Rihanna Speaks on "Man Down" Video Controversy: "This Is Art With a Message"

The R&B star called in to 106 & Park to address the firestorm created by her new video, "Man Down."

Thursday night, during a live broadcast of 106 & Park, Rihanna called in to the show during a break from her tour to speak with Terrence & Rocsi about her controversal "Man Down" music video, which opens with a dramatic scene of her shooting a rapist.


Rihanna referred to the song's lyrics, which make it clear that her character is remorseful for the killing, not boasting about it. "We need to go back to why it happened," said Rihanna. "Obviously she's not a cold-blooded killer. It had to be something so offensive. And we decided to hone in on a very serious matter that people are afraid to address, especially if you've been victimized."


Rihanna went on to explain that she didn't set out to create a controversal video. However, she isn't surprised that the subject has created an uproar.


"Rape is, unfortunately, happening all over the world and in our own homes and we continue to cover it up and pretend it doesn't happen," said Rihanna. "Boys and girls feel compelled to be embarrassed about it, and they hide it from everyone, including their teachers, their parents and their friends. That only continues to empower the abusers."


Rihanna said she hoped that her song and video would empower young girls, but explained to Terrence and Rocsi that she was not encouraging any form of violent retaliation.


"I personally don't condone violence or murder," she said. I've been abused in the past and you don't see me running around killing people in my spare time. I just really want girls to be careful. Have fun, be sassy, be innoncent and sweet, be everything that you are. But just try not to be naive."


During the show, Terrence and Rocsi fielded reactions from viewers on Twitter. Most fans agreed with Rihanna, that the video's message is misunderstood.


Watch the full interview with Rihanna below:

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