Videos like this make us long for the days when late-night MTV2 would air those "20 Most Controversial Videos" specials like the one hosted by Andrew WK way back in 2003 (the only instance when videos like "Closer," "Smack My Bitch Up" or "What It Feels Like For A Girl" were shown completely uncensored).
In modern day pop videos, the "NSFW" tag doesn't seem to matter nearly as much. Matt and Kim or The Flaming Lips can shoot a full-frontal video anytime they want. Whoopie. Those videos probably wouldn't have been eligible for MTV airplay anyway. What really makes an impression in 2015 is when a HUGE (big-business AND critically beloved) artist makes it abundantly certain that she gives a grand total of zero fucks.
We have to be honest for a second: After going to bat for Rihanna many times between 2005 and 2012, we were starting to give up on her. When a pop artist releases big albums with multiple radio hits three Novembers in a row (2010, 2011 and 2012), oversaturation might become inevitable. It started out as only mildly grating somewhere between "I Love the Way You Lie" and "Run This Town," but the annoyance probably reached its apex right around the 200th spin of "We Found Love." We never thought we'd be so happy that she disappeared out of nowhere.
2014 - her strategically planned year off - did her a WORLD of good.
She is now probably the coolest rock star to chainsmoke in a video since the days of Nirvana Unplugged. (Anyone seen Taylor Swift chainsmoking lately? Def not, because Taylor Swift is boring. #truth) But that's not all:
- She lets the puppy live.
- She somehow found one of the world's only remaining functioning payphones and proceeds to beat the shit out of it.
- Slow motion walk away from burning car.
- Shoots fireworks gun from a kiddie pool.
- Smokes joints.
- Shoots a cellphone.
- Weed dance party in hotel room with the Bitch character tied to the bed and blindfolded.
- "Available Balance: $420"
- Celebrates having her money returned by smoking weed naked in the middle of a park covered in blood and dollar bills.
Probably our favorite video since "Bombay."