Rihanna Debuts Graphic Video
When Rihanna and director Anthony Mandler join artistic forces, the end result is a visually intoxicating product. From ‘Russian Roulette’ to ‘Only Girl (In the World)’ and ‘Unfaithful’ to ‘California King Bed,’ both artists showcase their versatility on screen: the singer gliding around dark imagery and pops of color and the director grabbing the best shot to support her vocals. The visuals for ‘Man Down’ move in the same lane. However, heed the warning, there’s a graphic start.
At the start of the clip, which serves as Rihanna’s current single off her fifth LP ‘Loud,’ no time is wasted in showing just what’s to come. The red-haired songstress shoots a man in the back of the head, as he walks in a crowded train station. The video for the reggae-tinged song continues with Rihanna acting out the unfortunate story of a sexually abused woman.
The Barbados-born entertainer relives the terrifying moment, recalling the day before where everything seemed as it should be as she walked down the daytime streets of Jamaica, kissing elder folk on the cheek, drinking coconut juice and basking in the hot sun.
Rihanna then lets loose in a nightclub when the sky blackens, meeting an attractive gentleman, who she dances with closely. But once she leaves the venue, a good time turns into a hellish nightmare when the man who had his eye on her turns into a predator. Without warning, he follows her into an alley and forces himself upon her, pushing her to the ground. Disheveled and left with her makeup smeared, Rihanna is left in tears.
‘Man Down’ recalls another act of violence that the Bajan star dealt with in 2009, by the hands of then-boyfriend Chris Brown, which occurred the night of the 51st Annual Grammy Awards. The controversial video may hit close to home for Rihanna, but when looking at more upbeat visuals like her recently released ‘California King Bed,’ it’s apparent playing the victim is just a role she takes on for the cameras.