The visuals, which Rihanna called "one of the most important music videos I have made to date," take a surprisingly different tone for the singer, who is known for a boundary-pushing and booty-baring repertoire of videos. A cut off of Rih's upcoming eighth studio album, the video takes a fittingly Americana theme.
"American Oxygen" opens with a shot of an American flag-adorned city hall before the Grammy winner, 27, makes her own entrance in front of the stars and stripes. The video pans to footage of President Barack Obama being sworn into office with First Lady Michelle Obama by his side.
Fading back into shots of Rihanna, "American Oxygen" then takes a look at the country's history, showing historical footage of iconic American moments. Video is shown of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, modern and traditional industry, protests over immigration reform and police brutality, the arrival of the Beatles, frenzy on Wall Street, the tragedy of September 11th, space exploration, and baseball games and parades.
Wearing a leather moto jacket over a cropped white T-shirt with jeans, the Barbados-born singer croons, "Breathe out, breathe in / American oxygen / Every breath I breathe / Chasin' this American dream / We sweat for a nickel and a dime / Turn it into an empire / Breathe in, this feeling / American, American oxygen."
The clip was celebrated by social media users as "powerful," "important," and "iconic." Watch the talked about "American Oxygen" music video above.