By Jocelyn Vena
A few weeks back Rihanna teased some photos from the set of Coldplay’s “Princess of China” video (her “gangsta goth geisha” look, as she called it) and now the full video has hit the web, a couple days earlier than it’s intended drop date on Monday.
The trippy video is full of surreal images that play on the song’s references to Asia, with Chris Martin and Rihanna donning all sorts of ninja and ninja-goddess couture. A desert, the sky and some ancient-looking Chinese palaces all serve as backgrounds. Martin and Rih Rih also do some sword-wielding and ninja kicks, for good measure.
In more emotional parts of the clip, Rihanna and Martin, playing star-crossed lovers, kneel in the desert, forehead to forehead, as they mourn the loss of their love. But the moving image soon turns violent as they float through the air and partake in a ninja battle.
Much like the characters in the song, the onscreen characters are torn up about their dying love. And while the love story is at the center of the clip, Rihanna’s look is also a standout as she appears in several forms: multi-armed goddess, heartbroken geisha and fierce warrior princess.
The official June 4 release date had been pushed back from May before leaking to the Net on Saturday, the same day Rihanna dropped some behind-the-scenes photos on Facebook. In the images, her hair is done up in a geisha bun and she wears long, fringe earrings. They’re similar to shots she released back in March from the video shoot.
“Her bit on our record is my favorite bit,” the Coldplay frontman told MTV News last fall about Rihanna’s feature on Mylo Xyloto. “When the song came out, it sort of asked for her to be on it. And I think at this point, we have nothing to lose, and so we’ve been trying some new things and trying to break down the perceived boundaries between different types of music.”