Most artists would give their left arm to collaborate with Rihanna, but that’s not the case for reggae star Shaggy. In a move that will make you shout “Rewind, selecta!”, Shaggy recently admitted that he passed up on a chance to appear on RiRi’s long-awaited dancehall album.
Speaking to the Daily Star earlier this week, Shaggy revealed he turned down the Rihanna. According to the “It Wasn’t Me” singer, he opted out of the coveted collab because he didn’t want to audition for the opportunity. He elaborated,
“They approached me for the Rihanna project, yeah. There’s a lot of great people involved, but for me, I didn’t need to audition to be on the record. I’ll leave that to younger guys. But from what I hear, it should be good.”
(Read: The Top 100 Songs of the 2010s)
RiRi hasn’t released an album since 2016’s Anti, which is one of the reasons her upcoming LP9 is one of our 50 Most Anticipated Albums of the Year. It has been widely rumored to embrace reggae and other Caribbean influences, and Shaggy confirmed this in his Daily Star feature.
Although Shaggy decided against sharing the studio with Rihanna, truthfully he sounded excited that the “Love on the Brain” artist is incorporating more Caribbean sounds as part of her global outreach. “Dancehall is in good place but we need as many people to do this art form as possible,” he said. “When it crosses over and becomes popular with artists from other genres and other cultures, that can only be good.”
Rihanna herself been turning down opportunities, most notably refusing to perform at the Superbowl Halftime Show to support Colin Kaepernick. She also chose not to put out her finished album — or at least that’s what she says when she’s trolling fans. In an Instagram post two weeks ago, she shared a video of a dog bopping in a box, along with the caption, “me listening to R9 by myself and refusing to release it.”
Last month Shaggy performed at Sting’s Rainforest benefit. At the end of January he’ll be touring Australia and in February he’s heading to the UK. Tickets are available here.