I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since last year’s VMAs. It seemed like only yesterday that Kanye was “letting you finish”. Anyway, I hopped over to MTV’s VMAs page and scrolled down to Best Hip-Hop Video.
Honestly, I’ve never cared too much for music videos, but if there’s one award that I care a bit more for than the others, it’s Best Hip-Hop Video. One glance at the 5 nominations told me that I’d been completely out of the game this past year; The only video I’d seen was Eminem’s “Not Afraid”. So I proceeded to watch each of the 5 videos and form some opinion, which I’ll now put in this blog post along with a rating on a scale of 10.
B.o.B ft. Hayley Williams
Directed by Hiro Murai
This song was obviously a huge hit when it came out. And it has surprisingly high replay value, as I’m still not tired of hearing it. Of the 5 nominations, I think the videography in this one is the most clean and beautiful overall. As for B.o.B, I bought his debut album upon release and I’m a fan of his alternative style, but in my opinion he’s still not finding a solid direction for his music. Luckily, “Airplanes” works great as a single and doesn’t show flaws in some of his other songs. Overall, I think it’s deserving of a 9.
My rating: 9
Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Eminem
Directed by Hype Williams
To me, the song was a disappointment when it came out. I wasn’t a fan of Drake and I’m still not, but with such a great lineup, it could’ve been phenomenal. Instead, the song is rather flat and unfocused. However, I appreciate the boom and flash of the video, especially when placed next to four rather dully-colored music videos. I’ll give this a 6 because a flashy video can’t quite change my mind about a boring song.
My rating: 6
Directed by Rich Lee
First, I must say that I’m a huge Eminem fan. He spits fire on this track as expected, and I think it overcomes the slightly-awkward production. The video is excellent, with good production, effects, and atmosphere. The Nike product placement was done with grace, and I like the product as well. This really has to be a 10.
My rating: 10
Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz
“On To The Next One”
Directed by Sam Brown
I’d never heard this track before, so I shouldn’t judge on first listen. But a Jay-Z/Swizz Beatz collab ought to be mind-blowing, and sadly it hasn’t blown my mind. The video is lovely, by far the most artistic of the bunch. I have to give this one a 9 despite the lukewarm music, as this is a VMA and not a Grammy.
My rating: 9
Kid Cudi ft. MGMT & Ratatat
“Pursuit Of Happiness”
Directed by Brody Baker
I haven’t been listening to Cudi much this year, but I do like this song a lot. He’s also (see B.o.B) taking a bit of an alternative route to hip-hop, going to electronica/pop for inspiration rather than indie/rock. The video is very nicely done, with a unique slow-mo theme to the whole thing. However, party scene music videos just don’t appeal to me much, so I rate this an 8.
My rating: 8
So going by ratings, it seems like I gave the award to Eminem. Maybe I’m just a bit biased for Eminem. Anyway, I think the two best chances for the award are “Not Afraid” and “Airplanes”, the latter because of its mainstream popularity and cross-genre appeal. We’ll find out in about 3 hours!
See all the videos for yourself here.
Now I need to go finish my homework to make sure I don’t miss it…
Photo by John Shearer/Wireimage.com