Rihanna has work work worked her way to 1 billion views on Youtube for her dancehall-inspired music video for ‘Work’, featuring Drake.
Originally released on 22 February 2016, ‘Work’ was accompanied by two music videos. The recording-breaking first one, sees the Barbadian singer return to her dancehall roots and incorporate island patois into the lyrics.
Shot in the The Real Jerk Restaurant in Toronto, the director wanted the video to feel like an authentic West Indian neighbourhood. In a 2016 interview with Vogue, Rihanna spoke about the inspiration behind the single and concept for the video.
“I felt like if I enunciated the words too perfectly, it would just not be the same attitude or the same sass. Because that’s how we speak in the Caribbean. It’s very broken and it’s, like, you can understand everything someone means without even finishing the words. This song is definitely a song that represents my culture, and so I had to put a little twist on my delivery.”
Director X, (whose real name is Julien Christian Lutz) helmed the music video, and previously directed the video for Rihanna’s other smash hit, ‘Pon De Replay’.
“It was just supposed to be a dancehall party,” Rihanna continued in the interview. “Just like a party that we would go to in the Caribbean and just dance and drink and smoke and flirt and really just enjoy the music. It’s like when your favourite song comes on. And that was the moment that was captured in the video.”
Right after the credits roll, the second video kicks in, with Drake and RiRi dancing in rec room bathed in neon light, this time directed by Tim Erem.
As the lead single off her eight album, Anti, ‘Work’ notched Rihanna her fourteenth No.1 single and earned her and Drake two awards at the 59th Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
While Drake and Rihanna have been on-again-off again friends and collaborators over the years, their chemistry in the ‘Work’ video was scorching hot. The two recently celebrated the Toronto MC’s birthday last week. Drake was also one of the writers on ‘Work’, along with PartyNextDoor, Rihanna, Monte Moir, Rupert “Sevn” Thomas, Allen Ritter and Matthew Samuels.
In a more recent interview with Vogue, Rihanna confirmed that her next album would be “reggae-inspired”. The singer, entrepreneur and fashion designer also celebrated the release of her new “visual autobiography”, simply titled, Rihanna, featuring over 1,000 images of the singer from across her 14-year career.