The unofficial theme of today on the site, starting with Beyoncé in the open, is artists refusing to stay in the boxes that people want to hold them in. Or perhaps claiming and reclaiming space that has been denied to them. We are seeing it with Beyoncé’s act ii and Jimmy Butler going emo and yesterday too when Rihanna and A$AP Rocky released a short film to promote Fenty Beauty lip balm. 


The mood is classic film noir, not typically a cinematic genre were Black actors were included, and certainly not in the lead roles. Here we find Rihanna, the femme fatale, and Rocky her hapless lover who is irresistible to her schemes, which basically involve stealing all his sh-t, from his clothes, to the bed covers, to his lip balm. 


It’s cheeky and corny, as was standard of the artform back in the day, and it’s also really, really cute. These two are adorable and what I especially appreciate is that Rocky has always leaned in to how the culture perceives this relationship anyway – she’s the badder of the two, the baddest all the time, and he’s the one who has to make his way in her world. They’re beautiful and sexy but also goofy and silly. This is Rihanna and Rocky very literally making film noir Noir. 



In other Rihanna news, she is now in India. 


RiRi is performing during the wedding celebrations of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant. Anant is the son of the wealthiest man in Asia, Mukesh Ambani, who is said to be worth something like $115 billion. Back in 2018, when Mukeshi’s daughter, Isha, was married, Beyoncé was the VIP performer and the wedding events reportedly cost almost $100 million. Apparently Anant’s wedding will be even more extravagant. 

Word is Rihanna’s fee for this performance will be $5 million on the low side, $10 million on the high side. Remember, when she took over the Super Bowl last year it was her first live performance in five years. A few weeks later she sang live at the Oscars – and she wasn’t paid for either of them. This wedding then? It makes up for both of those! And more!