[artist id="1940303"]Rihanna[/artist] isn't being shy about her feelings for the press in her colorful video for "S&M." Playing on themes of bondage and the celebrity-hungry paparazzi, the clip, directed by Melina Matsoukas, is a romp through Rihanna's opinions about the media world. And, she has a very high-profile celebrity blogger featured in the video as her slave.
"I was so flattered," Perez Hilton gushed to MTV News. "This will go down for me as one of my highlights."
The video certainly says something in-between glossy setups and flashy costumes, recalling another pop star's video evolution. "My takeaway from this video was that it was very strategically made to get attention and make a point," he explained. "It reminded me of Madonna during the 'Erotica' phase and the 'Hollywood'/ 'American Life' phase, both of which were controversial."
However, there's more to the clip than ball-gagged reporters: It shows a bubbly, fun pop star at her shining best. "What I love especially was that you got to see Rihanna in a new light," he explained. "We've never seen Rihanna like this before, plus it wasn't too serious, and that's a great message: You shouldn't let what others say about you affect you. She's being all sorts of crazy in the video and it's like she's saying, 'Be who you are and let your freak flag fly.'
"I'm really emboldened and inspired by the message of 'S&M' and the movement that seems to be happening. Pop songs can be meaningful songs."
On set, Perez recalls Rihanna making sure that everything turned out perfectly for the video, co-directing it alongside Matsoukas. "The 'S&M' video is very important for Rihanna. She came up with a lot of the concepts, the shots. She was super hands-on because this was her
baby: There were messages she wanted to get out there," he said.
In the video, Perez is on a leash and tied up with tape — and he said he loved every moment of it. "We had so much fun, but let me tell you, I left the 'S&M' video shoot bruised and battered and banged up. Even with the knee pads, my knees got scuffed," he remembered, laughing. "But it was all worth it. I think the video turned out really amazingly well."
The video makes one big point about the media landscape, and Perez is certainly someone who has unapologetically criticized the singer's artistic choices.
"It's no secret that I did not love Rihanna's Rated R album. I did not love that era, but I thought it was really cool of her to still ask me to be in her video anyway," he said. "Just like Britney wanted me in her Circus Tour opening video."
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