Criminal

Album: Femme Fatale (2011)
Charted: 55

Songfacts®:

  • This Max Martin and Shellback produced dark, downbeat tune finds Britney begging her mom to understand why she's in love with a shady character. "Mama I'm in love with a criminal and this kind of love isn't rational, it's physical," she sings. The subject matter is similar to another disapproving parent-tune, Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach."
  • Britney polled her fans on her official Facebook page, asking them to vote for the fourth official single from Femme Fatale. This song won the poll with 39,160 votes, beating the other choices of "(Drop Dead) Beautiful" and "Inside Out". Britney confirmed on August 28, 2011, at the MTV Video Music Awards, this song's release as a single. "I don't know if I'm at liberty to tell. But I will anyways – it's Criminal," she said, then added: "Actually the song, when I first heard it, [I thought] 'It's really different and [there's] not anything I've heard like this before'. So I really wanted to deliver this song."
  • The video was shot in the Stoke Newington district of London, on the weekend of September 17, 2011. It was directed by Chris Marrs Piliero, who was also responsible for the clip for Spears' previous single for "I Wanna Go." Britney's co-star in the Bonnie and Clyde themed visual is her boyfriend, her former agent Jason Trawick.
  • The video raised some hackles as Britney was seen in one shot brandishing a replica revolver outside Stoke Newington Town Hall. The area where it was shot had been hit hard just weeks earlier by the August riots, and local politicians expressed their ire regarding the insensitivity of the gun-brandishing songstress.
  • Director Chris Marrs Piliero told MTV News that he disagreed with Jason Trawick co-starring in the video. "When she first hit me up, she had a basic story in mind, and she actually always originally planned to have Jason, her boyfriend, play the role, and I wasn't super stoked on that idea at first, actually," he admitted.

    He continued: "I wanted to make a really rad, epic video, and I definitely got the sense from her she wanted something really cool. And in my mind, I was just thinking then, 'We really should not be using your boyfriend; we should get an actor.'"

    However, Piliero kept his opinions about Trawick's lack of acting experience to himself and was glad that he did. "So, I mean, I didn't say that, but in the back of my mind, I'm like, 'I don't like this idea at all.' At the end of the day, Jason killed it."

Comments: 1

  • Chi Girl from NigeriaI wish Britney's team did not copy some of Jay z and Beyonce's bonny and clyde video. They could have pulled off something good without copying at all.
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