Photo Credit: Vevo
If there's one thing we've learned about Rihanna in the past few weeks, it's that she loves splashing around half-naked. So after seeing her model a tiny bikini at Coachella, throw a hat on top of another tiny bikini in Hawaii, and throw off a third tiny bikini in a Twitter shot, we're not at all surprised to see her get wet and wild in her new "Where Have You Been" music video (which hit the Internet this morning). Watch it below!
In the video, Rihanna, 24, emerges mostly naked from a river and appears to become some kind of tribal nature goddess. After she dries off, the singer reappears in scarves and harem pants, dancing with a group of topless men around a desert fire. (Careful, Rihanna -- scarves are flammable!) Then the video cuts to a smoky tent, where Rihanna, wearing big hair and a black lace bodysuit, appears to be taking part in some kind of sexy Afro-disco yoga session. There are glimpses of the singer with her hair up, topless, in a costume that she tweeted a few weeks back. We then see her emerge from a flowering tree -- an owl nest, as she explains in one of the video's behind-the-scenes featurettes.
"Why an owl? Because they have a 100 percent kill rate. That's why," she says of her striking set piece.
"Where Have You Been" ends in a trippy psychedelic breakdown, and Rihanna appears as a glittery many-armed dancer before slinking back into the water.
The video, which Rihanna herself describes as "epic," is a dramatic change from the one before it: the cinematic "We Found Love" video that many speculated was a re-enactment of her relationship with Chris Brown. It's also more ambitious than any other video she's done, not just in terms of costumes and sets, but in the amount of choreographed dancing.
"My schedule has always been so busy, it never really allowed for us to spend time rehearsing and making up dance moves," Rihanna explained during a videotaped dance rehearsal.
The hard work paid off: The "Where Have You Been" video approaches Beyonce and Lady Gaga territory. It also continues a recent trend of tribal-flavored dance-pop videos, including Beyonce's "Run the World: Girls," Jennifer Lopez's "I'm Into You" and Willow Smith's "21st Century Girl." Rihanna is taking it to the next level with this one -- and we bet she's already thinking of ways to top herself next time.