Rihanna has had a difficult past 12 months in the aftermath of her assault by Chris Brown. But the "Hard" superstar has endured, by being both outspoken about her experience in hopes of helping others and by channeling her experience into Rated R, her most rounded effort to date. She told MTV News last year that she "vented" on the project.
Don't expect her next album to be as dark as Rated R, though.
Rihanna said the follow-up, which has no timetable set yet, will be less intense. "Rated R, I love the sound of it, in terms of the bass," Rihanna explained to MTV Korea. "I really like the bottom, the grime of it. But if I were to combine that with more energetic, up-tempo pop records, then I think that will be a happy marriage. And that's where we'll probably go next."
Rated R was inspired mostly by Rihanna's ordeal in the wake of her and Brown's breakup. The singer was the subject of media headlines worldwide. She kept away from the spotlight after a brief reunion with Brown following their altercation. But when Rihanna returned, she had an album that chronicled her months away from the glare.
"This album is an expression of all those feelings that I went through in the last eight months, just different emotions," she said shortly after Rated R's release. "All of it isn't angry, all of it isn't dark and sad, 'cause I didn't go through that the whole time. That was part of it. It was really a roller coaster, and you get that when you're listening to the album."