After months of torturing her fans with album teasers and vague tweets whenever people would ask for its release, Rihanna dropped ANTI and proceeded to go platinum within 48 hours. Can anyone really say that they were expecting any less from the RiRi, who always reigns supreme as one of the world’s most profitable “bad bitch?” Probably not.

ANTI shows off her Caribbean roots with songs like Consideration, featuring alternative R&B singer SZA, and Work, featuring Drake. Consideration grabs the listener immediately. The strong bass line and Barbadian inflection in her vocals make for a powerful sound. No other mainstream female vocalist in the game has stepped into this direction. Groovy. “I got to do things my own way darling / You should just let me / Will you ever respect me, no? (Why won’t you ever let me grow?)” shows the audience that this is not the dreamy, in love Rihanna from Loud or the numb, I-don’t-have-any-feelings Rihanna from Unapologetic. She makes way for an album that sends the message of Rihanna owning her womanhood. She controls it and is not willing to relinquish her power.

Work incorporates dancehall, a genre of Jamaican music, with a signature catchy hook. Rihanna wants anyone who is listening to break out into a three minute twerking session. The song holds such an infectious energy – a classic Rihanna dance tune with that Jamaican feel-good vibe.

The rest of the album continues on with the theme of autonomous lyrics. She does balance this out with soulful ballads to keep the album from being too one-dimensional. Rihanna wants listeners to know that she will rise above being underestimated, that her vocal range can handle more than just pop.

What’s even more notable about this album is that Rihanna is also the creative director for Puma and the face of Samsung and Dior.  She is the first black woman to be the spokesperson for Dior. She voiced a young black girl in Home, the first black heroine in any DreamWorks production. Rihanna consistently paves the way for young people-of-color and minorities everywhere. ANTI proves to everyone that minorities in America can contribute to the art world without having to confine their own culture.

ANTI reflects Rihanna’s growth into a spectacular woman of substance.  The question to ask is, what’s coming next? Yes, Rihanna is a black woman slaying the art industry, but will she be able to add a politically-charged message? Can she show women and minorities alike that we can sustain influence? We are waiting.

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