Top 5 Music Videos
Asap Rocky from Asap Forever Ft. Moby: Directed by Dexter Navy/ Vimeo.com

MY TOP 5 MUSIC VIDEOS IN RAP (2021): IS MY LIST VALID???

Since the turn of the 20th century, music videos were utilized to promote an artist. Many of these videos had significant budgets, often reaching into the thousands. Then, they would be pushed by outlets. Having a video be pushed by outlets such as MTV or 106 & Park was a must for any artist for a long time. In the present day, we live in an era where music videos don’t need significant budgets, nor do artists need the likes of MTV or BET. Unfortunately, both of those programs/ shows have deteriorated or ended. The growth of YouTube has brought many listeners to a new wave of artists. With the change of budgets, do we see a change in quality? These are my top 5 music videos.

MY TOP 5 MUSIC VIDEOS:

1. ASAP FOREVER, BY ASAP ROCKY- DIR BY DEXTER NAVY

I found this video, in particular, to be interesting, because not only did it not win any music video awards, it is also age-restricted for unknown reasons. I think this also decelerates the growth of the video. I found this video to be unique in execution because of its transitions, along with the sample from Porcelain by Moby. Each portion of the video seamlessly transitions into the next. In the blink of an eye, Asap Rocky takes us through many parts of New York.

2. LEMONADE, BY INTERNET MONEY FEAT NAV, GUNNA AND DON TOLIVER- DIR BY COLE BENNETT

Lemonade is unique because the video is set in a desert, and they manage to make it seem as if Nav and Don Toliver were underwater in a sea of lemonade. I like the contrast between desert and water as if it was the floor of the sea. I also like how they had Gunna in a boat, fishing within the yellow ocean. There were also scenes that weren’t edited in this world, which I also thought was a good contrast. Overall, this video was really creative and thoughtful.

3. HIGHEST IN THE ROOM, BY TRAVIS SCOTT- DIR BY DAVE MEYERS

This video was interesting to me because it is literally out of this world. This video cannot be fully described in words. The video follows Travis Scott through a building. There, he is captured with hooks in his mouth. It then transitions to a strip club -esque environment, where there are women floating around his head. He gets on an elevator, fashioned like a tattoo parlor, but for sparks. He gets off the elevator with sparks as eyes. At this point, Travis is on top of the building, which seems to be unfinished. He fights a 3d fighter, who knocks his shoe off the building. Travis punches him into pieces, then stands on the edge of the building near the clouds. This concludes the video. All throughout the video, we see Travis blow smoke in and out of his mouth. With the utilization of 3D software, I think it was a very creative touch to the video. I like this video because it feels like a new world was created from scratch.

4. GET YOUR FREAK ON, BY MISSY ELLIOT- DIR BY DAVE MEYERS

Many of Missy Elliot’s music videos are significantly known for their creativity. She essentially pushes the envelope for what can be done. With her long-time collaborator and director Dave Meyers, Get Your Freak On was something special. I like that it was shot in a forest-esque setting. Many of the people in the video were painted as if they were a part of the atmosphere. I also liked the dancing scene, which featured many notable people. The editing style was very unique. I like how they were able to extend her neck and the style of transitions they utilized. With the dance shot, it seemed as if they took 3 frames from the dance, which was filmed on a tripod. Then they morphed them in a transition-like style. Very unique video.

5. MAGNOLIA, BY PLAYBOI CARTI- DIR BY AWGE

This video was inspired by the movie Belly, which can be seen significantly throughout the video. This can be seen in the club and the barbershop scenes. This video is significant because of the different styles of editing. There were many parts that were distorted and warped in an interesting way. This style can be seen throughout many of the present-day music videos.

MY TOP 5 MUSIC VIDEOS: NOTABLE MENTIONS

In my opinion, it wouldn’t be correct for me to be specific about the types of music videos I choose. There are thousands of music videos out there! This makes it very difficult to narrow my list to specifically 5 music videos. I was bound to make an honorable mentions. Here are some very creative music videos that did not make my list!

MY TOP 5 MUSIC VIDEOS: NOTABLE MENTIONS:

1. GIMME SOME MORE, BY BUSTA RHYMES- DIR BY HYPE WILLIAMS

Like Missy Elliott, many of Busta Rhymes’ videos are creative, This one, in particular, stood out to me because of the different sets, but also the props. I like that every clip freezes at the end. I feel like Busta Rhyme raps so fast that even in video form, it wouldn’t matter if they were to freeze a frame for a couple of seconds. I’ve never seen any music video freezing the ends of each clip. Rhymes is just that talented!!

2. MS. JACKSON, BY OUTKAST- DIR BY F. GARY GRAY

I like this video because I think it has a moral to it. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Throughout the video, we see Andre 3000 and Big Boi endure many issues within their household. Everything that could go wrong went wrong simultaneously because of a storm. Then, they also have an assortment of different pets and animals throughout the house, who helped sing some of the lyrics. In the end, the sun appears and everything seemed okay at that moment of the video.

3. SUPA DUPA FLY BY MISSY ELLIOTT- DIR BY HYPE WILLIAMS

This is again another example of Missy Elliott pushing the envelope for what is possible in music videos. With the help of director Hype Williams, this video visually came together in a very creative way. This video is something that should be on my top 5, but I didn’t want to be too biased. The video discussed many of the topics of the lyrics themselves. With the sample titled “I Can’t Stand the Rain” by Ann Pebbles, we see Missy Elliott dancing in rain. Throughout the video, we see Missy in blown-up garbage bag-like material, at the beach, and even as a painting. I really like the fish eye -esque lens that they decided to utilize in contrast to a regular lens. It distorts everything in a creative way.

4. STAND UP BY LUDACRIS FEATURING SHAWNNA- DIR BY DAVE MEYERS

This video is very interesting because it was mainly club-oriented. I like how there was a dance that went with the actual song, which is very simple for the audience to emulate. There were also scenes of very cartoony animation within the film, a wheelchair choreography, and even Ludacris’s face on a baby. I really like the song in general, because Ludacris has such a distinct sound that is unique. It was also produced by Kanye West, which made the song even more unique.

5. POWER BY KANYE WEST- DIR BY MARCO BRAMBILLA

This video is very interesting when looking in retrospect. I like that the music video is utilized to emulate as if the video was a piece of art. I like how Kanye is the center of attention throughout the video. A good way to explain this is the fact that there are many things within the video that is simultaneously happening around Kanye, but he is the main focus of the video. This is another video that should be within my top 5 because the video itself is very creative and symbolic. I like how the video symbolically mentions, (but not limited to) the eye of Horus, and also the Sword of Democles. I wish the video was longer, but I think it showcase the artistry of Kanye.

TOP 5 MUSIC VIDEOS: CONCLUSION

Overall, my list and honorable mentions are very well curated. I think all of these videos were very creative, and I like each of them. Each artist, along with their director gave a unique vision which may have been influenced by much of pop culture. With the discontinuation of MTV and BET’s 106 and Park, Youtube has given many artists and directors a platform to take their crafts to the next level. Will my list change in the future? We will just have to see!!!

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