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Rihanna's Best (& Worst) Music Videos Of All Time

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    Ever since Rihanna popped her hips into our hearts (and early era iPods) with "Pon De Replay," she's unleashed a full roster of club anthems. Like clockwork, she released hit after hit. Then, she gave us Anti, a deeply felt album of her being her.

    But Rihanna's music videos also deserve a moment of consideration. Bad Gal RiRi is being honored with the Video Vanguard Award at MTV's Video Music Awards on August 28, so it's worth taking a look back at her best and worst videos. As an artist who releases videos so often, it's easy to see the trends represented in her work. "SOS" has a B'Day-era Beyoncé influence and "Disturbia" is frenetic enough to belong in Lady Gaga's canon. No one really knows what's happening in the video for "Shut Up And Drive," but it's obvious that something just isn't right.

    So here we have it: Rihanna's best and worst music videos.


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    0 of 9

    Best
    "Work"

    The "Work" video gets to the very essence of Rihanna. In a room sticky with sweat and booze, where men hoist their dance partners up in the air to grind, Rihanna's only equal is herself. She'll tease anonymous men (okay, maybe one of them is Drake), but she returns to her own reflection in the mirror. Because when you're Rihanna, the only person on your level is you.

    The video's pink-tinged second half is equally sexy. Again, Drake is literally a background accessory. Either her gaze is fixed on the camera or she's ogling herself.

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    1 of 9

    Worst
    "Kiss It Better"

    This is one of Anti's greatest songs. "Kiss It Better" is winding and soulful, but the video doesn't translate the song's intimacy. It seems like a rushed version of Beyoncé's "1+1" video, with sheer sheets instead of waterfalls.

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    Best
    "Pour It Up"

    Rihanna has a lot of money and she loves every single dollar bill. "The musk [of cash] rarely transfers onto polite women anymore, who rarely touch dollar bills in the age of Venmo and sugar baby feminism," wrote Doreen St. Felix for Pitchfork. "Rihanna still wants it in cash. Bad Gal, unmoored and uninspired by American dichotomies of cleanliness and defilement as she is, prefers her payment liquid and solid to the touch."

    "Pour it Up" gets to the root of her prosperity gospel: Rihanna will count her money, but she'll also bathe in it and twerk on it, too.

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    Worst
    "California King Bed"

    The only thing worse than this video might be the song itself. That the bed itself expands to divide RiRi from her lover is an interesting convention, but it's lost in the video's random visuals. Half the song is set in a L.A. bedroom and the other in some kind of hazy heaven. Rihanna is hugging beams, grabbing walls, and walking in allergy-inducing fields of grass in this messy assortment of images.

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    Best
    "Rude Boy"

    Rihanna vibes out to this song from Rated R. The video doesn't need a plot. It's just swaggy and fun. She stomps out space for her vibrant island heritage and whines to her own beat.

    In the age of Anti and Unapologetic, this kind of colorful look is a rarity.