Video Review: N.E.R.D. & Rihanna “Lemon”

In a hotel room, Rihanna sits on the side of the bed and shaves a young woman’s (Matte Towley) head. She gently turns the young woman’s head to the left and continues.

An explosion goes off.  Glittery red lips pinch against a hazy scarlet background. The young woman chews gum. The screen reads “Tutorial No.1 Lemon.”

In a lapis lit flea market, the young woman stares down the camera and shakes her butt by a clothing vendor. She jumps and pumps her arms near the gumball machine and tries on a pair of sunglasses.

Against a blueberry lit sheet, painted with cascading lines from the brush,  she continues to dance, her body shimmering in glitter. She stops and chews her gum.

She returns back to flea market, swinging her arms by the gold vendor. She raises her arm by the 24K Gold neon sign.

Rating: 3/5

The young woman handed Rihanna the shaver and asked her to cut it all off. She’s more than her hair. As she and Rihanna walked past the closed factories in the low-income town, people shook their heads once they saw her. She heard one woman murmur that “she should take some advice from her friend and straighten her hair.” She wanted to rebel against the stereotype and no longer be obligated to blow it out in order to meet society’s standards.

At the vacant flea market, she dances by the worn clothing, counterfeit handbags and pawned gold. She may be selling some handmade jewelry at the booth over the weekend. However, it’s only a side hustle. She makes it while on the road as she tours with performers. She has visited the places the people in the other booths talk about seeing but never do. On Monday, she’ll stop at the fabric store for some supplies and begin packing for her flight on the weekend.

Directors: Todd Tourso & Scott Cudmore Year: 2017

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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