The opening of Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” sets its sinister tone immediately by expressing that the following video is rated TV Mature for Language, Nudity and Violence and viewer discretion is advised. From there, the video kind of goes in the direction you expect, except in the strangest way possible.
As evidenced in the eerie trailer, released earlier this week, Rihanna is not playing around, and she’s demanding either cash, blood, or both. Without giving the entire seven-minute video away, the story crafted for “Bitch Better Have My Money” centers on Rihanna, broke but dressed to the nines, kidnapping a rich man’s wife to hold her for ransom. At times, the ruthlessness of Rihanna’s character is unsettling to watch as she bounds, drugs and hangs the wife upside down from an old barn. But the darker imagery is offset by the dizzying cinematography, colorful lighting and costumes, as well as the “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”-esque scenes where Rihanna chills out on an inflatable tube on top of a cargo ship and applies fake eyelashes to the blindfolded victim in what may be the most twisted sleepover in music video history. “Money” does not hold back on violence, nudity, or language, just as it promised it wouldn’t. It also doesn’t hold back on the weed references, from the blatant bong hits to the subtle, refined details like Rihanna checking her balance only to find that she has $420 left.
The video is a lot of fun, but also has a tinge of real horror attached to it that seems to be well-intended. A few seconds of the film are a blatant homage to the horror film Carrie when the viewer receives a close-up shot of Rihanna, unsmiling and walking towards the camera as her face drips with blood.
The “Bitch Better Have My Money” music video was directed by Rihanna alongside music video production company Megaforce. Rihanna is evidently very happy with the final product, sharing on her Instagram just before the video’s premiere: “Ya girl got director skillz!!! The concept for this piece came to me 8 months ago!!! So you can imagine how anxious I am right now!!!” The girl does have skills. She is also not to be messed with, clearly.