Sophia Elias
October 08, 2015 11:25 am

At last, Rihanna’s treating us to a teeny weeny bit of insight on her forthcoming album.

Last night, she unveiled visuals for her eighth studio album at the MAMA art gallery in Los Angeles. Contrary to popular belief, Rihanna’s dubbed her album ANTI (not R8), which sounds very rebellious and is thus, very Rihanna. Here’s a little sneak peek she posted to Instagram earlier this week:

As for the actual album art, Rihanna commissioned artist Roy Nachum to create seven oil paintings. The main album cover features baby Ri holding a black balloon with an giant gold crown hovering over her eyes. The image is splashed with blood-red paint on the top half of the canvas, giving it a more of a sinister vibe. And, as with most album art these days, there’s (literally) more than meets the eye….because Rihanna’s album art is covered in Braille.  

Now, considering the crown is covering Rihanna’s eyes and the Braille is covering the physical album, we’re sensing some sort of vision-themed metaphor here. Rihanna confirmed our suspicions about the album concept when she said, “Sometimes the ones who have sight are the blindest.”

Rihanna’s spokesperson smartly noted that, “This is the first time an album has ever incorporated physical Braille. The Braille inscription will also allow people who are blind to experience an entire album by touch.”

To clarify, the inscriptions written in Braille is a poem written by Chloe Mitchell called, “If They Let Us.” “She got the spirit of what I wanted embodied in this into words,” Rihanna explained. “We just talked and we laughed and we drank, and this is the poem we came up with, which is ‘If They Let Us’.”

The poem reads: I sometimes fear that I am misunderstood.

It is simply because what I want to say, what I need to say, won’t be heard.

Heard in a way I so rightfully deserve.

What I choose to say is of so much substance

That people just won’t understand the depth of my message. So my voice is not my weakness,

It is the opposite of what others are afraid of.

My voice is my suit and armor, My shield, and all that I am.

I will comfortably breath [sic] in it, until I find the moment to be silent.

I live loudly in my mind, so many hours of the day.

The world is pin drop sound compared to the boom

That thumps and bumps against the walls of my cranium.

I live it and love it and despise it and I am entrapped in it.

So being misunderstood,

I am not offended by the gesture, but honored.

If they let us…

ANTI still doesn’t have a release date, so we’ll just enjoy this gorgeous album art in the meantime.  

(Images via Instagram)

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