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Rihanna music video sparks controversy

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="221"] Rihanna's Facebook page[/caption] On April 20 Rihanna announced that the video for her new ANTI single “Needed Me” would premiere. Sure enough, at exactly 12 a.m., our screens were blessed with her latest music video. It was directed by Harmony Korine, who has previously directed videos for the Black Keys, Sonic Youth and Cat Power. With the use of nudity and unapologetic violence, “Needed Me” is riveting. As expected from her bad girl persona, Rihanna has become even racier in her videos this year. Needless to say, the shock value is rewarding in “Needed Me” as it received more than two million views in less than 24 hours of its release, according to the 360NoBS website. During the three-minute footage, the scenery shifts between a breathtaking beachfront mansion and a gritty strip club. Her character, Riri, plots to kill a man who toyed with her heart and who has the nerve to throw money on her in what was a very intimate but insolent manner. This man soon meets his fate when Riri pulls out her silenced gun and shoots him several times in the middle of his lap-dance. Looking beyond the image of Riri holding a gun, it’s easy to realize that in “Needed Me,” Rihanna is looking critically at existing power structures. The clip is not about a little girl fooling a man and killing for sport. As per the constant repetition of “you needed me. Oooh, you needed me. To feel a little more and give a little less. Know you hate to confess, but baby oooh, you needed me,” we know this isn’t just any revenge. This is Riri, a woman, extremely hurt by a man who took advantage of her trust, time and love. This is Riri, deciding to teach this man the best lesson she could think of by taking back what was hers- the life she breathed into the man who did not deserve any of it and who did not appreciate any of it. The end of the video shows the numbness that seeps in and takes over after trauma. Riri stands by her glass window crying after the irreversible act. Yet, let it never get twisted, she is a wrathful adversary. Perle Desir can be reached at


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