In her return to music videos, Rihanna has maintained a low-key, high-high aesthetic. Her music videos are a commentary on late modernity and love. Its relevance, high-low aesthetic, and Beyonce-like influence are discussed in this piece. The video premiered on MTV and Vevo on 29 September 2011. As of October 2021, it has garnered over 1.7 billion views on YouTube.
High-low aesthetic of Rihanna’s music videos
Rihanna’s music videos have a high-low aesthetic. The “Nothing Can Save You” music video features a voiceover by Agyness Deyn that describes desperation in a relationship. The lyrics “No one will ever understand how much it hurts” hint at the dark side of the relationship. The music video also includes scenes of intense sexual attraction, drug use, and non-stop partying. The high-low aesthetic also applies to the video’s background, which depicts a low-income housing project.
The high-low aesthetic of Rihanna’s videos emphasizes a dualistic approach to the relationship between male and female lovers. The video’s characters express conflicting feelings through their varying levels of strength and vulnerability. These extremes symbolize the complexities of love, as the two people must always try to make it work.
Commentary on love in late modernity
The complexities of love in late modernity have provoked rival explanations. One is that it is an issue of self-validation. The other is that love is an experience and suffering gives it shape. Both these views have their merits. This book examines both perspectives and offers a more nuanced understanding of the nature of love.
People characterized Late modern love by insecurity and mobility. This makes relationships problematic. Contemporary subjects are constantly seeking a solid anchor. The result is the ambivalence that is often accompanied by a sense of vulnerability. In this context, love becomes a dangerous incarnation of ambivalence.
As a result, the demand for love must be understood as a social demand for recognition. The nineteenth-century idea of love revolved around loyalty and commitment. These notions have become central to contemporary advice on love and compelled us to ask what it means to love.
Relevance of Rihanna’s music videos
Rihanna has always had a knack for making her music videos relevant. Her “Diamonds” music video, for example, featured scenes of Rihanna in four different environments. Critics from Christian youth pastors and the Ulster Cancer Foundation have both criticized the video. Rihanna’s “Diamonds” video portrayed her in a variety of sexually explicit settings.
Critics have questioned whether Rihanna’s music video was necessary to send a “message” about violence. However, Rihanna has never claimed to be a role model and has maintained an image that is edgy and rebellious. Critics have taken Rihanna’s video to task on social media. The controversial video has sparked an online controversy, and some have said that Rihanna should rethink the content of her videos.
The “Man Down” video was a controversial one. It shows that some strangers assaulted Rihanna at a nightclub. Critics felt that the video sent the wrong message to victims of abuse. Nevertheless, the video has gained 701M views on YouTube.
Influence of Beyonce’s “Formation”
Beyonce’s “Formation,” her follow-up to her Grammy-winning hit “Lemonade,” was an important cultural statement for the singer. The song was widely acclaimed for its production, lyrical references, and vocal performance, and won numerous awards. It became the highest-selling single of the year and was nominated for several Grammys, including Best Music Video. In addition, it was also Google’s most-searched song of 2016.
“Formation” released over the Super Bowl weekend, sparking debates over race and culture. Conservative commentators and politicians claimed that the aim of the song was sending racist messages, and law enforcement groups organized boycotts. “Formation” quickly became a protest song and a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s been the subject of study at colleges and universities for its political and cultural impact.
Relevance of Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up”
The “Lift Me Up” music video premiered hours after the release of the song. It depicts a lone Rihanna on a deserted beach at dusk. It seems to have a more stripped-down sound than Rihanna’s previous videos.
“Lift Me Up” is Rihanna’s first original song in six years. They created this for the movie “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Rihanna, Ludwig Goransson, and Ryan Coogler wrote this song. The song is a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who died in August 2020 from colon cancer.
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