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Rihanna Covered Her Matching Tattoo With Drake -- Could A$AP Be The One?

A walk down Rihanna's memory lane: Exes Edition.

Rihanna

Whether it's street style and high fashion moments, the lucrative lane she's carved through her multiple businesses, or the question of "where's the album sis?", multi-hyphenate Rihanna's every move is a new headline. The latest subject on all of our radars is our favorite bad gyal's love life. Though currently wrapped up in a whirlwind romance with long-time friend A$AP Rocky, who the singer has dated has always been of public interest and public opinion (if you know, you know).


Though she has been in her fair share of high-profile romances throughout the year, Rihanna has always maintained a sort of elusive quality to her. Even more so in recent years as she has navigated single life and a previous relationship with a particular billionaire. Something that has us thinking the good sis can be tamed is rapper boyfriend A$AP who took to GQ recently to reveal our girl Riri is "the One" and the love of his life. His words.

However, Rihanna was recently spotted commenting the sentence "If I was a paragraph" underneath a photo explaining that if you aren't happy single, you aren't going to be happy taken. While it could mean trouble in lovers and friends paradise, a little birdie mentioning she covered her matching tattoo with former beau Drake amid her new romance with A$AP could signify she might be feeling something similar (i.e. Mr. Rocky could be "the one").

Either way, we thought there's no time like the present to explore the past. Let's review Rihanna's relationship history by taking a walk down memory lane: Exes Edition.

Chris Brown

Chris Brown and Rihanna attend the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS

From 2007 to 2009, Rihanna dated singer Chris Brown. The relationship ended in turmoil in 2009 due to a devastating domestic violence incident resulting in Brown being charged with making criminal threats and assault. The two would eventually rekindle their relationship briefly between 2012 and 2013, even briefly collaborating on songs again together, the raunchy "Birthday Cake" and the middle finger to the court of public opinion "Nobody's Business".

In 2015, Rihanna would reveal to Vanity Fair about her seemingly toxic bond with her ex and what ultimately led her to leave.

"I was very protective of him. I felt that people didn't understand him. But you know, you realize after a while that in that situation you're the enemy. You want the best for them, but if you remind them of their failures, or if you remind them of bad moments in their life, or even if you say, 'I'm willing to put up with something,' they think less of you — because they know you don't deserve what they're going to give."

Drake

Rihanna (L) and Drake pose onstage during the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City.

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Another on-again off-again relationship in Riri's life, Drake and her reportedly began their first of a couple of flings in May 2009, after meeting in 2005. In an April 2012 to Max Choice FM, the Toronto rapper shared about their romance:

"I think that we have a connection that's established for life and that is that I love her and support her unconditionally, and I like to think that she feels the same way. Do I fancy her? Of course, I mean who wouldn't? Look at her, she's stunning. Of course I do. Yeah, no, she's incredible. But you know, it's one of those things that it's a maybe one day, maybe not."

As the pair dwindled and rekindled throughout the years, the Grammy winners have gifted fans with plenty of dope tracks, including "What's My Name?", "Too Good", "Take Care", and "Work". In reference to those glorious collabs, Drake told Zane Lowe:

"We do well together as a team. I think we do great music together. It's tough to do guy-girl collabs. I think [the chemistry] is what makes the records better, though. It's something genuine there. We're not forcing some story on people. A lot of the music that we make and the energy that we bring is genuine. We have a lot of genuine energy between us."

In 2016, sparks ignited again between the two before parting ways months later. In 2018, Drake unfollowed Rihanna after she revealed to Vogue:

"We don't have a friendship now, but we're not enemies either. It is what it is."

Matt Kemp

Rihanna dated professional baseball player Matt Kemp from January to December 2010. Allegedly, Kemp initiated the split because of the songstress' hectic schedule. Back when the two were an item, Rihanna giddily opened up to ELLE, calling their relationship her "peace":

"I have a boyfriend. I'm so happy. I feel really comfortable, and it's so easy. I have such a chaotic life, but at the end of the day, that is just my peace. It keeps me sane, really, talking to him and talking to my family."

Travis Scott

Singer Rihanna and Travis Scott are seen coming out of Coppelia restaurant in Soho on August 12, 2015 in New York City.

Raymond Hall/GC Images

Like her alleged flings with actors Leonardo Dicaprio and Ryan Phillippe, this short-lived romance with rapper Travis Scott has only been confirmed by sources close to the two. However, those of us who spotted the subtle hints towards each other between Riri and Trav during their time together, we know the things! We peeped!

Hassan Jameel

Rihanna seen at 1-Oak nightclub after partying with rumor boyfriend Hassan Jameel after attending the 2018 Grammy Awards after party on January 28, 2018 in New York City.

Robert Kamau/GC Images

Perhaps her most private relationship was the one she started in 2017 with billionaire beau Hassan Jameel. In fact, though revealing in a cover story with Interview magazine that she was "of course" in love with him, she was pretty quiet publicly about their time together.

"I'm actually in an exclusive relationship for quite some time, and it's going really well, so I'm happy."

The couple reportedly split in January 2020.

A$AP Rocky

Rihanna and ASAP Rocky arrive at The Fashion Awards 2019 held at Royal Albert Hall on December 02, 2019 in London, England.

Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images

We'll call this chapter "Lovers & Friends" as A$AP Rocky and Rihanna have friendship as a foundation. Before taking their relationship to the next level by becoming an item, the two artists were friends. Riri starred in A$AP's "Fashion Killa" music video in 2013 and the rest is history. Seeing them paint the town red on date nights galore has been an energy we live for!

While it's been speculated the pair have dabbled into "more than friends" territory throughout the years, nothing has served as confirmation as much as the photos of them together in the last year. And in 2021, A$AP took things a step further publicly by confirming their relationship to GQ.

"She amounts to probably, like, a million of the other ones... I think when you know, you know. She's The One."

Featured image by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 Presented by Amazon Prime Video

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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