I must admit, I’m sort of confused by the image Rihanna has been projecting these days. I mean, I kinda dig the fact that she’s going the whole Grace Jones route, although she should probably acknowledge that fact for the benefit of folks who aren’t as old as I am and would thus not be aware of the fact that Miss Jones pioneered this whole shtick first. What leaves me a little cold is that she seems to have sexed up her image even more in light of the whole Chris Brown incident, and I don’t know that flashing your titties everywhere is the right move for someone who is now best known as a battered girlfriend, yanno? What some folks may see as empowerment I kinda see as exploitation of a young lady who is either blinded by dollar signs or simply doesn’t know any better.

Anyway, Rihanna’s people are trying REAL hard to make her “Rated R” album into a success. Not that it’s been a flop per se-I mean, it’s gotten uniformly strong reviews, and has sold a solid 600,000 or so copies so far. But I’m sure that Def Jam expected more considering not only Ri-Ri’s newsworthiness but also the strong sales of her last album (which sold 2 million + in the U.S.). At any rate, “Rude Boy” is the fourth single from “Rated R”, and it’s being promoted via a very colorful video…that looks a LOT like…an M.I.A. video. I can’t put my finger on exactly WHICH video it resembles of hers, but I definitely get a low-budget M.I.A. vibe when I watch this clip (I just checked YouTube…the M.I.A. video I’m referring to is “Boyz”.). “Rude Boy” also kinda reminds me of Neneh Cherry’s “Buffalo Stance”. I suppose Rihanna could pick worse people to swagger-jack, but seriously folks, it would probably be a lot cooler if she had an original idea for once.

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