Steel Cage: Shakira vs. Rihanna

9421__shakira_lAOL Music is featuring new videos this week from Shakira (pictured) and Rihanna, which means it’s time for another round of PopWatch Steel Cage. If this was strictly about the music, I wouldn’t have to think twice about giving my vote to Rihanna. Her ”S.O.S.” is catchier than bird flu, what with that Soft Cell sample and those cheeky lyrics (”Hold me close, because I’m your tiny dancer”), but the video is a low-budget mess. For one thing, Rihanna’s green dress looks like an unfortunate mash-up of Nick and Santino’s garden-challenge frocks from Project Runway, and worse, the whole dancing-with-mirrors bit was already done months ago (and with more panache) in Madonna’s ”Hung Up” clip.

On the other hand, while ”Hips Don’t Lie,” Shakira’s collaboration with Wyclef (wisely left off the original version of Oral Fixation, Vol. 2), reeks of a hastily assembled party track designed to reinvigorate her flagging album sales, I’m finding the choreographed skirt-waving utterly hip, um, hypnotic. So while it’s a close call, my vote goes to Shakira. Her patented booty-shake and rack-thrust will not be denied! Which video gets your vote?

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  • Jimmy

    Michael if you want to see a better version of the Rihanna video you can find it at Nike.com or nikewomen.com I don’t know why she didn’t use this one it’s a lot better than the green dress one. Based on this Video I would pick Rihanna!

  • David

    Funny you should ask, PopWatch, because I’ve basically been standing on street corners wearing a sandwich board advertising this new Shakira video for days. I checked out the Rihanna video yesterday and yes, her song is hot and will be a hit well into the summer. But Shakira’s jam is arguably hotter, if only because she sings a few bars in Spanish. Once you see Shakira’s video, however, all bets are off. Her body contortions are unbeatable.

  • David

    Michael, I just checked out the nikewomen.com version of the video on Jimmy’s advice and he’s right. It’s definitely better. Check it out.

  • ernesto

    Rihanna,
    Beyonce, JLo, Ciara, and Madonna called. They want their video clips you borrowed back.

  • Allison

    Definitely Shakira. Love her, lots of talent, and a very smart woman!

  • Scott

    Thank you to Jimmy for pointing out that Rihanna already has a much better video for SOS. Why they felt they needed to redo it in such a knock off style is beyond me. The song, though, is hot and definitely my pick.

  • Bertie

    Shakira’s video to me just looks more fun and the song is VERY catchy. Rihanna’s video just doesn’t seem all that original nowadays.

  • justin

    Rihanna’s video is cool and fun and the song is the catchiest song ive heard in a while….my vote goes to Rihanna!

  • Daryl

    Shakira is the ONE. Nobody moves their hips like Colombia’s hottest export! I’m just glad people are listening to her music and I hope they’ll take a look at her great spanish cds, especially the INCREDIBLE “Donde estan las ladrones?”! And tell me, who didn’t want to twitch their hips to the steamest video of last summer, “La Tortura”?

  • Jill

    Rihanna’s voice is just too nasal and whinny for my tastes. I really dislike it. I think the backing track doesn’t really mesh with the vocals, it is disconnected. It seems like a nastalgic gimmick to me. Shakira on the other hand has a very unique sound and her dancing is awe inspiring. This isn’t my favorite Shakira song, but it is most certainly better than the Rihanna track.
    My vote is for Shakira!

  • Chris

    Shakira new song is HOT! The video to “Hips Don’t Lie” is SMOKIN’!
    Though Rihanna has once again come out with a hit single, the video is purely “low-budget”. Its unfortunate that its come to this because when looking at “Pon de Replay”, the video for “S.O.S” is very boring compared to it.
    Now, back to Shakira. Her hips are truly hypnotizing and the video is well directed and VERY well choreographed.
    I’m glad to see Shakira back and hope this single truly puts her up at the top.

  • Beth

    I do love Shakira but can’t she do better then a rehashing of an old Wyclef song. He originally recording this song for the Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights Soundtrack. I like both songs but as talented as both of them are, couldn’t they have come up with something better?

  • Lynny

    Check out the yahoo.com videos “Fans Only” version of the Shakira video. It is more fun for sure.
    http://search.music.yahoo.com/search/?m=all&p=hips+don%27t+lie

  • Mario

    I vote for Rihanna… I loved the original Tainted Love by SoftCell which this song borrows from.
    Having said that, I’m a bit bored with Shakira.. so she can move her hips, big deal.. her singing really grates my nerves and cannot stand this song. I had hoped that Shakira would be able to make a better cross over than her other latino counterparts but after several years of trying, I don’t think it will happen.
    I enjoyed Rihanna’s video a bit more, at least she had several different looks working even if they’ve already been played out by other artists.
    I guess it boils down to personal taste.

  • Miles

    Shakira all the way. Rihanna tiny dancer rhyme is so cheap and haven’t the eighties been sampled enough, it’s called originality and some singers should get some.

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