Rihanna ‘Rude Boy’ Video Director ‘Wasn’t Trying To Rip Anybody Off’

'We're all inspired by similar elements and it came together in that way,' Melina Matsoukas says of comparisons to M.I.A.'s 'Boyz' clip.

As soon at [artist id="1940303"]Rihanna[/artist]‘s new colorful, sassy video for “Rude Boy” hit the Internet, fans and music lovers couldn’t help but compare it to M.I.A.’s video for “Boyz.” However, that reaction isn’t one that the star or the video’s director, Melina Matsoukas, had even considered while they were shooting the clip.

“I mean, you know that the video lends from a lot of Rasta culture and ’80s Atari vibe and that’s what we went with too,” Matsoukas said. “And then afterward I was like, ‘Oh, this sucks. They tore down my video.’ And her video’s great too. It definitely wasn’t trying to rip anybody off at all — it was just our approach and the animation stuff, it had a similar vibe. We’ve seen that before with Grace Jones and Andy Warhol, so I don’t know if anybody can lay claim to anything. We’re all inspired by similar elements and it came together in that way.”

With nods to Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, the pop-art inspired video is a far cry from the pair’s work on “Hard” — but as soon as they wrapped the latter, they knew they had to work together again.

“I mean, ‘Hard’ was our first time together,” the director explained. “[Rihanna] will try anything, which is always great because you have a lot of artists who won’t do what you need them to do. She’ll go there and I definitely wanted to bring that part of her out — that fun side.”

Rihanna’s daring fashion sense is also exhibited in the video. “She loves crazy outfits! She loves the fashion. The stylist was actually my best friend. And Rihanna’s one of the only artists that will take it there and wear it and wear it well,” Matsoukas gushed. “That part is always fun. Nothing looks bad on her, so that’s even more fun. She goes with it and she really challenges you to take it a step further with the status quo.”