Will Lana Del Rey and Rihanna be doomed for making the same mistake with music themes?
Rihanna is enjoying success on multiple levels, but new reviews on her “B**** Better Have My Money” (aka “BBHMM”) video sound somewhat similar to Lana Del Rey’s reviews for her song “Ultraviolence.”
As Rihanna is achieving greatness, will she be prepared to deal with the kind of backlash Lana Del Rey saw for “glorifying” violence — or will another analysis be assigned for Rihanna’s “BBHMM” video?
The Daily Mail U.K. pointed out on July 1 that, the same day Rihanna released “BBHMM,” she was also honored with being “the first artist to surpass more than 100 million cumulative digital singles” by the Recording Industry Association of America.
However, reviews for Rihanna’s new “BBHMM” video are starting to raise eyebrows — and Rihanna’s critics are beginning to sound like Lana Del Rey’s reviewers from 2014.
For example, on June 12, 2014, Ms Magazine stated about Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence” that “Lana Del Rey… verbally promotes violence against women.” That statement can come across as strong language toward Lana Del Rey considering that Rihanna actually abuses and kills another woman in her video.
About Rihanna’s video “BBHMM,” The New York Post lists their opinions about five different “WTF moments.” To them, one of the most disturbing scenes in the Rihanna video was when, “The gang of girls retire to their motel room and start using their victim [a woman] as a plaything, dressing her up and plying her with drink and drugs.”
As many Lana Del Rey fans already know, she commonly writes or sings songs from the perspective of the broken woman who is often making sad attempts to “fix a broken loser.”
As Creative Folk points out, there are also hundreds of songs from hundreds of musicians over the past 100 years related to domestic violence.
Regardless, when comparing “Ultraviolence” and “BBHMM” — it is clear that Rihanna’s violence references are about her being the cruel abuser (that is justified in her actions because of money). Are critics going to call out Rihanna for going too far with a violence theme like they did Lana Del Rey?
On June 4, 2014, Time Magazine questioned whether Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence” is “glorifying domestic violence” or if critics have the wrong idea.
Interestingly, Time went on to say that the album is “about the tortured, emotional violence of troublesome relationships — and apparently some physical violence, too.” In other words, Lana Del Rey is usually speaking from the perspective of women that find excuses to stay with the men that abuse them.
Will Rihanna be given a pass on the level of violence in her video? Or will critics give her a negative analysis like the kind Lana Del Rey was granted?
So far, Rihanna is still fresh off the press with her new video, and academic writers that analyze violence in the media may still be sharpening their pencils.
Nevertheless, before writers have had a chance to chime in about Rihanna’s “BBHMM,” fans have clearly started to call her out.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, “‘BBHMM’ shows Rihanna engaging in kidnapping, torture, drugs, and vandalism before ultimately committing murder, leaving fans to wonder who inspired the songstress to write such an aggressive track.”
Even the Wall Street Journal had an negative opinion about the Rihanna video and called it “lavishly terrifying and graphic.”
As it’s obviously a controversial subject, will Lana Del Rey focus on another topic for her next album and leave the violence to Rihanna? Evidently, Lana Del Rey still needs to speak from the perspective a woman that has a less than savory lover.
The Mirror U.K. stated on May 15 that leaked song lyrics from Lana Del Rey’s upcoming album Honeymoon are about a “singer [that] falls in love with a man with a ‘history of violence.'”
Critics may continue to comment on how popular musicians like Lana Del Rey and Rihanna are glorifying violence, but is it on them — or the fans?
The Verge points out the following about “BBHMM” in Rihanna’s defense and says, “Rihanna made the video everyone wanted, and it says more about us [the fans] than her.”
Fans are obviously happy with what Lana Del Rey and Rihanna have been producing — and the proof is in the numbers. The two have some of the biggest audiences in music right now and both were voted on June 26 as two of Billboard Magazine‘s top three artists for “Most Anticipated Music Release of 2015’s Second Half.”