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CULTUREARTICLE

Rihanna and Miguel Get Cinematic in Two New Music-Driven Short Films

Just because MTV airs Catfish and Teen Mom reruns more than they show actual music videos these days, that doesn’t mean the music industry is phoning it in when it comes to their artists’ music’s visual components. More than ever, artists are repurposing Michael Jackson’s old “Thriller” model and turning their videos into full-on short films. Some are simply stretching out their latest singles into longer pieces, while others like Nicki Minaj are combining multiple tracks into soundtrack-heavy mini movies. And over the last week, each approach has been given a great new example.

The first debuted last week and basically shut down the Internet, Kim-Kardashian’s-derriere-on-the-cover-of-Paper style. After letting the record build steam on the radio for a couple of months, Rihanna unveiled the visual for “Bitch Better Have My Money” (or “BBHMM”), her aggressive, take-no-prisoners single from the singer’s upcoming eighth album. Co-directed by Rih-Rih herself, it’s a clip that actually benefits from MTV’s minimal interest in playing videos, since it’d never actually be able to air on the network in its current state.

Watch Rihanna's "Bitch Better Have My Money" here.

Marked by blood, nudity and a distinct ’70s-exploitation edge, “BBHMM” is Rihanna’s very own mini horror movie, which some have suggested is a not-so-subtle shot against her former accountant, Peter Gournis of Berdon LLP, whose poor financial advice in 2009 led to Rihanna spending nearly $7.5 million on a mansion that year and eventually ending up damn near bankruptcy. If that’s the case, Gournis might be happy to see that Rihanna cast NBC’s badass Hannibal himself, Mads Mikkelsen, as her target, but he probably won’t enjoy seeing his on-screen counterpart get tied up and his on-screen girlfriend used as a human piñata.

Far less violent is Miguel’s Find What You Love and Let It Kill You, the 13-minute short film that serves as a primer for the R&B crooner’s latest album, Wildheart. It’s comprised of three Wildheart tracks (“…goingtohell,” “Coffee” and “NWA”) and follows Miguel as he courts a beautiful lady inside an art museum, heads back to her place for some particularly steamy bedroom action and then takes his time walking home with a cool-guy, just-made-love-to-a-supermodel strut before hitching a ride with friend/Cali rap favorite Kurupt.

Watch Miguel's Find What You Love and Let It Kill You here.

Although both videos are impressive, only one ends with an image that's pop music's answer to I Spit on Your Grave. And for that, it's clear which one reigns supreme here...

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