7 Moments From Rihanna's "American Oxygen" Music Video That Are Incredibly, Hilariously & Movingly Patriotic — VIDEO
We all probably should have seen this coming, but Rihanna's "American Oxygen" music video is the most Americanized video that ever America-ed. It's been lighting up the web ever since it dropped earlier on Thursday, with star-spangled flares of patriotism, battleships and diamond tiaras. Okay, maybe not all those things. The political climate in the U.S. has been heated in light of the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and other African-American citizens that have been mistreated and killed by police force. The politically charged video features a slew of images and footage from historical events, including Martin Luther King's famous speech, President Barack Obama's inauguration, erecting the American flag after the tragic events of 9/11, and a cowgirl brandishing the flag as she rides a horse around a rodeo. It doesn't get more American than that people.
However, Rihanna's video uses this footage in juxtaposition with the current political climate in the country: a sign toting America's immigration roots precedes footage of immigrants traveling to America and even some getting poorly treated; footage of Martin Luther King is paired with footage of protestors wielding "I Can't Breathe" signs. As Rihanna says, "this is the new America."
Watch the video below:
As you can see, there's a lot of patriotism going on here. It's almost too much to handle, but perhaps it's needed. With all the American flags, protestors, soldiers marching and images of President Obama and Martin Luther King, here's a break down of the more American moments from "American Oxygen."
1. Outside City Hall
Rihanna doesn't waste anytime in bathing in the American imagery. In addition to staring down the camera while a flag waves in the background, we see her sitting down in front of a City Hall building, which is draped with another American flag and decorated with the shadows of soldiers marching in tandem.
2. Dancing In Front Of A Flag
"Dancing In The Dark" is so last year. It's all about dancing in front of a flag as the frame fades into footage of military men and women marching into battle. The only thing that's missing here is one of those foam Lady Liberty tiaras you get at Ellis Island.
There's no such thing as an America tribute video without at least one shot of the current President. Obama's presidency is one of the most historic. As the first black president ascending to office, he's a symbol for how far we've progressed as a country. And, given the message of the video, it's poignant in echoing Rihanna's words: "This is the new America."
4. Sea Of Flags
From sea to shining sea. But what they didn't tell you is that they are seas of flags. Careful! If you don't pay attention, you could lose your way because of all the star-spangled awesomeness.
5. Lady Liberty
There she is! I started wondering when she might be popping up to wave her torch. At this point, the video showed us all the images one might expect from an American tribute. While the image of Obama addresses the racial issues depicted in the video, the Statue of Liberty enhances the immigration theme.
6. Singing In A Military Uniform
Okay, I have to admit, Rihanna looks pretty amazing singing in this military parachute gear. She can definitely pull that off, and she may want to consider that for her future stage performances. But with all the imagery we saw already of flags, liberty, more flags, soldiers, political figures and more flags, this just launched it over the edge.
7. And One More Flag
One more American flag can't hurt, right? It is the symbol of America, and people do love it. By the end of "American Oxygen," we fully realize the message Rihanna is trying to relay and this image proves to be more moving than we thought.
Images: Vevo (8)