Rihanna gets political on new track American Oxygen
Rihanna's no stranger to controversy, but this time, she's stirring up the press with politics, rather than her love life.
Well, at least she's trying to, with her new single and music video American Oxygen.
A departure from her usual club hits, the track seems to want to prod listeners into thinking about what the "American Dream" really means.
The video underscores that point, with Rihanna singing against a large US flag and images of Obama's inauguration, Martin Luther King Jr's funeral, the moon landing, the Ferguson protests are spliced into the clip.
But is anyone taking her seriously?
In a scathing piece titled "Rihanna's new music video uses unforgettable images to sell a forgettable song", Slate writer Aisha Harris slams the song and the video as being "tacky", accusing Rihanna and her team of using footage of historical moments to "sell" a boring a song.
The Guardian makes much the same point, but also wonders less cynically if "maybe Rihanna wants to move past her commercial dance tracks and actually comment on today’s society".
Watch the clip and decide for yourself.
Sources: The Guardian, Slate