Where can you find graphic depictions of kidnapping, nudity, torture, vandalism, forced drug use, drowning, and murder? Probably not even in the worst horror movie, but Rihanna’s new seven minute music video (WARNING: Highly Graphic Imagery) somehow manages to fit in every one of these things.
“Bitch Better Have My Money” tells the story of a sadistic woman (Rihanna), her accountant, and the accountant’s blonde-model girlfriend. The end is bad – Rihanna murders the accountant for not ‘having her money.’ But most of the video doesn’t focus on this. Instead, it depicts Rihanna kidnapping and abusing the nameless blonde, presumably for ransom.
Just to give a little flavor for those who don’t feel like watching the whole thing: one of the scenes has the blonde swinging from the roof of a warehouse by a rope, upside-down and topless. Another shows Rihanna and a few other pouty party girls forcing the kidnapped woman to chug liquor and smoke from a bong.
Needless to say, with all the degenerative behavior, most people loved it. Newsweek raved, “Thank you, Rihanna, for bestowing upon us not only the song of the summer but the music video of the year.” And how does the “music video of the year” end? In Newsweek’s description: “Rihanna ends the video lying naked on top of the trunk, covered in blood and money and looking unbelievably glamorous.”
“Bitch Better Have My Money” has performed extremely well on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart as well. The song has consistently been in the top 30, having ranked as high as 17 earlier in the summer and topping the US Hot Dance Club chart.
Still, something this gory didn’t find universal acclaim, but most criticisms were a cautious, ‘did she really do that?’
The Guardian took a stronger stance, condemning the violence because (wait for it!) it’s sexist. Yes, the same video that was produced by a woman and stars a woman. The left-wing British paper claimed, “The main issue here is surely: misogyny, who’s allowed to do it? And the only answer can be: nobody.”
Ok sure, nobody should be misogynistic, but does nobody see the real ‘main issue’? The ‘main issue’ is glamorizing kidnap, torture, and murder people, regardless of who the victims are.