10/12/2015 03:00 pm ET

Rihanna Opens Up About Facing Racism In The Industry

"It’s the thing that makes me want to prove people wrong."

Rihanna is T magazine's latest cover star. 

The 27-year-old singer appears on one of the six covers for the Oct. 25 issue of The New York Times Style magazine, fittingly themed "The Greats." RiRi shared her excitement about the issue with her fans on Instagram


In the accompanying interview, the Barbados-born star opened up to writer and filmmaker Miranda July about everything from making her mother proud to Googling childbirth (no, she's not pregnant or planning to be anytime soon) to facing racism in the industry. 

"You know, when I started to experience the difference -- or even have my race be highlighted -- it was mostly when I would do business deals," RiRi told July. "And, you know, 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." 

@Tmagazine cover story #TheGreats #TGreats

A photo posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

Exceeding expectations may as well be Rihanna's middle name. When she burst onto the music scene in 2005 with her reggae-infused debut, "Pon de Replay," some believed she'd be a one-hit wonder. As we all now know, that didn't happen. 

In approximately a decade, she's become the youngest solo artist to score 13 No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, sold over 54 million albums and won eight Grammys and 12 Billboard Music Awards, among countless others. 

But even though she's managed to cement her own spot in the music industry, Rihanna is not immune to judgement and criticism based on her appearance. 

"I have to bear in mind that those 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," she said. "For me, it comes down to smaller issues, scenarios in which people can assume something of me without knowing me, just by my packaging."

To read the entire interview, head over to T magazine


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