfielder Matt Kemp, Rihanna says she has stopped looking for love and is focusing on finding something more.
“I just kind of shut down from that,” she says. “I just let it go. I don’t ever want to have to depend on a relationship. I think it’s a really special thing to find love. It’s beautiful. Nothing can match it. But I want to make sure that I find other things in life that I love besides… love.”
We hear that.