Rihanna Delivers A Politically-Charged Video For "American Oxygen"
2015 has been kind to Rihanna. She started her run at the new year with a pair of A-list collaborators, tapping Kanye West and The Fab Four‘s own Paul McCartney for “FourFiveSeconds,” presumably off her forthcoming record Bitch Better Have My Money. It was then announced that Ri Ri would be the face of a new campaign from Christian Dior; the very first black woman to do so. And now, we’re being treated to a remarkably poignant visual for new single “American Oxygen,” which she debuted in a powerful performance at this weekend’s Final Four proceedings. The clip premiered exclusively on Jay Z‘s new streaming platform TIDAL today (though the greater powers of the internet have unleashed it on the rest of us) and it finds the anthemic new track (with backing vocals from what sounds like James Fauntleroy) played against a backdrop of collaged clips of monumental moments in American History, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral procession, the Black Power Salute at the 1968 Olympics and countless others. Not exactly what we expected from Miss “Diamonds,” but we’re certainly glad to see that her music has begun to adapt the tensions of the time. You can watch Rihanna’s new video for “American Oxygen” below.