Rihanna recently released yet another controversial video for "We Found Love," the first single from her forthcoming Def Jam album Talk That Talk. The Grammy-winning singer seems to love pissing off parents and anti-violence organizations with her musical visuals. But she's surely not the first pop diva to exude sex or send the "wrong message" in her videos.
We all remember Katy Perry's "Calfornia Gurls" video, when Katy is nude on top of a pink cloud, clad in a bra with whipped cream-squirting cans attached. And did censors overlook Kelly Rowland's latest video with Big Sean, "Lay It On Me," where a scantily clad Rowland is surrounded by multiple shirtless men?
Why should Rihanna's music videos get everyone riled up when others' equally sexual and controversial videos are in rotation? According to Forbes, Rihanna is worth $143 million. Whether the videos are ethical or not, they help make her a nice amount of money.
As a young woman whose personal and professional lives are sometimes blurred together by blogs, tabloids and other media, the 23-year-old is being forced into becoming a role model she never claimed to be. After her first album, Music of the Sun, Her image (or gimmick) has been all about rebellion and being edgy.
What some parents fail to realize is that even though their children may admire musicians, morals, values and individuality start in the home. So the next time a racy or raunchy music video is released, remember Rihanna can't raise your kids, folks -she just like to make music videos that give us something to talk about. Here's some of Rihanna's most taboo - and sometimes too hot for TV - music videos.
5. "Te Amo": This was the fifth single from Rihanna's Rated R album. Director Anthony Mandler wanted to make sure the video, where Rihanna gets close to a seductive love interest played by French supermodel Laetitia Casta complemented the lesbian love affair that Rihanna sings about, but the video turned out a little too hot and - before it was edited - was banned in the U.S. and some other countries due to that same-sex amour.
4. "Man Down": The Parents Television Council was up in arms after the release of the video for this Loud single, also directed by Mandler. The PTC was upset with because it shows Rihanna shooting and killing a man in Jamaica after he sexually assaults her. According to the PTC, Rihanna's murderous retaliation just advocates more violence; they even went as far as to call the video a double standard and throw Chris Brown in the mix.
A PTC rep stated "If Chris Brown shot a woman in his new video and BET premiered it, the world would stop. Rihanna should not get a pass." Mandler said he expected and welcomed the controversy when the video premiered, because he felt light should be shed on a dark topic.
3. "S&M": Rihanna's Billboard chart-topping song from her most recent album, last year's Loud, and was - once again - accompanied by a risky music video, co-directed by Rihanna and Melina Matsoukas. On the day of its release, the video was banned in 11 countries and only viewable to U.S. YouTube users who were age 18 and up, due to its "overt sexual content."
With lyrics like "Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me," did anyone expect anything less than sexual in the video? The clip shows Rihanna in latex apparel, walking a gagged Perez Hilton on a leash and indulging in some subliminal banana-sucking.
"It's gonna be talked about or banned or slandered in some way." Matsoukas told MTV in an interview about the video. "But it's making an effect and people are having a dialogue about it, so, to me, that's successful." Although the video is quite kinky, it also gives us a look at how Rihanna feels about some media by taping and gagging reporters.
2. "Russian Roulette": This Anthony Mandler-directed video shows Rihanna in a creepy Lady Gaga-esque style, with a padded room, a gun and blood all involved. Some music critics related the video back to Rihanna's abusive relationship with Chris Brown. Even another artist, R&B one-hit wonder Tiffany Evans, took her perception of the video to Twitter, saying "Russian Roulette= Suicidal Rate gon sky rocket!"
Ne-Yo, who wrote the song, responded to Evans' allegations: "Nobody's really going out to play Russian roulette or thinking about killing themselves or nothing like that." Evans also stated she felt that the video sent out a "Satanic message to the weak."
1. "We Found Love": Rihanna's latest video looks like something straight off an episode of the UK television show Skins or a scene from Requiem for a Dream.
"S&M" director Matsoukas wanted to deliver a another message with this love story. The video shows Rihanna's unhealthy relationship with her
Chris Brown lookalike love interest, model/boxer Dudley O'Shaghnessy, who dyed his hair blonde for the video. "We Found Love" was shot in Ireland and sparked controversy before filming was even finished when Rihanna was allegedly asked to leave a farm because she didn't have on enough clothing.
The video shows the couple engaging in pill-popping, mosh pits and sex. Of course everyone believes this is how Rihanna's relationship with Chris Brown played out, but the message is supposed let people know that it's not OK to stay in situations like this. Opponents of the video believe Rihanna is advocating drug-induced and possessive relationships.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.