In this space, I usually try to write something about whatever connecting threats might run through the five videos I pick for the week. That’s not happening this week. I absolutely cannot think of a single thing that these five videos have in common with one another, other than me enjoying all of them. So: I hope you enjoy them too! Because they’re all below.
5. Talib Kweli – “Push Thru” (Feat. Curren$y & Kendrick Lamar) (Dir. Scott Fleishman & Fredo Tovar)
Conceptually, this one is pretty much exactly the same as Jermaine Dupri’s video for the “Welcome To Atlanta” remix, which was on BET in heavy rotation when I was in college, or any number of other videos that bring in rappers from different regions and have them represent those regions as theatrically and simplistically as possible. But in this one, Fleishman and Tovar do a beautiful job capturing a lot of the things that are special and wonderful about New Orleans, New York, and Los Angeles — three places that are, after all, pretty special and wonderful.
4. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – “Shame” (Dir. Jonah Schwartz)
It’s time that we finally had a music video that illustrated one of the greatest unspoken truths that you learn in your 20s: Guys who have cocaine get laid a lot. Not saying, just saying.
3. Eternal Summers – “You Kill” (Dir. Lurid Pictures)
One of those great heartwarming drunk-kids-hanging-out music videos suddenly turns tragic and wince-inducing when it becomes a story about a guy blowing it so hard. All the completely normal, everyday-looking kids in this video do great work acting without words, and central Virginia is a fucking beautiful place.
2. Black Moth Super Rainbow – “Windshield Smasher” (Dir. Bo Mirosseni)
There’s no way to say anything about this video without spoiling way too much, but the sheer escalating lunacy at work here — the way things go from unsettling to head-spinning in a heartbeat — is a thing of beauty. Also, those masks give me happy “Come To Daddy” flashbacks.
1. Antony And The Johnsons – “Cut The World” (Dir. Nabil) (NSFW-ish)
Here, Nabil tells a completely engrossing and ominous domestic story, building tension with Scandinavian precision and only giving a quick glimpse at the apocalyptic context in the background of the final shots. Also worth noting: Willem Dafoe is pretty good at acting.