Rihanna’s “Needed Me” video is packed with footage of tattooed strippers, sophisticated weapons, and big stacks of bills—but that’s not the point.
We’re just going to say it: Rihanna loves her nipples. And Rihanna, the world loves you for it. First because it was explicit, but now because you’ve made it honest.
We saw them in “Work” and we see them again in “Needed Me.” But her use of the nipple as an accessory on the red carpet, on stage, and in music videos is done so naturally that it hardly feels as if there is controversy over female nipple bearers in the first place.
Often times you’ll see artists go to wardrobe extremes for attention, but the Anti singer’s desire to push the boundaries of music and politics by exposing herself is not to cover up a lack of talent. The “Needed Me” video tells a story, unlike some music videos that just focus on T&A.
Similar to Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” video, “Needed Me” shows the 28-year-old seeking—and getting—bloody revenge on the one who did her wrong. (RiRi, as if we didn’t already, we officially know never to fuck with you.) BBHMM showed Rihanna punishing the wife of a man who crossed her. This time around, the Bad Gal goes directly to the source: A tattooed man from face-to-toe who appears to be taking advantage of a great plenty of tattooed women, including Rihanna. According to the lyrics, he “was just another n**** on the hit list.”
Before you watch the video through, take note of some highlights Inked loved. And then watch the video over and over again. Once won’t be enough.
(00:15) The cross tattoo centering the male star’s eyebrows.
(00:57) The dude with tribal tattoos and gold teeth holding a machine gun and a blunt. Also, the redheaded kid in the background wearing a T-shirt that says “I came to drop bombs.”
(01:05) Rihanna and the moto crew’s bike helmets and masks, similar to those designed by tattooers in our May 2016 Moto Issue. For a full gallery of Harley Davidson gear reimagined by artists, click here.
(01:38) The booty with cheetah print tattoos.
(01:42) The booty with a lip tattoo.
(02:19) Rihanna getting ready to fire.