LOS ANGELES — Love is powerful: It’s a message Drake has sent through his music since his 2009 breakout tape, So Far Gone, and one he continues to hammer home in his 2012 Video of the Year-nominated clip “Take Care” with Rihanna.
Not only does the Yoann Lemoine-directed vid feature rich camera shots and graceful choreography — it also has some amazing animal imagery. So before the VOTY winner is announced live at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards tomorrow night, beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT, MTV News reached out to Rick Schwartz, the ambassador for the San Diego Zoo, for a little background on the bull, blue jay and Siamese fighting fish that star alongside pop’s two big icons in “Take Care.”
According to Schwartz, each of the three animals depicts power, especially the bull. “The cinematography of the video focuses initially on the horns, and I think in general bulls have always represented strength and power,” he said.
The second animal to appear in the video is a blue jay, an iconic bird that Drake is definitely familiar with, seeing as how his native Toronto has adopted the animal for its Major League Baseball team.
“It’s not just a baseball team; the species is also indigenous [to Toronto],” Schwartz said, laughing and noting that the feathered beauty is extremely territorial. “It’s definitely a bird he’d be familiar with, and anybody who’s had one of those birds in their backyard or interacts with animals knows they can be very aggressive.”
The betta or Siamese fighting fish is the third animal to star, and just like their name suggests, they can be a handful. In the wild, the betta are known to spar, but in “Take Care,” Schwartz said they do more of a dance that is closely intertwined with the rest of the video’s choreography.
“You really look at what [Drake's] saying in that song, his message to [Rihanna], how she responds, if you will. I think the messaging in the music and the song reflects with those animals,” Schwartz pointed out. “I think they did a really great job with it; they chose some really great animals to bring that message across.”
But is it enough for Drake to beat out Katy Perry (“Wide Awake”), Gotye (“Somebody That I Used to Know”), Rihanna (“We Found Love”) and M.I.A. (“Bad Girls”)? You’ll have to tune in to see.
The 2012 MTV Video Music Awards are set to go live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET/PT. But before it all goes down, don’t miss our “Jersey Shore” special “Gym, Tan, Look Back” at 6 p.m. and our pre-show with Demi Lovato at 7 p.m.! And head over to VMA.MTV.com to vote on Best New Artist and Most Share-Worthy Video!