Music Video: Rihanna, “Pour It Up”

The video for Rihanna's "Pour It Up" is a display of hip-hop clichés.

Music Video: Rihanna, “Pour It Up”

Last month, Vincent Haycock, the director hired to helm the music video for Rihanna’s “Pour It Up,” from last year’s Unapologetic, took to Twitter to announce that he was no longer involved due to “creative differences.” Rihanna lashed back in typical fashion, and while it’s unclear what their beef was exactly, it’s hard not to see why Haycock wouldn’t want his name attached to the project. Bolstering Rihanna’s bona fides as pop music’s worst female role model, the clip is a disgusting display of hip-hop clichés, with the singer—pimped out in Chanel, the close-ups of which make it impossible to ignore, and an unflattering platinum wig—presiding over a harem of able-bootied strippers. Notably, there no men in the video, and putting Rihanna in the role of proprietor theoretically flips the script on your standard display of hip-hop misogyny, but rather than translating as an empowering re-appropriation of the objectification of women in pop, the video only perpetuates crass materialism and archetypical straight male fantasies. Rihanna twerks and writhes on and around her gold-encrusted throne, suggestively rubbing her crotch as she boasts about how deep her pockets run, which, with the video’s nearly two million views in less than 24 hours, probably just got a little deeper.

YouTube video

Sal Cinquemani

Sal Cinquemani is the co-founder and co-editor of Slant Magazine. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Billboard, The Village Voice, and others. He is also an award-winning screenwriter/director and festival programmer.

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