I’m not entirely sure this week’s pick for best video even qualifies as a music video; it certainly stretches the definition. But in its impeccable planning and its flawless execution, it captured imaginations over the weekend and dominated the conversation come Monday. It felt like an actual honest-to-god event, and how many of those do we get anymore? I’m talking, of course, about the Miguel legdrop gif. Just kidding. Our picks are below.
5. The Lonely Island – “Diaper Money” (Dir. ?)
“Like a boss,” as a generic rap phrase, didn’t make sense because being a boss is actually pretty shitty a lot of the time. So the Lonely Island took it apart. Being a “grown-ass man”? Also pretty shitty sometimes. So the Lonely Island did the same thing again. “Minimal typos” killed me.
4. Action Bronson – “Strictly 4 My Jeeps” (Dir. Jason Goldwatch)
The fat-lady physical humor is both unfunny and unnecessarily vicious, just like the Bronson verse on Chance The Rapper’s “NaNa.” But the idea of a Queens rap video reimagined as a Loony Tunes cartoon? I can get behind that. The slow pan up Riff Raff is priceless, and the interlude is pretty much exactly how I imagine real-life Bronson/Riff Raff hangout sessions going down; they’d obviously both want the chain shaped like the Monster Energy Drink logo. And I really wish I was at the cookout at the end there.
3. She & Him – “I Could’ve Been Your Girl” (Dir. Zooey Deschanel)
I can’t believe I have to go months without getting to see another new episode of The New Girl. It’s been a week and a half and I’m still going through serious withdrawl. So this video? Methadone.
2. Dirty Beaches – “Casino Lisboa” (Dir. LyingBoss)
Only God Forgives, the new Nicolas Winding Refn movie where Ryan Gosling goes on a brutal Muay Thai revenge-quest in Bangkok, has been getting panned at Cannes, but I’m still ridiculously amped to see it. If, however, the movie does turn out to suck, at least we’ll have this video as an example of how to make a sticky bad-vibes atmosphere out of similar material.
1. Kanye West – “New Slaves” (Dir. ?)
As a broad-strokes vision designed to get people talking and to (once again) reinvent its maker, everything about this was masterful. But consider the little cinematic touches, too, like the way the sweat on Kanye’s face and the actual coloration of the building behind him made Kanye’s skin look darker, or the way he stands completely motionless, not nodding, during the parts where he isn’t rapping. A four-minute close-up on one man’s face should not be this riveting, but it absolutely was.