All [artist id="1940303"]Rihanna[/artist] wanted was a quart of milk. Instead, she ends up meeting a suave, sophisticated stranger in a bodega, leading a parade of street drummers around New York, drinking white wine (and subsequently doing the dishes) in an extremely well-lit loft and, finally, hosting an impromptu tribal-dance party out in the woods (or maybe it’s Central Park). No, it isn’t your typical day in NYC — I have lived here for eight years, and the most magical thing to happen to me was the time I saw Madonna on the F train — it’s the basic plot of Rihanna’s brand-new “What’s My Name?” video.
The clip is an exuberant, dare I say slightly magical fantasy ride through the streets of the Big Apple, which is convenient, since the song is pretty much about that blissed-out feeling of being so in love that you want to shout it from a street corner … with some guy banging on a bucket in the background.
In this case, Rihanna’s love interest is Drake, who shows up in a bodega, spits a verse about the square root of 69, and then spends the remainder of the “Name” clip rocking her world. He holds her tight and makes her feel all right — he is, as Rihanna coos in the chorus, willing “to put work in” — and as a result, RiRi is so happy that she takes to the streets in a pair of seriously short shorts, beaming and singing, her Kool-Aid red hair glowing in the afternoon air.
The remainder of the video is split between soft-focus scenes of Rihanna and Drake getting cozy in their loft and RiRi bouncing down city streets — suggesting either that Drake is in her mind no matter where she goes or that their entire encounter was a fantasy she had dreamed up after a brief flirtation — and climaxing with an impromptu, fire-lit jam session, complete with dreadlocked drummers and dancers and flares and the like.
And really, that’s about it. Whether Rihanna is dreaming of Drake or not is largely up to the viewer, but the “What’s My Name?” clip works either way. Oftentimes, fantasy can be just as potent as reality, if not more so … the same goes for flirting versus falling in love. After all, just because I’ve never seen an electric-haired, short-shorted pop star leading an army of drummers down the streets of New York before doesn’t mean that exact scenario isn’t playing out in the heads of every person on the sidewalk. Actually, it probably is.