Over-Analyzing "Black Widow": Why You Should Never Order a Sandwich From Iggy Azalea

I watched a music video the other day.

This music video, to be exact. 

Despite my valiant attempts to sequester myself in a musical cocoon of early-2000s pop punk and my dad's old Cat Stevens albums, I sometimes hear contemporary pop songs in my day-to-day life. And since pop songs are the neurological equivalent of crack cocaine, sometimes those songs bounce around in my frontal lobes for a while until I cave in and look them up on YouTube.

I'd sequester myself in a literal cocoon with this man any day.

This week's auto-tuned earworm of choice is a song called 'Black Widow', sung by Iggy Azalea and a woman I can only assume to be White Rihanna. The song is catchy enough, and the lyrics of the chorus - I'm gonna love you / until you hate me - read more or less like Janel-style instructions for running a relationship into the ground. In all, listening to this song was at least one-eighth less embarrassing than that one week I decided I liked Creed, which meant I was off to a good start.

No, seriously. White Rihanna.

Then I watched the music video.

Seriously, you have to watch this shit.

In my third year of university, I once woke up to discover that one of my housemates had somehow wrestled an eight-foot spruce tree into submission in a fit of drunken rage, dragged its broken corpse into the house, and threw it into her bed and slept on top of it. I've had to coax another screaming housemate off my desk at five o'clock in the morning because she'd taken a bad acid tab in the bushes behind our house, and was now convinced that my hair was made of live carp. One of my professors once cornered me at a campus bar and asked me if I'd be interested in abandoning my degree to assassinate a politician.

None of those incidents was even half as confusing as this music video.

Now, it's not the plot of the video that's confusing. It's actually incredibly straightforward. No, what confuses me is that this video exists. As in, an actual team of real-life writers, choreographers, directors, stylists, technicians, managers and professional celebrity butthole-lickers got paid real, actual money to slap together five and a half minutes of this nonsense, and when it was finished they sat back and said 'yep, this isn't an embarrassment to any of our respective careers at all' and put it on the air. Let me be very clear on one thing: this video is a crime against music videos as a medium. It's a crime against pairing sounds with moving pictures as a whole. This video is the best argument I've ever seen for why we as a society should burn down MTV and revert back to analogue audio cassettes sung by faceless, anonymous musicians whose attempts at dancing and acting are confined to their unseen basements.

For the record, Josh Ramsay's pants are the #1 argument against such a plan.

Think I'm being over-dramatic? Let's break this fucker down, bit by bit, and prove why it's a heinous affront to music videos everywhere.

At the beginning, we see White Rihanna walk into a diner with a crusty, man-shaped glob of hair gel and domestic violence indictments. He steps on a spider on the way in, which is probably meant to foreshadow the whole 'black widow' thing, but really just makes me regret every time I've ever set foot in a 24-hour diner.

That's exactly the sort of outfit I wear to get a cheese sandwich at two in the morning.

Once the pair have settled down into a booth that no amount of Lysol will ever make clean again, the diner's manager slaps Iggy - named 'Fox' in the video, for whatever reason - with two of the laminated paper menus found at classy establishments everywhere, and she sleepily stumbles over to take their order.

Iggy Azalea, demonstrating what she'd be doing if her singing career hadn't panned out for her.

Hairgel McRestrainingorder then cuts off Iggy in mid-introduction, telling her that he already knows what he wants. And what he wants is a bacon sandwich with an obscene amount of cheese on it. Make no mistake - the man launches into a borderline-pornographic description of the amount of cheese he wants melted onto this goddamn sandwich, making it incredibly clear that he has grown weary of this mortal plane and fully intends to die of a dairy-related triple coronary on top of his girlfriend later that night. 

White Rihanna then tries to place her order, only to have Mr. Bacon Sandwich cut her off and break new ground in emotionally abusive relationships by ordering for her. He doesn't order a salad for her, as you might expect - oh, no, she's getting a bacon sandwich with just as much excessive cheese as his own. Either White Rihanna struggles with anorexia nervosa and her boyfriend has the worst bedside manner possible, or he fully intends to drag her with him into the deep-fried afterlife before her time. Either way, Iggy leaves to fetch the sandwiches, and returns with something that looks like recognizable food.


Mr. Bacon Sandwich was apparently expecting a bowl of melted cheese with two pieces of bread floating in it, and he promptly pitches a fit. This attracts the attention of the diner's manager, who heaves herself over the counter to the rescue. Her idea of 'customer service' goes well beyond what's necessary or appropriate for any institution that serves food, however, when she launches into an even-more pornographic description of the type of sandwich she intends to fix for this man. The words 'thick' and 'juicy' are cooed at him, and it will take nothing less than a hearty paste of bleach powder and paint thinner to scrub it from my brain. 

If this was a gif, you'd note that she's rubbing her nipples frantically enough to start a grease fire.

The manager turns to Fox and asks her "What does the Fox say? Nothing." - a snappy cultural reference that will no doubt endure the ages - and Iggy stomps off to work out her career frustrations in the kitchen by frantically stabbing a cabbage to death. 

Have I mentioned that this fucking skit goes on for a full minute and forty-two seconds?

In the midst of her homicidal vegetable rampage, Iggy finally decides she's had enough of catering to unreasonable cheese-related demands in the middle of the night, and she resolves to do something about it.

Career change: Iggy Azalea style.

Yes, having grown tired of the abusive tirades of cheese-starved old men who smell like the bottoms of rental car ashtrays, Iggy apparently quits her diner waitress job and uses her vast savings to invest in a new, sustainable career... as a ninja.


Take note of the subtle ninja hairstyle.

Why Iggy Azalea is making a tortured, five-minute Kill Bill reference a full eleven years after the movie come out is beyond me, because the only femme fatale her teenage fan base was watching in 2003 was Dora the Explorer. So for the purposes of this video, we're meant to understand that the incident in the diner drove Iggy over the edge; as a result, she packed up her belongings and ran away for assassin training in a place that's so Japanese, cherry blossom trees frantically ejaculate Sakura petals into the air around the clock. 

But wouldn't Iggy/Fox get awfully lonely up on that mountain by herself, you wonder, because you suddenly care about the psychological well-being of chronically disturbed white Australian rappers. Of course not! Because she brought a friend!

Look who's back!

I've been on a lot of bad dates in my life. Just awful, atrocious dates. But I've never been on a date that was so bad, I abandoned the only life I've ever known to run off to a foreign country with the waitress, so that we could study the art of killing in matching catsuits in the hopes of one day murdering my date in cold blood together. Maybe I just haven't met the right waitress yet, who knows.

If I do ever run off with someone to become an assassin, however, I'll be sure to pick someone who puts on a fucking bra before taking human life.

White Rihanna's gravity-, temperature- and practicality-defying breasts are not the only things breaking the laws of physics in this video, however, as Iggy herself has apparently learned to fly. 

Human flight, brought to you by an under-cheesed bacon sandwich.

Of course, no stereotypical Japanese ninja training monologue is complete without a crusty old Japanese sensei, whose role in this video gets at least thirty-seven times creepier when you realize that most of her training involves aimlessly flailing around in her white spandex suit with a sword while sensei eagerly watches.

That is an awesome way to accidentally give yourself a very uneven haircut.

The rest of her training is mainly comprised of people flinging sharp things at her head while she's not looking, which leaves me no choice but to conclude that either 1) sensei has been a little senile since 1996 and has forgotten the reasonable limits of human reflexes, or 2) the ninja job market is tight at the moment, and sensei is freeing up opportunities the only way he knows how

This is an awesome way to no longer have part of your face.

All that 'catching sharp things out of the air' training really comes in handy when Iggy finally gets her first mission, which is wrapped around a dart and thrown at her while she's meditating, for some reason, because apparently ninjas cannot bear to just email each other like normal fucking people.

This is not an effective way to pass notes.

So who is Iggy assigned to kill first? Surprise, surprise, it's the world's fussiest sandwich connoisseur and all-around most punchable face, Mr. Bacon Sandwich!

We then cut to White Rihanna, who apparently just hangs around Ninja Mountain to look good and then fucks off back to the USA because training is hard. Her contributions to team Black Widow seem to involve gaining access to back-alley poker games, which she does by making this face through the mail slot:

"I am wearing so much makeup that it hurts to open my eyes."

White Rihanna's boobs and the woman precariously attached to them manage to win the poker game, to the surprise of everyone in the room. One man in particular does not seem to appreciate being bested by leather-clad mammary glands, and stands up to go on a rant that almost definitely contains multiple references to women in kitchens. White Rihanna does not appeciate this, and chooses to voice her displeasure by fucking kicking him to death with her stiletto

White Rihanna, just before simultaneously advancing the women's rights movement and setting it back to the Cro-Magnon era.

There's no time to ponder the ethical implications of responding to institutionalized sexism with murder, however, because White Rihanna's got an HP phone commercial to film. 


Since I have absolutely no desire to get a comments section filled with speculations about the physical limits of human body cavities, I'm not even going to ask where, exactly, she keeps that unholy phone/tablet hybrid on her person when she's wearing that skin-tight catsuit. I am, however, curious about the app she brings up on her phone.

Wickr: enabler of sad, life-destroying marital affairs, or top-secret ninja app?

Wickr is one of many gross phone apps that lets teenagers and unfathomably lonely people send each other self-destructing pictures of their genitals while pretending that internet privacy is a thing that survived the year 2010. White Rihanna opens a message, and instead of getting a faceful of unwanted scrotum, she sees the face of her next target. Neat! Wait, if Assassin Snapchat is a thing, why is Iggy still using the 'throw sharp things at my face' method?

Maybe there's no Wifi on Ninja Mountain?

In any case, the girls' stunt doubles hop onto their trusty, standard-issue ninja motorcycles and speed off to get their revenge. 

"I'm wearing so much makeup I think I've got the wrong face."

Now, I don't know a whole lot about motorcycle safety. The closest I've ever come to actually riding a motorcycle was that time I got to drive an ATV and promptly steered it right into a ditch. But I'm almost certain that it's not a good idea to break the sound barrier while driving in the downtown of a busy urban centre. 

This is no way to drive.

Iggy arrives at her destination in approximately eight seconds without getting into a fatal motorcycle pileup, which I guess we're attributing to her sick ninja skills. Mr. Bacon Sandwich happens to be lounging on the couch at a particularly grungy rave, which is good for the girls, as it's the only place where they might actually be considered 'underdressed'.

Party-goer, or fellow ninja? Who knows?

Iggy makes her way through the sweaty throngs of people in bondage gear, and she meets Mr. Bacon Sandwich's eye through the crowd. He recoils in fear and horror, which is the natural reaction any person has when they run into a waitress who once served them an inadequate sandwich. Iggy whips out her katana, and Mr. Bacon Sandwich waves his personal bodyguards over, who, in the year 2014, are also inexplicably armed with katanas. 

The weapon of the future. 

Iggy leaps into action with lots of unnecessary spinning and delicately clinking swords together, all of which is about as effective as you might expect. 

Sensei would be so proud.

Just when all seems lost, and Iggy seems destined to end up sliced into mystery chunks like the meat she once served at the diner, help arrives in the form of plastic-wrapped boobs and a bad blonde wig. White Rihanna somersaults into the middle of battle and stops to strike a dramatic, off-balance pose with her back turned to the enemy, which is generally an excellent way to get one's head cleaved off.

Ninja Snapchat to the rescue!

Together, the girls go back-to-back and manage to drive off Bacon Sandwich's team of confused body guards. Bacon Sandwich realizes that he's about to pay dearly for his cheese tantrum, and he flees out into a back alley. Iggy and Rihanna chase after him and intimidate him by holding their katanas like baseball bats as they flip their hair from side to side. 

"Fear us."

Before they can start carving their own slices of man-bacon off him, however, a Black Widow spider crawls out of his sleeve and bites him, killing him instantly! Holy shit, what? Those are not small spiders - how long was that thing just hanging out on his arm without his noticing? Where did he even find a black widow spider? They're a tropical species, and wherever this video is taking place, it's fucking snowing outside. Does Mr. Bacon Sandwich like to while away his afternoons by digging his arm around in fresh fruit shipments without gloves on? Did he drag his sleeve through an arachnid display at the zoo? Is he so deeply ensconced in a methamphetamine addiction that he no longer pays any attention to the sensation of insects crawling around on his skin? Apparently the girls are wondering the same thing, because they look just as confused as I do.


Most troubling of all, I am at least 94.8% sure that Iggy Azalea does not actually know what a Black Widow spider is. According to this music video, Black Widow spiders are an exotic, deadly species, capable of instantly killing any male who happens to cross their path. Black Widow spiders are absolutely deadly to males - as long as you happen to be a tiny, tasty male of their own species. If you're a human, you're pretty much good. I really can't emphasize this point enough; despite what pop culture would have you believe, black widow spider bites are almost never fatal. I have absolutely no idea why we insist on shoehorning them into every depiction of 'deadly' female sexuality in popular culture. If you're an adult in reasonable health, they don't even have to give you anti-venom unless you experience rare, severe side effects. Unless you're tumble-drying a toddler in a dryer full of spiders, you probably don't have to worry about a Black Widow killing anybody.

You want to die of a spider bite? Go shove your arm in front of a Brazilian Wandering spider, the most venomous spider on Earth... and then drive yourself to a hospital, because its bite is actually incredibly treatable. Actually, on second thought, let's stop using spiders as fatal metaphors in general. They don't work, they're not particularly threatening, and they're giving spiders everywhere an undeserved bad reputation.

You want to wrap yourself in leather and murder your ex? Call yourself The Hippopotamus. Those things are deadly.

"Get back here, you cheating bastard."

Before you start to get too sad about Mr. Bacon Sandwich's death and the stunning spread of misinformation about arachnids, Iggy brings down her sword and BAM - it's a kitchen knife all over again, and she's still frantically stabbing a head of lettuce. The whole thing about running off to Japan with the diner patron's exasperated girlfriend and then watching him die of spider-bite in an alley was all an incredibly elaborate daydream as Iggy sat by the sink and lamented the hellish, fluorescent prison her life has become. What a relief! The manager stomps back into view and asks if Iggy is trying to kill her lettuce. We don't get a reply, but we do get one last smirk from Iggy as she turns toward the camera, a poster over her shoulder alluding to the exciting life of action and adventure that she will forever yearn for as the days of her life tick away in a sweltering, sub-par restaurant. 

If you're going to pick a job with no pension plan, at least pick an interesting one.

So there you have it, folks. The worst music video of the year, complete with pointless, painfully unfunny two-minute skit, incredibly dated cultural references, creepy old men telling twenty-something women what to do, phone commercials, sexting apps pretending to be legitimate forms of communication, further slandering of the black widow spider's reputation, and a hackneyed 'it was all a dream' ending. The entire entertainment industry is worse off for this existing, and by the time I finish screaming my confused rage into a pillow, my vocal cords will be worse off too. 

What's the worst music video you've ever seen? Leave it in the comments. 

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