The newly dropped video to Rihanna’s latest musical offering, “B*h Better Have My Money” (BBHMM), is fast becoming one of this summer’s most talked about music videos with over 12 million views to date, and counting.
Rihanna’s “BBHMM” video, which plays more like a seven-minute short film than a pop music video, was completely conceptualized by Rihanna. The concept: shady accountant + money mismanagement = broke singer. RiRi also served as “BBHMM’s” co-director.
According to the Guardian, “BBHMM’s” plot is inspired by a real-life grievance against her former accountant, Peter Gounis, whom Rihanna sued in 2012.
“BBHMM” is complete with a villain, a victim, and a vixen. Rihanna’s character kidnaps her accountant’s beautiful, blonde, bouncy partner and holds her – violently – for ransom, a ransom he apparently fails to pay. He eventually enters the frame tied to a chair, facing an impressive array of serrated-edge cutlery. “BBHMM” ends with a big bang, the bang being a naked, blood-stained Rihanna reclining in a cash-filled trunk.
But while “BBHMM” has been deemed not suitable for work, it has also been rendered unsuitable for feminists. According to Black Girl Dangerous, feminists are highly upset about the statement the “BBHMM” video makes and are ready to revoke several feminist cards.
In an interview with NME, one of “BBHMM’s” co-directors, Leo Berne, admitted to giving “BBHMM” a “girl power spirit,” but “wouldn’t say it was a feminist statement.” Deputy Editor for the New Statesman, Helen Lewis, agrees.
“It was not very feminist — not even very hashtag feminist — of Rihanna to ‘torture that poor rich lady’. That is because it is not very feminist to torture women. Even if they are white. Even if they are rich. Even if you are a woman yourself.”
“To those currently drafting your think piece about how it wasn’t very #feminist of Rih to torture that poor rich lady: nooooo one cares about your basic-ass, probably non-intersectional praxis. Rihanna doesn’t need to spell it out for you if you still don’t get it yet; time is money, bitch.”
The “BBHMM” roundtable did not stop there, saying the issue of feminism with regards to Rihanna’s “BBHMM” video “does not matter.”
This entire song and video is about how one does not fuck with Rihanna, which is, any way you look at it, an incredibly bold assertion of power that deserves our respect and a deeper context than ‘is this feminist or not.'”
Is “BBHMM” about feminism in artistic expression, the lack thereof, or just good, wicked fun?
(Photo credit: BBHMM video screen grab)