When you think of a pop star's music video, you think tons of glitz and glam, more outfits than you own, and crazy hair and makeup. But Rihanna's "American Oxygen" music video has none of that, and I honestly think it's for the best. The politically-charged video is a leap away from her usual sensual ballads and club-ready pop tunes, and I'm really glad she changed her wardrobe to match.
There have been tons of discussions about what Rihanna's new hit is actually about, but now that the video has been released, I think it's pretty clear it's all about change. Well, change and attaining the American Dream. Through a combination of positive and negative images of "Americanism," you're left feeling both proud and disgusted, at the same time. Rihanna not only included many American flags, but she also put in shots from Ferguson, Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, and all of the race riots in between. And what gets to me the most is how it seems we've all been fighting for the same thing for the past 50 years, and yet, here we are today. Those sad images aren't the only thing in the video. There are tons of mentions of that American Dream that we've all been chasing since birth.
But in my opinion, it feels like there are more negatives then positives. And since the vibes are so serious, it was good that Rihanna dressed the way she did. Making a statement with the most classically American outfit there is — a white tee, light washed jeans, and a leather jacket — Rihanna definitely knew what she was doing in this one. And as a loyal fan, I'm proud that she made sure to cross her T's and dot her I's.
I personally was in tears by the end of the video — mostly because I'm in the middle of a real love/hate relationship with the good 'ole U.S. of A. But it also changed the way I see her, as an artist. She's always spoken to my wild child side, but this video reached me in a very different place. And as much as I hope this becomes the next pop anthem, I also hope it does what I think she wanted it to do: Inspire change.
Images: YouTube (2); Giphy(1)