In February 2010, Rihanna released the song “S&M”, a sexy Eurodance and Hi-NRG track with overtly sexual lyrics. It peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was a top-five hit in Australia, Poland, Ireland, Canada, Hungary and Israel.
The song’s music video was directed by Melina Matsoukas and centered on metaphorical sadomasochist scenes and fetishes. The video was banned in some countries and restricted to night time television play in others, due to its explicit content.
Rihanna and her crew filmed the video in Los Angeles and New York City. The video opens with Rihanna wrapped in newspaper, wearing a bunny costume and dancing around tabloid headlines that are projected onto her body.
She is also seen in a newsroom, wrapped in a white latex dress and wearing rabbit ears. Reporters surround her and take photographs.
Later in the video, she walks Perez Hilton, who wears a ball gag and is on a leash. She is then seated and surrounded by CCTV surveillance cameras while eating pink popcorn.
The music video was a commercial success, and it is considered one of Rihanna’s best videos to date. It was generally well received and has since become a viral sensation, garnering a combined total of more than a billion views on YouTube.