Rihanna on racism in the music industry: ‘It never ends’

"It's the thing that makes me want to prove people wrong," says the singer.

Rihanna has spoken out against racism in the music industry, revealing that despite her huge success, her race is frequently highlighted in her business dealings.

Speaking to The New York Times, the singer also spoke about racial profiling and assumptions people make based on the colour of her skin.

“I have to bear in mind that people are judging you because you’re packaged a certain way – they’ve been programmed to think a black man in a hoodie means grab your purse a little tighter,” said Rihanna. “For me, it comes down to smaller issues, scenarios in which people can assume something of me without knowing me, just by my packaging.”

With regards to the music industry, the ‘Umbrella’ performer claimed the racism “never ends”.

“When I started to experience the difference – or even have my race be highlighted – it was mostly when I would do business deals… That never ends, by the way. It’s still a thing. And it’s the thing that makes me want to prove people wrong. It almost excites me; I know what they’re expecting and I can’t wait to show them that I’m here to exceed those expectations.”

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Rihanna last week announced her forthcoming album ‘Anti’ at an exclusive gallery party in LA. Hosting the event at Mama Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District, she revealed the LP’s title with a written explanation on the entryway wall, defining the word as “a person opposed to a particular policy, activity or idea”.

“In her collaboration with Roy Nachum, Rihanna has changed the history of album art. By continuing to follow her own instincts, her work strives to make an impact by doing the very antithesis of what the public expects,” it read.

Inside the event, various braille art pieces graced the walls. Upon entry, the fans were given red sashes and then later used them as blindfolds, adding their own fingerprints to the Israeli artist’s pieces.

A release date for ‘Anti’ has yet to be announced.