A$AP Rocky has dropped his new single, “D.M.B.” via A$AP Worldwide/Polo Grounds Music/RCA Records — but the headlines will no doubt go to Rihanna, who stars in the video and is making her first appearance in a music-related video in years.
The video is described as “an ode to the classic love story, with Rocky and Rihanna depicting true ride-or-die characters in a devoted relationship despite their circumstances.” The song is a musically straightforward Rocky song, but the video is something else entirely: as it is described, a love story involving Rocky and Rihanna as a pair of urban hustlers, with multiple different settings and special effects that range from Rocky getting arrested and later freed (and greeted ecstatically by Rihanna) to a high-class dinner where Rihanna comically pushes away a waitress who is apparently offering something unacceptable — and finally to what appears to be their wedding, with Rocky in a classy suit and Rihanna in a lovely red dress, albeit in the humble setting of what looks like a project hallway.
There are also scenes of Rihanna smoking a blunt, but the announcement notes that the video was shot in New York last summer, presumably before she was pregnant with the child that she and Rocky are expecting imminently.
The clip closes with some ambitious special effects at the end, with a slow-motion jerkily-cut series of images that act as a kind of summary of the video and the characters’ love story.
Lyrically, it’s a love song as well, although it’s loaded with the b-word and references to guns, blunts and more.
“First I thought it wasn’t nothin’,” the song begins (courtesy Genius.com). “Probably think I wanna hit and run/ Bad girls wanna have fun/ I don’t want no goody two-shoes/ I ain’t no priest, I ain’t gon’ preach/ I ain’t want no goodie-goodie, but she still praise Jesus.”
Although the video’s plotline is fictitious, the comparisons between the characters in the video and Rocky’s recent and real-life legal troubles (paired with Rihanna’s “ride or die” attitude) gave the video an extra buzz. The same goes for the finishing scenes, where Rocky is seen posing “Marry me?” across his golden grill as Rihanna sports an “I do,” leaving fans speculating about the pair’s actual marital status.
However, there’s a lot more to unpack in the video and multiple narratives will probably be spun in the coming hours and days.
The video was written, directed & executive produced by A$AP Rocky for AWGE. The track was produced by Lord Flacko, Skepta, Shlohmo, Hector Delgado & Kelvin Krash with additional production by D33J.