Obama, Ferguson, and "I can't breathe": Rihanna skewers "the new America" in a new politically-charged anthem

"American Oxygen" is Rihanna's new single

Published April 16, 2015 4:52PM (EDT)

Rihanna just put out the video for her new single “American Oxygen,” and it’s pretty politically charged. There isn’t any one obvious takeaway, but it certainly seems to center on the contradictory peril and promise the American dream, and features lots of images to that effect, including: 9/11, migrant workers on a train, urban poverty, the prison system, the Beatles, the army, baseball, cowboys, the KKK, MLK’s funeral, police violence, Rihanna in a parachute, the Ferguson protests, the Civil Rights movement, Muhammad Ali, molotov cocktails, space shuttles, the stock market, Occupy Wall Street, auto factories, the Ninth Ward, homeless veterans, sad children staring straight into the camera, President Obama, fireworks juxtaposed alongside atomic bombs, the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima, and Rihanna looking really good and dancing in silhouette in front of a giant flag. America!

By Anna Silman

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