CALIFORNIA, United States, Friday April 10, 2015 – Barbados’ superstar Rihanna seems bent on keeping fans in suspense with the release of the third single off her upcoming eighth studio album R8, which still has no release date despite some sources saying it would have dropped as early as December last year.
It nevertheless came as no surprise that the new song American Oxygen premiered on Tidal, the recently launched subscription streaming service helmed by rap star and entertainment mogul Jay Z and part-owned by Rihanna.
Other A-list co-owners of Tidal include Trinidad-born Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Madonna, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, Jack White, Usher, Jason Aldean, members of Arcade Fire, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and deejay Calvin Harris.
To watch/listen to American Oxygen, fans will pay Tidal between US$10 (for standard sound quality) and US$20 for “loss less high fidelity sound quality.”
The new music video, described by the Daily Mail as having “all the sombre tones of a conflicted immigrant,” alternates images of the Diamonds girl with disturbing footage of the Ku Klux Klan, Dr Martin Luther King’s coffin, 9/11, and the recent Ferguson riots.
The lyrics complete the picture, with extracts including: “I say, you see, this is the American Dream / Young girl, hustlin’ / On the other side of the ocean / She can be anything at all.”
“Every breath I breathe / Chasin’ this American Dream / We sweat for a nickel and a dime / Turn it into an empire.”
“This is the new America / We are the new America.”
The 27-year-old singer, who was born and raised in St Michael, Barbados, moved to the United States as a teenager
Last November, when celebrity website TMZ asked the multiple Grammy-winner what she liked most about visiting the White House, she responded: “My president being black.”
American Oxygen was directed by The Uprising Creative trio Jonathan Craven, Jeff Nicholas, and Darren Craig, who also directed Rihanna’s What Now video in 2013.
The Talk That Talk star technically debuted the song onstage at the March Madness Music Fest in Indianapolis where she criticised the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“Who’s feeling these new bulls*** laws they’re trying to pass around here?” she asked the audience.
The FourFiveSeconds singer currently voices the first African-American lead in a DreamWorks’ 3D animated film, starring as Tip in Home, which has grossed more than US$179 million worldwide to date.
She also made history this spring as the first woman of colour to star in French fashion house Dior’s annual campaign.