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Rihanna and A$AP Rocky refers to the relationship between hip-hop and R&B musicians Rihanna and A$AP Rocky who started dating in mid-2020. The couple became a meme due to the emotions of Rihanna's ex, Drake, their appearance at the MET Gala 2021, the two's pregnancy photos, as well as rumors regarding their break-up in 2022 due to Rocky cheating on Rihanna allegedly with shoe designer Amina Muaddi.
Start of Relationship
Rihanna and A$AP Rocky's romantic history dates back to 2013 when she was spotted on the video set of an A$AP Mob music video, however, they never dated publicly throughout the 2010s. In December 2019, rumors surfaced regarding their possible romance once more when on December 11th, 2019, Rihanna was spotted at a show of Rocky's in Sweden, shortly after he was released from prison there on assault charges. On the 14th of that month, the two were spotted at dinner together in London, England (shown below).
— beba (ғᴀɴ ᴀᴄᴄᴏᴜɴᴛ) (@rihannakillah) December 15, 2019
The two were quiet about their relationship going into the COVID-19 Pandemic, however, in an interview with GQ from May 2021, Rocky talked about the two spending Christmas 2020 together in Barbados as well as their time spent on a tour bus from Los Angeles to New York City in which their romance grew. At the time of the GQ interview, their relationship was public and Rocky stated within it that Rihanna was, "The love of my life."
Rumors of Drake and Rihanna dating go as far back as May 2009 when the two were spotted bowling together. The two's on-again-off-again status resurfaced in pop culture multiple times between 2009 and 2015. In 2016, their relationship escalated when Drake shared an Instagram post on August 29th, 2016 after the Video Music Awards in which he was kissing Rihanna on the forehead, earning roughly 1.4 million likes in five years (shown below). They shared a kiss on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2016 as well as got matching tattoos soon after.
On May 3rd, 2018, Rihanna revealed in an interview with Vogue magazine that her and Drake were no longer dating. She stated in the interview that, “We don’t have a friendship now, but we’re not enemies either."
MET Gala 2021
On September 13th, 2021, the 2021 Met Gala took place in which Rihanna and A$AP Rocky appeared together. They arrived fashionably late and Rocky's outfit received the most meme attention. He was wearing a multi-colored comforter that many Twitter users, like dykedotorg, related to the breakfast cereal Cap'n Crunch Berries. Her tweet (shown below, left) earned roughly 17,000 likes in less than 24 hours. Twitter user Velocijoey also likened Rocky's outfit to the aesthetic of Candy Crush. His tweet received roughly 500 likes in the same time frame (shown below, right).
Overall, internet users were happy for the couple during their MET Gala appearance. For instance, on September 13th, the Twitter account of PopCrave tweeted a video of Rihanna and Rocky on the Gala carpet, stating, "Rihanna and A$AP Rocky are adorable together." The tweet earned roughly 5,900 likes in seven months (shown below).
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) September 14, 2021
On January 31, 2022, Rihanna and Rocky were photographed walking through New York City's Harlem with Rihanna emphasizing her baby bump. The news and photographs went viral online. For instance, on the 31st, Twitter page PopCulture2000s tweeted the photos and earned roughly 75,400 likes in three months (shown below, left). Also on the 31st, Twitter user GimK_ recaptioned the Bitch, You Better Be Joking meme from Euphoria in a tweet that referenced both the pregnancy and the delay of Rihanna's upcoming album, earning roughly 270,900 likes in three months (shown below, right).
In January and going into February 2022, the memes and tweets regarding Rihanna's pregnancy started to reference Drake in conjunction. They essentially imagined Drake's jealousy regarding it. For instance, on the 31st, Twitter user Depressed_Bihhh captioned an image of Cassie from Euphoria with, "Drake waking up and seeing why Rihanna trending," earning roughly 382,700 likes in three months (shown below).
On February 14th, Twitter user gabgonebad tweeted a video of Rocky on the Fendy Beauty red carpet with Rihanna in which he stated, "I just never seen a female look so beautiful pregnant." The video received roughly 2.2 million views and 115,600 likes in two months (shown below).
“i just never seen a female looks so beautiful pregnant” asap rocky about rihanna 💕 pic.twitter.com/bPcyIlqlAv
— 𝖌𝖆𝖇𝖗𝖎𝖊𝖑 (@gabgonebad) February 14, 2022
Rihanna and A$AP Rocky's Break-up Rumors
On April 14th, 2022, Twitter user LOUIS_via_ROMA, also known as Louis Pisano, a fashion influencer covered by Interview magazine in March 2022, stated in a tweet that Rihanna and A$AP Rocky had split because Rihanna had caught him cheating on her with shoe designer Amina Muaddi. The tweet earned roughly 36,900 likes in less than 24 hours (shown below).
The rumor was reiterated by Twitter page Kurrco on the same day, earning roughly 76,500 likes in the same time frame. Both tweets fueled memes and reactions online. For instance, on the 14th, Twitter user LesediNkosana tweeted, "Asap Rocky cheated on Rihanna,women are about to hate man 10x more than ever," earning roughly 118,200 likes in less than 24 hours (shown below, left). Twitter user backendoc tweeted about Rocky being dumb for cheating on Rihanna, captioning an image of a guy passed out on a couch with, "asap rocky when it’s time to use his brain cells," earning roughly 29,700 likes in less than a day (shown below, right).
Overall, many users were shocked that Rocky would cheat on Rihanna given her wealth, social status, beauty and pregnancy. A meme trend developed out of this shock in which male meme creators would ironically "shoot their shot" with Rihanna. For instance, Twitter user OvOBrezzzy posted a screenshot of an Instagram DM between him and Rihanna in which he'd sent her a bowling emoji in reference to the NSFW Bowling Animations. The tweet earned roughly 67,300 likes in less than a day (shown below).
Another common reaction to the break-up was imagining how Drake was reacting to it. Many meme creators referenced Drake having another shot with Rihanna. For instance, Twitter user slvppy posted a meme that exploited the Don't Worry Baby, He's Just A Nerd! template, replacing the characters with Rihanna, Drake and A$AP Rocky (shown below, left). The tweet earned roughly 83,600 likes in less than a day. Also on the 14th, Twitter user o6inna captioned a photo of Drake excited and shouting at a concert with, "Drake after hearing Rihanna and ASAP Rocky are no longer together," earning roughly 114,900 likes in less than a day (shown below, right).
Going into the next day, the rumor regarding Rihanna and A$AP Rocky's break-up had not been confirmed by a reputable source.
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