Rihanna NYT Cover

*In the upcoming issue of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Rihanna, 27, gets candid about the first time she was made aware of her race after moving to the US from her home country of Barbados.

“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,” she tells interviewer Miranda July.

“And, you know, that never ends, by the way. It’s still a thing,” she said. “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.”

RiRi also talked about what it was like leaving home when she was just a teen, something she doesn’t think she could ever let a child of hers do.

“That’s something I don’t think I could ever do,” she said. “Send my only girl to another random country to live with people she’d just met. It had to be God that paralyzed [my mother] Monica Fenty’s emotions so that she’d say, ‘Yes, go.’ To this day, I don’t know how that happened. But thank God it did.”

Rihanna also noted that when she stands up for herself — as she did when she trashed basketball player Matt Barnes for hinting at a made-up romance between the two — lets her mother know that she’s doing well.

“She’s always impressed when she sees me being a little sassy or sharp, when she sees me defending myself,” the singer said. “It makes her feel safe, like she doesn’t have to worry about me.”