MTV Moonman

This morning, MTV announced its nominations for the 2012 VMAs, and the list is just as random as ever. For one thing, the channel has continued its recent-years trend of nominating some smaller critics’-favorite types for some of the bigger awards. Frank Ocean’s “Swim Good,” for one, is up for three different awards, including Best New Artist, where it’ll have the honor of losing to “Call Me Maybe.” M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls,” our pick for 2012′s best video thus far, is up for another three, including Video Of The Year. And plenty of names especially familiar to Stereogum readers fill out the different categories: Multiple Kanye and Drake nominations, the Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy” and Jack White’s “Sixteen Saltines” dueling in the Best Rock Video category, a couple of nominations for Duck Sauce’s raunchily amazing “Big Bad Wolf,” technical-category noms for Lana Del Rey and A$AP Rocky.

And MTV also puzzlingly went for some of the shittier, more boring videos from artists who did great work in the past year. The deathly-static video for Drake’s Rihanna collab “Take Care,” for instance, has three nominations, while the way more fun “HYFR” video only has one. Kanye West and Jay-Z’s “Niggas In Paris,” comprised entirely of chopped-up live footage, is up for two awards, whereas the awesomely iconic “Otis” video is only up for one. And for some impossible reason, Beyoncé’s relatively staid “Love On Top” video has the Best Female Video nomination, while her absolutely wonderful “Countdown” video must be content with relatively low-profile Best Choreography and Best Editing nods. What the fuck, MTV?

See the complete list of nominees below, and maybe put some money on “Call Me Maybe” to win a bunch of these. And in the comments section, have fun letting us know what they got wrong.

Video of the Year:
Katy Perry – “Wide Awake”
Gotye – “Somebody That I Used To Know”
Rihanna – “We Found Love”
Drake – “Take Care” (Feat. Rihanna)
M.I.A. – “Bad Girls”

Best New Artist:
Fun. – “We Are Young” (Feat. Janelle Monae)
Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe”
Frank Ocean – “Swim Good”
One Direction – “What Makes You Beautiful”
The Wanted – “Glad You Came”

Best Hip-Hop Video:
Childish Gambino – “Heartbeat”
Drake – “HYFR” (Feat. Lil Wayne)
Kanye West – “Mercy” (feat. Pusha T, Big Sean & 2 Chainz)
The Throne – “Paris”
Nicki Minaj – “Beez in the Trap” (feat. 2 Chainz)

Best Male Video:
Justin Bieber – “Boyfriend”
Frank Ocean – “Swim Good”
Drake – “Take Care” (Feat. Rihanna)
Chris Brown – “Turn Up The Music”
Usher – “Climax”

Best Female Video:
Rihanna – “We Found Love”
Katy Perry – “Part Of Me”
Beyoncé – “Love On Top”
Nicki Minaj – “Starships”
Selena Gomez & The Scene – “Love You Like a Love Song”

Best Pop Video:
One Direction – “What Makes You Beautiful”
Fun. – “We Are Young” (feat. Janelle Monae)
Rihanna – “We Found Love”
Justin Bieber – “Boyfriend”
Maroon 5 – “Payphone” (feat. Wiz Khalifa)

Best Rock Video:
Coldplay – “Paradise”
The Black Keys – “Lonely Boy”
Linkin Park – “BURN IT DOWN”
Jack White – “Sixteen Saltines”
Imagine Dragons – “It’s Time”

Best Electronic Dance Music Video:
Duck Sauce – “Big Bad Wolf”
Calvin Harris – “Feel So Close”
Skrillex – “First of the Year (Equinox)”
Martin Solveig – “The Night Out”
Avicii – “Le7els”

Best Video With A Message:
Demi Lovato – “Skyscraper”
Rise Against – “Ballad Of Hollis Brown”
Kelly Clarkson – “Dark Side”
Gym Class Heroes – “The Fighter”
K’Naan – “Is Anybody Out There?” (Feat. Nelly Furtado)
Lil Wayne – “How to Love”

Best Art Direction:
Katy Perry – “Wide Awake”
Drake – “Take Care” (Feat. Rihanna)
Lana Del Rey – “Born To Die”
Regina Spektor – “All The Rowboats”
Of Monsters & Men – “Little Talks”

Best Choreography:
Chris Brown – “Turn Up the Music”
Rihanna – “Where Have You Been”
Beyoncé – “Countdown”
Avicii – “Le7els”
Jennifer Lopez – “Dance Again” (feat. Pitbull)

Best Cinematography:
M.I.A. – “Bad Girls”
Adele – “Someone Like You”
Drake – “Take Care” (feat. Rihanna)
Coldplay – “Princess Of China” (feat. Rihanna)
Lana Del Rey – “Born To Die”

Best Direction:
M.I.A. – “Bad Girls”
Duck Sauce – “Big Bad Wolf”
Coldplay – “Princess Of China” (feat. Rihanna)
Frank Ocean – “Swim Good”
The Throne – “Otis”

Best Editing:
Beyoncé – “Countdown”
A$AP Rocky – “Goldie”
Gotye – “Somebody That I Used to Know”
The Throne – “Paris”
Kanye West – “Mercy” (feat. Pusha T, Big Sean & 2 Chainz)

Best Visual Effects:
Katy Perry – “Wide Awake”
Rihanna – “Where Have You Been”
David Guetta – “Turn Me On” (feat. Nicki Minaj)
Linkin Park – “BURN IT DOWN”
(via MTV)

The VMAs will air 9/6 on MTV.

Comments (92)
  1. Best Video With A Message!?! what a great category

  2. No Lady Gaga? This is just some MTV that I used to know.

  3. I may be out of touch, but the ‘Best Rock Video’ category made a couple claims that were shocking to me:
    1. Coldplay is a rock band.
    2. Linkin Park still exists.

  4. I honestly don’t understand why Chris Brown hasn’t been collectively shunned by the music community.

    • Numbers are in; beating women is okay if you know how to dance.

    • because $$$MONEY$$$

    • What if he’s genuinely sorry and has improved his character? I wouldn’t know because I don’t keep up with Mr. Brown. Should a public figure be condemned to eternal cultural damnation after making a mistake, regardless of his subsequent actions?

      • I find it disturbing that at least two people (so far) think that a person cannot be forgiven after making a mistake, apologizing, and then reforming his character. What are you people, assholes?

    • Miles Davis and John Lennon were women beaters at one point in their respective lives. Should we banish them too?

      • For someone named after a sick Howard Hawks film you sure make some hare-brained comparisons.

        • Go on, I’m listening. Tell me all about how Chris Brown hitting a woman is sooooooo different than Miles Davis and John Lennon hitting women. Let me strap in for this one…

        • Got nothing? That’s what I suspected.

          • The pure musicianship Davis possessed gave him immense personal allowances. The jazz community to which Davis belonged is far different from the pop-radio, Chris Brown loving populous. The situation with Lennon happened after the man had become almost a nontarnishable icon, so I don’t think people would’ve ever cast his name out into the cold. Also, The older generation of Beatles listeners aren’t all aware of the Cynthia spousal abuse situation, primarily because it didn’t get much media play until her book John was released in 2005.

            I’m pretty abashed at the fact that Chris Brown’s stardom is still so solidly intact. Firstly, because he’s gone through none of the necessary societal mea culpas; right after the shit with Rhianna went down he threw a chair through a window in the Good Morning America green-room. Dude hasn’t done shit to prove he’s changed.

            The physical act of beating a woman is the same in all three cases, but the way society sees things is quite different usually. There was nothing murky, or he-said she-said about the Rhianna thing. That’s whats surprising about it. If he played horns like Miles Davis, or was anywhere near as interesting and legendary as Lennon I’d understand the current size of his fan base, however, he’s a dude who robotizes his voice more often than not and plays bubble-gum pop. I don’t think he deserves the comparison you’re making. No one’s arguing whether his actions were different than other musicians who’ve abused women.

            No need for strapping in, or that ellipsis.

          • @ Dylan Haight:

            There is no Reply button underneath your latest comment, so I am replying here…

            I said, “What if he’s genuinely sorry and has improved his character? I wouldn’t know because I don’t keep up with Mr. Brown.” So I said up front that I didn’t know whether Brown had taken any steps to improve his character. I have been speaking generally about any hypothetical public figure who shits the bed, genuinely apologizes, and then proceeds to reform his character. I think anyone who does this deserves a second chance, regardless of how talented he is.

            If a hypothetical Miles Davis is a mind-blowing genius but refuses to apologize and reform after shitting the bed, then he should experience more condemnation than a less talented hypothetical Chris Brown who chooses to apologize and actually reform. From a moral standpoint, having extra talent does not grant a person any extra license to harm women and dodge condemnation. The fact that Lennon and Davis are geniuses makes it easier for us to look past their abuses, but it doesn’t make it right that they should be treated differently than a less talented Brown.

            If what you said about Brown is true (I have no reason to doubt you), then he sounds like a twat who hasn’t earned a second chance yet. I just want to make sure that people are taking into consideration how people act AFTER they shit the bed, rather than just condemning them for life, as in, “You screwed up. We’re done with you forever.”

          • Lennon apologized and changed. He wrote a song about it: “I used to be cruel to my woman I beat her / And kept her apart from things that she loved / Man I was mean but I’m changing my scene / And I’m doing the best that I can.” And he said that one of the reasons he became so active in the peace movement was because he was horrified by his violent past.

            As for Miles, I don’t know…?

  5. “Bad Girls” deserves to win, but the award will more realistically go to Gotye.

  6. the only good song there is Lonely Boy

  7. God damn the Bad Girls video was awesome. Should’ve been nominated for best vid with a message too. The message being: “together we can overcome our racial/cultural/gender differences and Arab drift the fuck out of some Beemers.”

  8. The real outrage here, obviously, is NO K-POP.

  9. Hopefully the rest of Odd Future will attend with Frank so we can have some entertainment.

  10. Considering MTV doesnt really push music it makes the idea of the VMA’s kinda dumb.

  11. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • You should probably head back to the “Deep-V iPhone Lovers” blog then.

    • So “indie” doesn’t include any hip hop, R&B, or like genres? Not all indie music is rock, brobro…

      Something else that may surprise you – people don’t think that photos of yourself where you’re holding the phone in the mirror (because you either don’t have a front-facing camera on your smartphone or because you’re too dumb/lazy to use it) are cool anymore. Studies have been done.

      • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

        • Who cares if it’s Indie or not? We should only care if it’s good. And Frank Ocean’s music is really good.

        • At least two first names guy is rockin’ the deepest of V’s. No one can give him shit for being noncommittal. I think the focus of this blog is good music, and frank ocean unequivocally fits that category. Last year before MBDTF came out Yeezee was all over stereogum, and it was similarly deserved hype. I think posting the VMA nominees is in keeping with this blogs general aesthetic. The NME and Rolling Stone years end lists are always posted here as well, and I kinda like that; it’s good to be made aware of what’s happening with artists that are part of multiple social spheres and stuff.

        • Please tell us what “indie” means to you, Blandy Flames. Are you referring to the fact that Channel Orange was released on Def Jam and that label is owned by the major Universal Music Group? OR are you referring to something else that disqualifies Frank Ocean from being indie?

          What criteria do you use to determine of something is indie, if it’s not whether the label is independently owned or not?

          What indie music do you hold dear to your heart?

          Inquiring minds want to know.

          p.s. I’m not hating on the deep V, I rock one from time to time. With or without that shirt, you do kinda look like an asshole in your photo. My photo is what the inside of a Pentium III’s vagina looks like.

    • Yeah, rap/hip-hop isn’t even real music!

    • Dear God I hope you are a troll.

  12. Awful. They did not even nominate the correct Drake video.

  13. Lemme get this straight….Swim Good is nominated, which is a song originally on his mixtape, that was put out because a record company shelved Nostalgia due to the fact they saw no financial gain from it, so he released it on his own without any support from anyone (including MTV btw) which then the song/album blows up in every suits face, so they scramble now to capture some “We had this guy pinned before anyone” routine so they can promote him during the awards, well, cuz he’s the ‘cool’ thing. Please tell me I’m off here…because theres way too much irony going on here. (I should add this…I have not seen a video on MTV since Radiohead debuted on 120 Minutes)

  14. Is Linkin Park’s song really “BURN IT DOWN” in all caps? Is their music so bland and generic that they have to use caps to stand out?

  15. really interested in what part of the Duck Sauce video they’re going to show if it wins

  16. how 2 love a good a$$ song…lil wayne strate reppin nd shit

  17. Frank Ocean is lock to perform, right?

  18. Yo Carly Rae Jepsen, I’m really happy for you… I’mma let you finish,
    but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time!

  19. Duck Sauce bettter fuckin’ win. The “Big Bad Wolf” video made me eject lime pepino Gatorade outta my nose, which was a super unpleasant rarity.

  20. What about St. Vincent? Or does MTV not know who that is? Why am I even commenting on this irrelevant awards show?

  21. what’s a music video? – MTV viewers

  22. They need “Most Brutal” and “Fuck You” categories so Big Beast can win something.

    POW mothafucka POW

  23. wtf where is Dr. Dee?

  24. I know it was the subject of the first comment, but 56 or so later and I’m still laughing at “Best Video With A Message.”

  25. MTV still plays music? Secondly, why is Lana nominated for anything at all?

  26. Best hip-hop video? Wolves in the Throne Room – “Paris”

  27. Is there a Most Disappointing Sophomore Album award that Fun. can win?

  28. Has Best Editing always been a category? Who is MTV trying to fool with that one. You’re not the academy, you’re Flo Rida.

  29. Were any of those videos actually aired on MTV, or is this a de facto Youtube award ceremony?

  30. Does anybody still cares about VMA’s lately? It’s pure bullshit

  31. I have not watched that stupid awards show in over a decade and I certainly don’t intend to start watching it now. Why are you on stereogum if you watch MTV? I assume that most people on this blog are here because they can’t find good music on places like MTV, so if you’re satisfied with MTV and thus satisfied with what you hear on the radio why are you here?

    • Perhaps some people don’t define their musical tastes along arbitrary genre lines and can enjoy both “mainstream” and “indie” music. They may come to Stereogum for news and videos of certain bands and then use MTV as a source for others.

  32. best video with a message? are they fucking serious?

  33. “HYFR” needs to win. Fa-real-dough.

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