There is no suspense in this list this week. You already know what’s at #1, and you probably don’t care what’s on the rest of the list. I barely care, and I put the thing together. This is a week where the #1 video towers over everything else — not just the week’s other music videos, but the week’s other cultural artifacts, from pretty much any medium. Suffice to say: “T-Shirt” is no longer the best music video of 2017. (Sorry, “T-Shirt.” I still love you.) This week’s picks are below.
This has that incredibly cool indie-film thing going on that Mura Masa’s “Love$ick” video did — all those cooler-than-you and way-too-attractive kids tearing around a British council estate — but it also has Charli XCX casually twisting on a basketball court, so it’s even better.
Atlanta auteur Murai returns to the music-video medium that made him, turning in a genuinely head-fucking vision in which the same bodies fly by over and over. That final shot of the four guys leaning up against the car is about as cool as it gets.
I laughed a couple of times, but despite all the trappings, this video’s not a joke. It’s a powerful illustration of the central, paradoxical tension at the heart of Danny Brown’s music: We all love to watch him playing this drug-gobbling caricature, and he’s doing that to deal with real emotional trauma and risking his life in the process. It’s dark. It should be dark. Shout out to “this fucking kid.”
It certainly helps that I adore the shit out of the song. But there is such a thing as great music-video acting; it’s its own category. Liv Bruce was extremely good at it in “I Wanna Boi,” and Liv Bruce is extremely good at it now, too. This could’ve been an ’80s MTV staple if it had existed, and if anyone in the ’80s knew what a text was.
It finally happened. Kendrick Lamar made a Missy Elliott video. And he made sure that it’s also a Kendrick Lamar video. The world can be such a beautiful place sometimes.