After releasing a teaser video for fans on Friday, Rihanna has now dropped her first music video from ANTI for single ‘Work’ featuring Drake. Rihanna breaks the conventions of ordinary music videos by creating one that is over seven minutes long, merging two videos into one, possibly to cater to her whole, diverse fanbase.
The first half of the video is set in an intimate restaurant / bar and features dancehall vibes, with the artist embracing her Barbadian culture with the flag wrapped around her leg. Over recent years, the artist has been very public about celebrating ‘Crop over’, which is a Bajan carnival, and often partakes in the festivities herself.
“Much like her album represents Rihanna beginning to enjoy doing things her own way, so does her video for ‘Work'”
The opening clip of the video is set in ‘The Real Jerk’, and as Rihanna and Drake enter together, this emphasises that the video does not seem to be focussed on flashy things like her previous releases. 2013’s ‘Pour It Up’ video centred on dollar bills and strippers, whereas this video does not have women of a particular appearance or size, but instead just seems to be about having fun and embracing the dancehall atmosphere.
The video also mirrors these artists’ last collaboration together on ‘What’s My Name?’, where many speculated that the two had an undeniable chemistry. There are several memes floating around on the internet comparing the two videos.
The second half of the video is a little less explicit, though Rihanna is dressed quite skimpily in both scenes, but slightly more feminine with longer hair and wearing a skirt with a pink background. However, a major difference is how affectionate the pair are in this almost ten-minute video, as in both scenes Rihanna passionately dances on the rapper.
Therefore, and especially considering the various recent let-downs for her fans, the wait for Rihanna’s album, and now this video, have been worth it. With Rihanna cancelling and pushing back several of her tour dates, she has faced a lot pressure to make this video exceptional. The artist was also expected to perform last week at the Grammy’s, but had an apparent meltdown when advised not to by doctors due to bronchitis, and many fear that she would do the same with her upcoming Brit performance.
All in all, however, Rihanna appears to be at a happy stage in her life. Much like her album represents Rihanna beginning to enjoy doing things her own way, so does her video for ‘Work’. Rihanna’s outfit choice being revealing indicates that she is in control over her style, as the star has been very vocal in the past about the free the nipple movement, which contrasts with the innocence we can read in her first ever music video ‘Pon De Replay’. The music video for ‘Work’ trended on twitter on the day of its release, and has rocketed straight to number one. This continues to be a prosperous year for Rihanna.