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Did Rihanna Director Copy M.I.A.’s ‘Boyz’ Video?

RihannaWhen Rihanna‘s video for ‘Rude Boy’ made the rounds recently, everyone was like, “Hey, that’s pretty cool, but wait a second …” The clip bears more than a passing resemblance to the video for ‘Boyz’ off of M.I.A.‘s last album ‘Kala.’ Both appropriate a sort of downtown cool chic and reference the street-infused art of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat to stylish results.

“I mean, you know that the video lends from a lot of Rasta culture and ’80s Atari vibe and that’s what we went with, too,” said Melina Matsoukas, the director, to MTV. “And then afterward I was like, ‘Oh, this sucks. They tore down my video.’ And her video’s great too. It definitely wasn’t trying to rip anybody off at all — it was just our approach and the animation stuff, it had a similar vibe. We’ve seen that before with Grace Jones and Andy Warhol, so I don’t know if anybody can lay claim to anything. We’re all inspired by similar elements and it came together in that way.”

We’re not sure that “anybody can lay claim to anything” is a good excuse in this case. Yes, both videos reference images from the past, but when you are almost directly copying a clip that came out within the last couple years and bears a similar title, it’s tough to find a passable excuse. Judge for yourself below.

Rihanna, ‘Rude Boy’

M.I.A., ‘Boyz’

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