The “Rude Boy” video was directed by music video director Melina Matsoukas in January 2010 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California and was shot in front of a greenscreen. Matsoukas previously directed Rihanna’s “Hard” music video. The video premiered on February 10, 2010, on VEVO. Rihanna said that the video is completely different from any other video she’s shot before, describing it as “pretty freakin’ cool”. She added: “A lot of my videos are really dark and edgy and tough. ‘Rude Boy’ is more playing along the lines from my roots.”
Rihanna does various 90s dancehall moves throughout the video such as the Bogle, the butterfly, and the tatti. Shots of Rihanna are intercut with scenes of a male dancer doing different types of dances. The video features Rihanna in over seven different outfits ranging from a zebra print bodysuit to a multi-colored miniskirt and black halterneck. The music video has some similarities to the video of M.I.A.’s “Boyz”. Director Melina Matsoukas has officially responded by saying she was not ripping anyone off, and that she thought “both videos were great, as well as really we all inspire each other to the point of where something is always like something else.” The music video has been nominated in the ‘Best Editing’ category at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.