The Horror Honeys: Murder Monday Jam ~ 'Bitch Better Have My Money'

Murder Monday Jam ~ 'Bitch Better Have My Money'

Kamikaze if you think that you gon' knock me off the top
Shit, your wife in the backseat of my brand new foreign car
Don't act like you forgot, I call the shots, shots, shots
Like brrap, brrap, brrap
Pay me what you owe me, don't act like you forgot
Bitch better have my money!
Bitch better have my money!
Pay me what you owe me

Growing up as a rabid member of the MTV generation, music videos are something that I cherish - especially good ones. When Michael Jackson broke all the rules by making a thirteen minute short horror film to promote 'Thriller' in the early 80s, it paved the way for other video makers to do the same thing... high concept cinematic music videos are typically a visual as well as audio treat, but it's been a healthy amount of time since something similarly amazing has been released. So, instead of treating this like a typical Honey Jam... it's a short film review. 

Hello, Rhi Rhi, where you been, girl? 

A lot of kafuffle has popped up since the release of Rihanna's newest video, but I'm of the mind that this backlash has everything to do with the fact that the people who are consuming this new video and song, have no idea where the hell it came from. My favorite Rihanna is this new Rihanna... 'Disturbia' Rihanna, 'S&M' Rihanna... this bitch ain't scared of nobody, and I love it. 'BBHMM' is ostensibly a song about a hired assassin, her job? - knock off the wife of a rich client. From the video, we see that this client hasn't bothered to pay Miss Rihanna what he should have, so the response is typical of many mobster/gangster films with a similar bent. However, instead of taking her rage out on the victim in her possession, she goes right to the source. Taking visual cues from films that many horror fans would instantly recognize (Old Boy, Hostel 2, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, to name a few, and even a nod to Nicolas Winding Refn's use of color), Rihanna's revenge is remorseless and instantaneous - There are no bargains here. Also, have I mentioned stylish? Rihanna's videos are typically an adventure in fashion, and 'BBHMM' is no exception. 

The problematic parts: "sexualized violence" is a term that has been thrown around a lot in relation to this video, and I can't argue with it. The humiliation of the "rich white woman" is a sore point for a lot of people, but let's approach this from another angle ~ if this was a horror movie, we wouldn't even blink, maybe that's why I didn't react that way. Something my husband also pointed out while watching - the hotel party scene: "This would never happen if she was kidnapped by dudes... this party scene would be a gang rape." aaand scene.

Eric Roberts.
It's a B-grade horror movie.
I rest my case. 
When the client refuses to pay, the women band together over a mutual hatred for the one who orchestrated it all... the Bitch. While I would have loved to see Mads Mikkelsen stripped and swinging upside down in a warehouse, there's another comment here in how dressed he is versus his humiliated wife, and even when compared with his attacker clad in see-through latex. Sexuality is a powerful weapon, and it's wielded with a heavy hand here. Rihanna's nudity is her power, the nudity of the kidnapped wife is humiliation - two different sides of an eternally spinning coin. There's no right or wrong way to see this dichotomy, because we all attach different stigma to nakedness and nudity. Rihanna wears her ambition in the open and embraces the power of it without shame. For the wife, nakedness goes hand in hand with shame and humiliation - she is empowered when clothed in her privilege, so stripping that away is part and parcel with her humiliation. By comparison, the accountant is clothed in power in the form of money and control, when these are taken away, he is just as naked as his wife even though he gets to keep his pants on. 

Cinematic videos like this one lend themselves well to criticism, and while they may not be "saying anything" on the surface, if you look a little deeper (or watch it obsessively like I have been over the last few days), videos like this one ARE saying something. 'BBHMM' is all about power and control - and about the illusions that come with them.

Love it or loathe it, 'BBHMM' is a short revenge horror film with a great soundtrack, so turn it up, like brrap brrap brrap! ~HH

Linnie would like to remind everyone...