It’s been over 4 years since the release of Solange‘s brilliant (and sorely overlooked) sophomore record Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams, which brought us cuts like “I Decided,” “Sandcastle Disco” and, my personal favorite of the bunch, “T.O.N.Y.”
Now, the coolest member of the Knowles troupe (and the one most likely to get into an altercation involving a massive yellow inflatable banana at a club) is back in a very, very major way: “Losing You.”
Ever since she began shooting the video for “We Found Love,” Rihanna repeatedly said that she was crafting her deepest video to date, and that the Melina Matsoukas-directed clip would be all about “love being like a drug.”
As it turns out, that was to be taken literally.
“We Found Love” might be the stuff of an Ibiza dream sonically, but its accompying video is something far more sinister.
The clip follows RiRi and her beau in Belfast–played by the gorgeous Dudley O’Shaughnessy–both caught in a love that’s littered with trouble (a bad romance, if you will): “You almost feel ashamed that someone could be that important–that without them, you feel like nothing,” the narrator explains during the video’s chilling opening monologue.
They start off as nothing more than a rebellious duo: Skating, lighting fireworks, twirling on restaurant tables and getting hot and heavy in a cornfield. But quickly, things take a turn as the video exposes the darker side of their relationship.
When the duo isn’t running around and laughing, they’re blazing up, drinking heavily and dropping all sorts of pills in their dingy flat–all perfectly rendered in a way that feels chilling and real, with just enough symbolism (eyes dilating) and shock (the drugged tattooing of “MINE” on RiRi’s rump) to tell the tale. And as the video goes on, it only gets worse–they bicker and fight, make up, fight again, and dive dangerously deeper into their addictions until Rihanna finally walks away from it all. Or is it only temporary?
It’s difficult to deliver such a heavy narrative in the vein of other addiction stories a la Requiem for a Dream without coming across as either campy or disingenuous, but Rihanna’s done it with “We Found Love.” In fact, I think it’s completely genius.
I love that she avoided anything even close to a half-assed club affair of laser lights and smoke machines. I love that she’s stepped up her game as an artist and challenged herself as an actress. But what I love most about the video for “We Found Love” is that, as with “Man Down,” she tells a story free of preaching, hand-holding or hitting her fans over the head with a certain message. You watch. You react. You draw your own conclusions.
While she’s delivered some truly stunning videos in the past, “We Found Love” is probably her first actual larger-than-life moment as a pop star, or–dare I say, a rising icon. This is the next level for Rihanna…and she’s only just beginning. As a fan (and a card-carrying member of the Rihanna Navy), I couldn’t be more proud of the girl.
Now, Let’s see the VMA’s try and snub her for THIS one next year.
“We Found Love” was released on September 22. (iTunes)
How blessed are we, the Navy, to have such a giving and loyal Commander?
Yesterday, Barbadian Illuminati Princess Rihanna uploaded the first of three behind-the-scenes snippets for her upcoming video, “We Found Love.”
The clip follows RiRi as she gets down and dirty with a group of revelers while stomping around some good ol’ Belfast mud, as well as that fateful bandana bra twirl-through-a-cornfield scene that had one uppity Irish farmer positively fuming. (What a croppy attitude! Anyone? No? Okay. Sorry, I’ll go now.)
The Bajan beauty is simply all smiles throughout the entire shoot–directed by longtime collaborator Melina Matsoukas (“Rude Boy,” “Hard”)–which she describes later on in the teaser as “probably one of the deepest videos I’ve ever done.”
We’re getting some kind of dancing in the video, according to choreographer Tanisha Scott: “The cool part about this video and the choreography, and you probably won’t even realize there is choreography, is that she wanted a whole bunch of movement–big and expressive.” Seconds later, the camera cuts to RiRi barking out orders at Scott as she choreographs a routine on the beach. Now that’s a boss bitch!
Yet nothing quite captures the RiRi essence I love and adore quite like the Bajan beauty’s expletive-drenched explanation of the shot at hand at 4:30 (all delivered while wearing pasties): “We’re about to fuck on a tractor! Just kidding. We’re not gonna fuck on a tractor. We’re gonna fuck in a hot ass car! And guess what? They’re making me look cute so I can fuck him in the car.” Who said romance was dead?
And the boy in question? Dudley O’Shaughnessy, the very not hard to look at, very well endowed British boxer and model that will be playing the part of the love interest in “We Found Love.” Something tells me Our Lady Ri’s going to have no trouble at all riding this beat, beat, beat like a pony!
Make to sure to man your battle stations and keep a look out for the next behind-the-scenes clips to hit in the coming days, with the full video rumored to premiere sometime next week on VEVO.
“We Found Love” was released on September 22. (iTunes)
It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means, Rihanna Navy: It’s S&M Tuesday!
Today marks the official Vevo video premiere for Princess RiRi‘s third single from LOUD, “S&M.”
Directed by Melina Matsoukas (“Rude Boy,” “Rockstar 101″), the colorful, ’90′s-esque clip for Ri’s latest single finds the singer squaring off against clown-faced paparazzi and press agents in hot pursuit of the ferocious Bajan beaut.
Much in the same vein as, say, Britney‘s “Piece of Me,” Ri tears down the tabloid headlines and media scrutiny in this one big not-so-metaphorical middle finger to the press and/or haters trying to steal her shine. “Daddy issues??” one journalist scribes in his notepad as he stares at a plastic-covered RiRi writhing against the wall. “Princess of Illuminati,” notes another. (A personal favorite!)
From the very first second, the video rapidly devolves into one manic, menagerie of blow-up dolls and bright red hair. Mercifully, ball gags are also present–along with chains, whips and a whole bevy of other S&M-friendly accoutrements to tie in with the general running theme of the song. Now whip it good!
As always, Rihanna isn’t taking herself too seriously here: She’s running the pop game, she doesn’t give a fuck what you think, and she’s going to have some serious fun in the process. She’s such a fucking lady!
Oh, and Perez is in this. (My thoughts.)
I LIKE IT, LIKE IT…COME ON!
“S&M” is the third single from Rihanna’s fifth studio album, LOUD. (iTunes)
This girl is BLOWING. MY. MIND.
Like Alison Goldfrapp, it appears that Riri also enjoys riding on a white horse. Err, zebra.
Upon further review, I can confirm that my reactions to the video will likely include such phrases as ‘unbelievably amazing,’ ‘fierce to death,’ and ‘OH GRL WHY U SO HOT FIYA?’
“Rude Boy” will be released to US radio beginning tomorrow, February 9.
In case you haven’t gathered my feelings for the song by now (which have remained the same since November), remember this for tomorrow:
REQUEST THIS SONG UNTIL YOUR FINGERS BLEED.
That is all.