MTV VMA Nominations 2012

By Tom Breihan / July 31, 2012

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.