The super-trio of Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney have premiered the video for “FourFiveSeconds,” the first single off Rihanna’s upcoming, as-yet-untitled LP. With that much star power on one song, plus the campfire feel of the melody, they can afford to keep the music video simple, and that’s exactly the case here. The Herb Ritts-esque black-and-white clip finds Rihanna and West just singing their collaborative track while McCartney strums the riff on an acoustic guitar, with the real highlight coming when the three musical titans share the same frame.
All three artists wear denim in the video – in Rihanna’s case, a vintage Sean John jacket that she called “fucking major” – and as the “Umbrella” singer said in the making-of clip, the choice of fabric was an artistic decision. “Kanye came up with the idea of just doing some real street, denim, all-American-type look,” Rihanna said. “Denim never goes out of style. It’s classic, it’s iconic, just like the fucking Beatles.”
The fashion photography team of Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin directed the video; the pair also recently photographed the cover of Björk’s Vulnicura.
The night after the “FourFiveSeconds” preview debuted, Rihanna and Kanye West both performed at a pre-Super Bowl party in Glendale, Arizona, and while the pair performed three tracks together, they didn’t attempt to play their new single live without McCartney. The former Beatle, who was rumored to join them onstage at that pre-Super Bowl party, was at the University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday to watch the New England Patriots oust the Seattle Seahawks.
As it turns out, the reason West and Rihanna didn’t perform “FourFiveSeconds” in Glendale was because the Unapologetic singer had already set her sights on a much bigger stage to premiere the track: Along with the video’s arrival, Rihanna announced that she’d debut “FourFiveSeconds” live from the 57th annual Grammy Awards on February 8th. Grammy organizers revealed that West and McCartney will join the singer at the awards show.
While Rihanna’s rep told Rolling Stone that “FourFiveSeconds” would appear on both Rihanna and West’s upcoming new albums – Rihanna called the track “the first song my fans are going to hear from the new album” – West was less forthcoming during a recent visit to Ellen. “We’re still trying to find it. Trying to find the vibe,” West said of his new LP. “This transition from what I felt when I did Yeezus to what I feel now, and we’re just creating, so we haven’t found it yet.” Contrary to erroneous reports, McCartney was not a co-producer on the entire Yeezus follow-up.
Rihanna has yet to announce any details on her forthcoming album.