I hate to say it, but the best part of this video is that my beloved divo Kanye is barely in any of it, giving up all the screen time to enigmatic pop/R&B dance star Rihanna. In the video, I find her beautiful, unsettling and haunted … and pant-less for a small part of it. But you can barely see her skivvies as all camera work is focused on her face.
Doing her best rendition of an ex-Prince muse on an 80s influenced dance track that sounds like something Pharell shitted out two years ago, she doesn’t dance much, she doesn’t sing in the clip, but for some reason (that I can’t quite finger) I can’t take my eyes off her. Maybe because of all the drama surrounding her tumultuous relationship with Chris Brown and the “big sister” urge in me to want to protect her. Or maybe it’s because I never really noticed before how she is a really striking young woman.
More after the jump.
I like the song … a lot. But part of me would have enjoyed it more if someone else had sung it (no offense Ye). Even Pharell’s disaffected, ironic hipster moan would have been preferred, but a revved up and invigorated, cheeky male or female R&B singer would have been better. I’d suggest Prince, but in my mind Prince can turn anything from pedestrian to fucking mind-blowing. And believe me, Prince + Rihanna + 80s dance beat = CRAZY FANTASTIC. My head would have exploded for the high degree of awesome and sexy all over the place. Especially since there would have been a 50 percent chance they BOTH would have been pants-less in it and they would have been more guitar and dancing.
That and Prince and Rihanna have like the same damn haircut and Prince likes little women who look like him.
Aside from his royal badness, this also would have made an awesome comeback song for Michael Jackson. No one does paranoia and sexual confusion like the gloved one. But with the heavy hitters out of the way, even Usher Raymond might have been kind of interesting on this or Aaliyah, if she hadn’t died, or a reimmerging Ginuwine, or any of the Usher Raymond knock-offs, like Ne-Yo or Trey Songz or Mario.
Of course, the other ultimate who is not Prince or Michael Jackson would be Andre 3000, as he would have talk-sang his way through this in the freakiest way possible with Rosario Dawson arguing with him in the middle of the track. But all of this is wishful thinking because I wish Mr. “I’d never want a book’s autograph“ would go write and produce some material for other artists. Because Ye, I love you, but you can’t sing and I’m sick of Autotune. I mean, I get it. 808s & Heartbreaks is an anti-rock album. I TOTALLY get that. It’s not meant to be easy on the ears the first or first 15 listens. But some of the tracks would be so much more (like “Paranoid”) if someone, anyone else sang the hook. Keri Hilson, maybe. Shit, Keyisha Cole would have been nice. I’m not picky. I just like my singers singing and my rappers rapping. The only person I give a pass to is Pharell and that’s only because the first N.E.R.D. album was the most amazing thing I’d heard since “Sigh O’ the Times.”
“Paranoid” is no “Provider,” but it’s still a pretty interesting song with some danceable beats. Next time call Carl Thomas. I heard that brother ain’t doin’ jack.