Last week, Rihanna dropped her music video for Bitch Better Have My Money, a NSFW clip that features so much violence and nudity that we can’t necessarily show you, but click here at your own discretion if you want to see what all the fuss is about.
The video features Rihanna and two henchwomen who kidnap an accountant’s girlfriend in order to try and get back money that was stolen from her. It’s a pretty violent affair, but one that has already gotten over 16 million views on VEVO. There’s a ton of discussion over the video’s violence and what the video all means, but below, we’ve gathered five facts about the video that you may or may not know, to help you understand Riri’s vision a little more.
Tell us in the comments below or @Much what you think of Rihanna’s new BBHMM video!
1. The song is (maybe) based on a true story…
Many have speculated, especially after the release of the music video, that BBHMM is based on a true event that Rihanna went through, and although she hasn’t confirmed such claims, the similarities are pretty uncanny. In 2009, the star sued accountant Peter Gounis for allegedly giving her bad financial advice, which led to her losing $9 million. The case was eventually settled out of court in 2014, but it’s pretty clear how that may have influenced this track and the subsequent music video where Riri kidnaps an accountant’s girlfriend and tortures her only to take it out on both of them at the end of the video. (The accountant was played by Hannibal star, Mads Mikkelsen.)
2. …But it was written by a 20-year-old songwriter
Bibi Bourelly wrote BBHMM with Rihanna in mind, but didn’t know if it would actually reach her. “It took us forever to get it to her,” Bibi told Noisey. “When she did hear it, she thought it was cool.” The track apparently took Bibi only three hours to write and finish. The songwriter also worked on another track for Rihanna’s upcoming album R8 titled Higher.
3. Rihanna found one of her henchwomen on Instagram
Throughout the video, Rihanna is accompanied by her two henchwomen. Model Sita Abellan played one of Riri’s sidekicks, but the other star of the video is a 25-year-old woman who works in a plant store in Seattle who was discovered by the pop star on Instagram. That’s right, Instagram.
Sanam, the lucky woman chosen by Rihanna, talked to Vice following the release of BBHMM and explained that Rihanna had spotted her on the Instagram explore page and immediately wanted her in her music video. “I got a DM [direct message] from her on Instagram,” she told Vice. “She was like, ‘Hey, I have this idea I want to run by you. I think you’re so f–king rare. Let me know if you’re interested.” Two days later, Sanam was onset in L.A., shooting next to Rihanna!
4. There are a bunch of movie references hidden in this video
Makeup artist Ozzy Salvatierra, who worked on the BBHMM music video revealed to the Hollywood Reporter that Rihanna’s influences going into the shoot included “Natural Born Killers and Tarantino films like Grindhouse,” but we spotted even more references.
The trunk seen throughout the video is possibly a nod at the 2013 movie, Oldboy. The cop drive by/fake waving scene can be a reference to Weekend at Bernie’s. And, of course, the bloody shot at the very end is a total homage to Carrie.
In addition to that, the final scene featuring Hannibal’s Mikkelsen can be a funny nod to the recently-canceled NBC show as some fans noticed on Twitter. Rihanna is clearly a big fan of Hannibal and/or Dexter.
5. This video may not be intended for all audiences (or TV in general)
Rihanna had a very specific idea in mind for BBHMM (for it to look more like a movie, less like a music video) and it didn’t matter how NSFW it was. “From the beginning she was like, ‘I don’t care if it’s not aired on TV’,” co-director Charles Brisgand remembered. “She wanted something that people don’t expect from her.” Well, as least the video comes with plenty of warnings!