Keri Hilson doesn't want to cuddle.
In the brand-new video for her head-banging, rock-tinged "The Way You Love Me," Hilson, strapped into a leather bikini, bypasses the R&B book of double entendres as she delivers a jaw-dropping chorus, exhorting her man to "F--- me, f--- me."
Directed by veteran choreographer Laurie Ann Gibson, with a look from Rick Ross, the clip set the Net ablaze after it premiered on a hip-hop site earlier this week. A platinum-blond Keri gyrates, thrusts, licks and gets (way) low as she laces the song with enough saucy language and expletives to make your favorite rapper blush. Singer JoJo, Dawn Richard of Diddy-Dirty Money and Faith Evans team up with Hilson in the clip, rounding out her black-clad crew of female assassins.
Now, her detractors are crying foul online, accusing the singer of swerving into a racy lane just for page views and album sales. In a live-stream interview on Thursday with a visibly embarrassed Perez Hilton, Keri addressed the bubbling controversy.
"You know what? If you put it in context with my album, my album is called No Boys Allowed but really it means no bullsh-- allowed," she explained. "In this album, I was screaming in a room — just like I was screaming in the song — I was screaming in a room with all my girlfriends, yelling all the sh-- we really say."
Keri said the sentiment reflected in the song is exactly what her girls are apt to shout behind closed doors: "I don't want to make love tonight. Just f--- me, please!" She added, "I'm a freak, it's no surprise. I've been a freak on other songs ... and other videos."
But Perez, echoing what some of Hilson's critics have argued since the provocative clip dropped on WorldStarHipHop.com, asked Keri point-blank whether the steamy visual is a "calculated move" intended to stir up talk ahead of the December 21 release of her sophomore LP.
"Everything I wrote about is from that perspective: How do we really feel and think about certain things?" Keri insisted.
"You don't have to use sexuality to feel powerful," Perez countered.
The singer, who is performing at the "VH1 Divas" concert on Sunday, went on to explain that whether it's
"Pretty Girl Rock" or "The Way You Love Me," her lyrics are meant to reflect a woman's many moods and shifting desires. "Perez, I don't want to be held and caressed every night. ... I'm talking about one man in the relationship. I'm not talking about being a slut and a whore," she said, before conceding, "It is racy."
Regardless of Internet chatter, Hilson said creative freedom will always win out. "I can't allow other people or the media to dictate what I can and can't do."
While she made no apologies for the NSFW video, she did say a clean version of the song is the one included on her album.
What do you think of Keri's "The Way You Love Me" video? Sound off in the comments!