It's a beautiful day in America. Across the country, badass bitches are smacking their gum a little bit louder, shading their eyebrows in a tad darker, and flipping of street hecklers with even more pep in their step. That's because last night Rihanna released the video for “Bitch Better Have My Money.” Seriously, try to watch this video without involuntarily screaming out “yas queen,” breaking up with your boyfriend, and going on a road trip to the July 4th Myrtle Beach Male Stripper Convention. I dare you.
BBHMM (learn this acronym. live it. love it.) is essentially a guide to all things badassery for all y’all basic bitches. It’s Lean In on coke and Dom, here to teach a generation of women valuable lessons: ball bigger than LeBron, cater your outfits not to the situation/activity but to future GIFs, look good naked, look better naked and covered in blood and, most importantly, make sure your eyeliner wing is sharp enough to kill a man.
But this is not a YouTube tutorial. This is a cinematic experience—think Weekend at Bernie’s with more nudity, Bling Ring with better dialogue, and Les Miserables with even bigger red flags. The Rihanna-directed (yas queen!) audiovisual experience has a basic revenge plot premise. First, Rihanna kidnaps a rich white lady, played by Rachel Roberts. Then, Rihanna and her two gal pals go on an amazing, sadistic road trip, human cargo in tow. It’s effectively an ad for Stockholm syndrome. Rihanna makes a series of phone calls to the effect of “bitch better have my money,” but in the end it's not really ransom she's after—she wants to murder the kidnapped lady’s husband for being a shitty accountant. At this point, you might be tempted to point out some logical fallacies in this plot. But remember that you are not Rihanna, and sit your ass down.
BBHMM opens on Rihanna driving up to a big mansion with a really big, vintage Goyard trunk. Obviously if there’s a big trunk in the first act, there will be a naked, bloody, dollar-bill covered Rihanna cavorting inside that trunk by the third. Inside the mansion, rich white lady is having a #freethenipple moment, walking around in her sheer white bra and pantsuit set, listening to light music, holding her Pomeranian, and walking past a bunch of orchids. You know, white lady stuff. After kissing her husband on the cheek, white lady gets in the elevator—her Uber is waiting downstairs to take her to Whole Foods/the opera/a Hillary Clinton fundraiser. Bad call, white lady. Now you're in a trunk.
After stuffing white lady into her Goyard, Rihanna lets her henchwomen haul the thing into her car; she is very busy smoking inside the indoor parking lot. Which is badass, because you're definitely not supposed to smoke in there. Now Rihanna is behind the wheel of a hilarious convertible that she definitely copped from an overcompensating victim. But it's all ovaries inside this penis car—two ladies in the front, one in the back, and one naked, bound and gagged. Road trip!
Let's take a second to talk about #squadgoals here. Rihanna is driving and, spoiler alert, she looks amazing. Next to her is a terrifying-looking lady sporting tats, gloves, a choker, huge hoops, slicked down, bobby-pinned black hair, and some sort of nose-earring contraption. Her eyebrows are on point, and she looks Transylvanian. The second, more apathetic girl-gang member (I mean, she didn't call shotgun) is serving up blonde ghost realness in an even bigger choker and fifty shades of taupe. Her bob is a pointy weapon. She is a total sad girl and Rihanna probably invited her along to take the Polaroids.
The kidnapped lady goes from being naked in the backseat of the car to hanging upside down, naked, in an abandoned barn. She is swinging back and forth, with some sort of gag in her mouth so she can’t scream. It’s good that she’s not screaming, because Rihanna is on the phone. Ghost girl’s tan blazer is definitely Ann Taylor Loft.
We’re on the road again. Riri pulls over so Miss Transylvania can load the car up with snacks—pretzels and cereal, ’cause kidnapping is a marathon, not a sprint, and ladies gotta carbo-load. Rihanna keeps switching between a leather hat and a bandanna, but I’m not complaining, because her thigh-high Vetements boots are incredible. The ladies torch their car and slow-mo walk away against a backdrop of desert, mountains, and flames. They are boss-ass bitches—except ghost girl, because her twig arms are struggling to drag the weight of the lady-stuffed trunk. Get out of the frame, ghost girl, Rihanna and sidekick No. 1 are having a moment.
Now we're on a boat, and it’s amazing. Rihanna is wearing an insane bustier and heels. She might be a fugitive from the law, but she's still taken the time to put tropical umbrellas in her drinks. Rich white lady is seasick, and Transylvania even wears her elbow-length gloves in the water. Somebody decorated the yacht with blow-up palm trees, and Rihanna has a flare gun that fires in the shape of a pot leaf. We're going in and out of an aerial view, like a #blessed bird above the SS SOS. Rihanna throws her cell phone into the air and shoots it before it falls into the water, probably for GIF purposes.
Next, we have an on-land Weekend at Bernie'’ moment, when Transylvania knocks white lady out with a bottle, then waves her limp hand at a cop car passing by. After spending an appropriate amount of time sunbathing in the middle of nowhere (?), the ladies check into a seedy motel. In this scene, Rihanna’s bustier and sheer, fur-accented coat easily transition from day to night. The girls take turns giving white lady a makeover, grinding up on her and passing her bong hits. Ciroc is involved, as are old school, silky pajamas. The most unrealistic thing about this music video is the idea that anyone would ever be at this amazing slumber party involuntarily. White lady hasn’t had this much fun since her sweet sixteen. The next morning, she’s passed out under a crocodile pool floatie, while Rihanna (and Rihanna’s butt in a tiny swimsuit) wave at the passing sheriff again. Incompetent cops, amirite?
In the end, white lady is alive and well, but her no-good accountant husband screwed Riri over, leaving only $420 (it’s the subtlety, really) in her bank account. Turns out, the accountant’s been “the bitch” all along, and RiRi has a wide range of weapons she’s itching to try out. Passing over her cheater chainsaw, Queen Ri finds a sharp blade labeled “Fucked Up my Credit.” Can we please just take a second to pour one out for this amazing lady-weapons arsenal?
Clad only in a halter-condom, Rihanna ties up the accountant and presumably takes her revenge. The video ends on a black-and-white shot of a pair of legs sticking out of the infamous trunk. As we zoom in and fade into color, Rihanna is revealed in all her glory—covered in blood, on a bed of money, lighting up a one hitter. We are all slayed.
Rihanna’s Thelma & Louise-style fantasy is apparently based on a bit of fact. Back in 2012, RiRi filed a lawsuit against her former accountant Peter Gounis. Rihanna alleged that his unsound financial advice led her to lose $9 million in cash in 2009 alone. After Gounis advised her to buy a $7.5 million home, Rihanna was left “effectively bankrupt.” RiRi eventually won a multimillion-dollar settlement from Gounis’s firm.
Veracity aside, BBHMM is undoubtedly a moment—for fashion (shouts out Adam Selman, Ulyana Sergeenko, and Tom Ford), for #squadgoals, but most importantly for badass women. There are only two men in this video—one is an incompetent, stupid sheriff, and the other is dead.
Let's see more of that in 2015.