[artist id="1940303"]Rihanna’s[/artist] just-released “Rockstar 101″ video is arty and sexy and all of that, but it’s perhaps most notable for the questions it poses. Like, how does one affix giant horns to their head? Is there a proper technique for smashing a guitar? Or, most importantly, since when did Slash become a total babe?
Yes, there’s much to ponder in the video — so much that it requires repeated viewings to digest. And since we’ve spent the majority of the day doing just that, we’ve also noticed a lot of things in the clip that seem familiar. So, as we’ve done in the past for the likes of Lady Gaga and Christina Aguilera , we decided to give “Rockstar” the “pop-culture cheat sheet” treatment. Here’s a list of all the things that flashed by our eyes, alphabetized for your perusing pleasure. Oh, and though we’re thorough, we’re sure there’s something we missed along the way — feel free to let us know about it in the comments below.
Here’s what you might have missed in Rihanna’s “Rockstar 101″ video:
Barker, Travis: Tattooed beat-keeper for Blink-182 (and your favorite rapper, too). This one’s actually pretty obvious, as Barker makes roughly a bajillion cameos in the “Rockstar” clip, playing drums with Rihanna’s band. He actually taught RiRi how to play drums , too, and told MTV News about it back in March.
Björk: Icelandic ingenue. When she puts on her horned helmet, Rihanna reminds us of Björk (specially in this picture), who has spent more than two decades doing this sort of delightfully odd stuff. Of course, the helmet also reminds us of something that Tank Girl would wear, too. So, perhaps it’s more accurate to say she was equally inspired by both.
Bravery, The: New York-based synth-rock act turned Americana-obsessed rockers (no, not the Killers, they’re from Las Vegas). While Barker may man the kit in Rihanna’s “Rockstar” band, the rest of the group — minus the girls, of course — eerily resemble the Bravery, circa their “An Honest Mistake” video. Or maybe we think all dudes with faux-hawks, studded belts and eyeliner look that way.
Iamamiwhoami: Mysterious, supposedly Swedish Internet phenomenon who refuses to reveal his/her true identity. There’s a whole lot of “Rockstar” that reminds us of Iamami’s mind-bending viral vids: the part where Rihanna is smeared in black paint, the part where she traipses around a snow-covered forest, etc. Sadly, there is no scene that depicts gratuitous tree-licking , though maybe RiRi’s saving that for the next video.
Nightwing: Second-tier DC Comics superhero, best known for being “the persona Dick Grayson adopted after he got tired of being Robin.” When Rihanna is fronting her rock band, she reminds us a whole lot of Nightwing, especially since her eyeliner looks like a mask (oh, and her hair is Dick Grayson-esque, too.) Batman could not be reached for comment.
Nine Inch Nails: Hugely important, now-dormant industrial rock outfit masterminded by Trent Reznor. The oddest influence on “Rockstar” appears to be the videos of NIN, in particular their Downward Spiral era. The cable-laced white room Rihanna and her band perform in seems like it was rented from the “March of the Pigs” video, and the projected mushroom cloud at the end of the video reminds us of NIN’s “Hurt” clip.
“Russian Roulette”: Debut single from Rihanna’s Rated R album. In a knowing nod to the artwork for her previous single, Rihanna wraps herself in chains in the “Rockstar” video. It’s not exactly the (sorta) barbed wire she dons on the cover of “Rated R,” but it’s close enough for us.
Slash: Top-hatted guitar legend and all-around awesome dude. OK, so the former Guns N’ Roses axman doesn’t actually appear in the “Rockstar” video, but Rihanna does don his trademark hat and sunglasses, “plays” guitar, and acts all kinds of sexy, something which makes us re-evaluate our prepubescent years, to be honest.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below, and say what you think of Rihanna’s video!