Let’s see if I can hustle in some “Best of 2016” articles before the 17. We’ll start with my favorite music videos of the year.
10. “Angels” by Chance the Rapper
Chance the Rapper is the superhero we all need and deserve. But Chance the Rapper means the most to Chicago, and this video is a *100 emoji* visual of how amazing Chance is for his city. The perfect accompaniment to a song about Chi-town, this video is very cute and very fun and I just can’t stop smiling!!
9. “Surfin'” by Kid Cudi ft. Pharrell
Following Kid Cudi’s mental health rehabilitation, we as fans needed to see him doing well. “Surfin'” is a song we’re happy to hear, and the video is exactly what we wanted to see. Directed by Cudi himself, “Surfin'” is a joyful celebration featuring familiar faces like A$AP Rocky and the Smith kids, as well as an all-smiles Kid Cudi.
8. “River” by Leon Bridges
With a song as moving as “River,” it’s only appropriate that Leon Bridge’s corresponding visual reflects the same message. Like the song itself, the music video for “River” isn’t flashy or buried with special effects. Instead, it’s a raw and emotional portrayal of real life and real love.
7. “Cranes in the Sky” by Solange
The music video for “Cranes in the Sky” is a simple, powerful and beautiful visual. You can’t take your eyes off of the video, just like you can’t listen to anything else as the music plays. The way “Cranes in the Sky” absorbs your attention is a stunning and fascinating ability that is so perfect for an album as notable as “A Seat at the Table.”
6. “BYIMM” by Emily King ft. Tituss Burgess
If you’re going to call out an ex on their bullshit, I can’t think of many people more appealing to have by your side than Tituss Burgess. This video makes me feel very empowered and fabulous. It’s also nice to listen to a song about a shitty ex and watch an F-you visual that brings a massive smile to your face.
5. “Your Best American Girl” by Mitski
I am an honest believer that I have un-diagnosed ADD. Whether or not I actually do is beside the point, but the fact that I literally could not stop watching this video makes it my Adderall. It’s so stellar, and while it may be a little off-beat to some, there’s something so powerfully relatable about the video that your feelings are hurt after watching it.
4. “Sleep in the Heat” – PUP
Fucking sobbing. Every time I watch this video, even though I know exactly what’s going to happen, I just fucking sob.
3. “Formation” by Beyoncé
When you’re as powerful as Beyoncé, embracing your blackness and projecting political messages in a music video is major. “Formation” is what America needed, this music video is a straight forward visual of black excellence and serves as a call for action against police brutality. And the voice overs by Big Freedia is just the cherry on top.
2. “Pneumonia” by Danny Brown
Danny Brown’s latest album, “Atrocity Exhibition,” tackles drug use, glorification and abuse in a more abrasively personal way than we’ve ever experience before. The video for “Pneumonia” perfectly accompanies the album, metaphorically showing the dark side of the world of drugs.
1. “Fade” by Kanye West
When the MTV VMA’s decided to give Kanye West four minutes to do whatever he wanted, we all expected a substance-fueled rant about himself, with sound bites and exclamations that we could use to laugh at him and entertain ourselves. Instead, Kanye dropped his music video for “Life of Pablo” closer “Fade,” a video which he isn’t even in. Instead, the video features singer, actress, dancer and G.O.O.D. music signee Teyana Taylor. The video appears to take clear inspiration from “Flashdance,” but showcases the strong and powerful body of Taylor. This video is about black excellence, female empowerment, and while it is sexy, it’s stronger and more important than that.