Rihanna has spent the last few months dangling her forthcoming LP ANTI over the heads of devoted fans, pop music enthusiasts, and radio programmers around the world. You can come to your own conclusions regarding her musical expertise, but she's an undeniably skilled troll. Between her Samsung-sponsored ARG and her looming world tour, she does just enough to make you live in constant fear of a surprise album drop; rumored release dates come and go but ANTI remains suspended in limbo, somewhere between studios and streaming services.
She hopped onto Twitter this morning to let everyone know she's listening to ANTI, but I've been burned too many times to believe the album's anywhere close to release. (Let me put it this way: I'll put my faith back in its existence when I'm shelling out for a Tidal subscription because that's the only place I can hear it, and not a moment sooner.) Instead of falling back into groundless speculation, I'm focusing on things I can see and feel. Like the insane headphones Rihanna's wearing, for instance — holy crap! Where can I pick up my very own regal listening rig?
Enough Swarovski crystal to choke a horse
It looks like she's wearing these "Napa leather rhinestone headphones with crown," which you can purchase from Dolce & Gabbana's online store for the low, low price of $8,895 USD. At least shipping's free, right? (The headphones were designed in collaboration with FRENDS.) You're shelling out a good chunk of a down payment on a respectable condo, but you're getting back enough Swarovski crystal to choke a horse, and it just happens to be caked on a set of headphones that are "compatible with MP3 readers, smartphones, and audio playback devices." I can't attest to the sound quality being offered, but that kind of widespread compatibility doesn't come cheap!
You might not have Rihanna's wealth or access to ANTI, but you can duplicate the listening experience captured in her tweet with a few small purchases and basic tools. Head to your nearest dollar store and buy a plastic tiara and some beads. When you get home, tape the tiara to a set of over-ear headphones and glue some of the beads to the outsides of the ear cups. Enter your music provider of choice and find the Rihanna songs with the lowest play counts, and start listening to them; with luck the music will be unfamiliar enough you can trick yourself into thinking it's new. Now you're "listening to ANTI" too! Have fun — we still have no idea how long you'll have to wait before hearing the real thing.
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