To be honest, it’s rare that I ever watch music videos. I find most are trite and not worth the three or four minutes they took away from my life to watch them (I’m looking at you, Nickelback). Even for my favorite artists, it usually still takes a bit of chatter around their latest videos for me to take a look. That’s why “Bitch Better Have My Money” took me by such surprise.
The project is almost less of a music video and more a short film; it’s seven minutes long. Going in, I had my fingers crossed that the seven minutes would be worth my time, but I didn’t have high hopes.
I was wrong.
“BBHMM” is a masterpiece. The plot of the video surrounds Rihanna and two friends (fellow gang members?) who kidnap “your wife” and put her “in the backseat of my brand new foreign car.” Given the lyrics, it’s pretty obvious this woman is the “wife” of the “bitch,” but as the whole video centers on Rihanna torturing this woman, you can’t help but start to think this bitch really owes Rihanna some big fucking bucks.
Where “BBHMM” really excels is making you forget those lyrics by the seriously grotesque actions committed by Rihanna and her friends. They tie the wife up with rope, naked and upside down, and swing her like a pendulum from the ceiling; they force drugs and alcohol down her throat; they (SPOILER ALERT here and below) drown her in a pool whilst they have a pool party and flirt with the sheriff.
This is all so enthralling that when, at the end, the video flashes back to the husband the wife kissed goodbye in the morning and moves into Rihanna fingering knives with him tied up in front of her, it’s genuinely surprising that he is, in fact, the “bitch,” and, possibly even more surprising, her accountant. The video ends with Rihanna covered in his blood, lying naked (worth watching the video for, even if the rest had been bad) on top of the trunk she originally kidnapped the woman in, which is now filled with money.
TL;DR version: This video is truly terrifying and completely captivating for the entire seven minutes. You probably won’t be able to watch it again for at least 24 hours because you’ll be so thoroughly disturbed.
The true genius, though, is that this video really adds something — a layer of depth, of plot, intrigue and even of social commentary — to the song, which is what I find lacking in most music videos. Although we all know Rihanna has seen and been through some shit, I highly doubt she is actually a blood-thirsty killer. With “BBHMM,” Rihanna reminds us that music is a form of expression, and we all have that tiny part in us that is just a cold-hearted bitch that wants and will get her money at any cost. She’s playing a role that’s not herself, a party-girl or anything else typical of the the pop music landscape, in typical Rihanna fashion. And that’s why we love her.