Singing sensation Rihanna made her debut two years ago with the summer anthem “Pon de Replay.” Since then, she’s only gotten hotter—both physically and on the charts. Hits like “S.O.S.,” “Unfaithful,”“We Ride,” this spring’s “Umbrella,” and its follow-up, “Shut Up and Drive,” have helped the 19-year-old beauty (whose third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, is in stores now) rocket to superstar status. MF spoke with the single—and available—star recently to find out just what it takes to get her under your umbrella.
MF: So, what’s the deal, are you really a good girl gone bad?
Rihanna: [Laughs] The title of the album represents my liberation. Being able to break out of the innocent image I was forced into. Now I’m just being me. I’m a little more rebellious. On the record you hear that I have a lot more attitude. So it matches the new sound, the new image, the new haircut . . . the new everything.
Does part of the new you include your music videos? “Umbrella” is your sexiest clip yet. What was it like filming the silver scene? Was it spe- cial effects or were you really naked with your whole body painted?
I was! It was actually fun doing it because it’s probably something that I’ll only do once in my lifetime. Two women painted me, spraying coat after coat. Then I stood in a big black box so that no one could see me in the nude while they filmed. There were only, like, eight people in the box including the director and my manager.
Sounds hot. Did you enjoy it?
The body paint was really oily. I couldn’t wait to get it o=/ my face. That was the worst part about it—getting it off. I was in the shower for two and
a half hours! My best friend had to come and shower with me, because after I tried to do it myself, the silver would just go back to where I just washed myself. She was just like, “Take your hands off and let me do it.” Days after, I still had some in my hair, ears, even my belly button. It would not come off. [Laughs]
You worked with a lot of stars on the album: Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, and Ne-Yo. How was that experience?
I loved it. It was my first time working with Justin, but I’ve always been a huge fan—now more then ever. He’s extremely talented; a lot of people don’t know that not only is he a great vocalist, he’s a great producer as well. And Jay-Z, it’s just an honor to have a collaboration with him. Ne-Yo, it’s always fun to work with him. He’s a great guy and a great songwriter. Timbaland is just the king of production, so it was an honor to work with him. And he’s also a fun guy in the studio.
Any other artists you’re anxious to collaborate with?
Yeah, I would love to work with Chris Brown. And I’m on a mission to work with André 3000. He’s a genius.
[pagebreak] On a different front, what does it take for a guy to get a date with a girl like you?
Definitely a great body, a great physique! [Laughs] Tall and handsome.
What’s the first thing you check out on a guy?
His height. I mean, there are some cute short guys, but I prefer to look up, not down.
You’re an amazing dancer. Does your date’s dancing ability affect whether you’ll want to get to know him?
Absolutely! I love to dance and love seeing people dance. I’m from Barbados—it’s all about rhythm and groove. I just adore dancing; it’s such a great art.
What’s the craziest thing anyone has done to get your attention?
The other night I was hanging out in SoHo with one of my friends. As we got into the SUV, about 100 kids just started chasing us. One guy was such a superfan that he jumped onto the car while we were driving and his face was implanted on the window. [Laughs] It was so funny. He was just screaming my name. It was very intense, but a funny experience.
Speaking of obsessed fans, what’s the worst pickup line anyone’s tried on you?
Ugh. I have a really pathetic one. This guy told me to give him a remedy because I’m his doctor. He thought it was so fly, but it was really corny.
How are guys in the States different from the ones in your homeland?
Barbados is such a small country. Everyone knows everyone’s business, so the guys tend to be loyal and show their girls a lot of attention. The guys in America, you never know what they’re up to. Especially now that I’m traveling a lot, there’s no way I can keep an eye out. That’s one of the downfalls. But there are great guys in America, too, I have to say.
Is it challenging to meet new guys, considering you’re so famous now?
Every time I meet someone now, I always keep my guard up. I guess that can get in the way sometimes. It’s like a reflex action. He hits on me and my guard is up. Like I have to find every reason why he can’t be the guy. I just drill him. I make guys go through hell some- times. [Laughs] Some of these guys are just too slick. But I’m ready for them.