2012 introduced us to some crazy-good music videos. Even though MTV decided music vids were no longer their “thing”, we live in such a internet-heavy world that we don’t even need them anymore. YouTube reigns supreme these days, as you can very well tell by the sensation of a certain K-Pop superstar that took over America. In my opinion, without MTV, it’s forced musicians to come up with more creative forms of music videos, and we reap the benefits. From riots, to speeding cars in the middle east, to themes of prostitution, to the dark matters of sexual assault. Music videos these days take you through a whirlwind of crazy emotions, and the results are astounding.
#10. Jay-Z and Kanye West – No Church In The Wild
I’m so glad these two hip-hop stars chose Romain Gavras to direct this video. That it’s not just another “rap video” in any sense. This one has a fire behind it. A violent, political, imperial fire. With so many riots in 2012 involving protestors and police in America as well as around the world, this video is slightly eerie. It’s disturbing, frightening, unsettling in every sense. What if this were to happen, at this level? It’s a scary thought. No Church in the Wild can become a reality at any moment.
#9. JEFF the Brotherhood – Sixpack
This might be a strange pick for an end of the year “best of” list but in my world it fits pretty well. There may not be any serious meaning behind this video concept, but hey, not every music video needs to be that deep. That’s exactly why I love this video so much. Just two dudes with all their “real” friends (no fake models here) hanging out, drinking, smoking, and having fun. Simple as that. No need to over-think it.
#8. Danny Brown – Grown Up
This little kid kills me. He is so adorable and has Danny Brown down to a tee. We are taken through a little version of Danny’s life growing up, (of course). From being a little punk, to the explanation of how his front tooth got knocked out. The styling is immaculate as well as the mannerisms. Someone give this kid an award already.
#7. Psy – Gangnam Style
This video is the most seen video of all time on YouTube and is absolutely one of the most ridiculous videos out there. Yet here we are. In 2012, this song took over America. I went to a wedding in October and it was played, not once, but twice. You can’t escape it. The silly horse-dance, the weird elevator and hot tub scene, and let’s not forget the odd dance-off to complete this all-around random video. This is America, we eat this crazy shit up.
#6. Sigur Rós – Fjögur píanó
Emotionally gut-wrenching is a good way to describe this video. It takes you through the insane amounts of happiness, sadness and sheer madness a relationship can cause. The extreme highs and lows of those you just can’t let go, I guess. Magnificently portrayed I might add.
#5. G.O.O.D. Music – Mercy
Who knew an empty parking garage could look this cool. Not only is this song badass, but this whole video depicts Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music entourage perfectly. No other group of people could rock a parking garage this well.
#4. Lana Del Rey – Ride
It was hard to pick just ONE Lana Del Rey video from 2012. I loved each and everyone of them, almost to the point that she could’ve been on this list at least 4 times. But, I decided to only pick one video, and what a video this was. It’s almost a short film, with beautifully haunting narration. We are introduced to a different side of this songstress, a vulnerable one. But just when you think you’ve seen another side of LDR, you start to wonder if this is just a made up story. Then you realize, you really don’t know that much to be true about her in general.. and so her mysterious persona continues.
#3. Grimes – Oblivion
I’ve stated before how this is one of my favorite videos of all time, so it’s obviously very high on this list. Many other music websites have loved it just as much as I have. The almost ironic way the imagery is put together really captivates your attention. Male dominant scenes are combined with a petite girl singing and dancing along the way. The beautiful, whimsical voice and melody is met with a dark meaning behind the song. The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous. I think I just love everything about this video.
#2. M.I.A. – Bad Girls
So close to being my #1 pick, sorry Maya. I don’t think anyone could ever do this kind of video as well as a collaboration between M.I.A. and director Romain Gavras. It’s political, it’s edgy, it’s the fuckin’ shit. Everything you would expect from this bad girl herself, only better. And that scene with M.I.A. on top of the speeding car, filing her nails so nonchalantly, sums up why this video is so damn good.
#1. Sleep Party People – A Dark God Heart
While I could’ve easily picked M.I.A. for best video, I knew after seeing this video for the first time back in January that it was going to be my favorite video of 2012. Videos like this are just tough to beat. The expansiveness and dark matter that is dealt with in the video is heart breaking. At the same token, there’s little digital quirks that make it seem almost positive at times. The emotional component gets me the most, in other words, I’ve cried each time I’ve watched this video. It just pulls at every right note visually and musically. It’s pure perfection.