Hey, our YouTube issues are finally solved! Thanks, YouTube! That means we get to actually post every last one of our picks for the week’s best videos without searching out sketchy Russian embeds or whatever. A serious relief! Also, this week marks the first appearance of a K-pop video on the list. Given how addicted I am to that stuff lately, it certainly won’t be the last. Click below for this week’s picks.
5. Big K.R.I.T. – “Boobie Miles” (Dir. Va$htie)
Simple, classy, well-composed slow-motion awesomeness. Most of Big K.R.I.T.’s new 4Eva N A Day mixtape is a sort of self-directed motivational halftime speech, with K.R.I.T. doing everything he can to convince himself that his own difficulties are things to be overcome. So it’s fun to see that talk translated to actual people’s everyday lives, letting K.R.I.T.’s striver talk apply to the BMX biker and the soccer guy and the basketball player.
4. BBU – “The Hood” (Feat. GLC) (Dir. Jeremy M. Jones)
This politicized Chicago dance-rap trio’s agit-prop side can get a little tiresome (“I don’t think this country is great!”), but the video wisely focuses on what works, which is the giddy teenage energy that the group brings. The clip is shot entirely in dilapidated Chicago neighborhoods, so the song’s message comes through visually, but it’s also done as a celebration, with everyone in the clip happy to be there. And it’s fun to see Chi-Town rap veteran GLC roll through and put his undiminished panache on display.
3. Bowerbirds – “Tuck The Darkness In” (Dir. Carlos Lopez Estrada)
Another video with an actual point (in this case, that we shouldn’t be eating animals) that deftly avoids anything like a hectoring tone. By telling its story from a little kid’s eyes, the clip brings a level of wonder and empathy to its dead fish. And the artistry is impeccable — every shot near-perfectly composed, the lakeside fog practically drifting out of my computer screen.
2. BigBang – “Bad Boy” (Dir. ?)
The Korean pop assembly line is a truly wondrous thing. The country is cranking out absurdist, high-gloss, stick-in-your-brain music videos at a ridiculous rate these days, and I am entirely capable of losing entire hours just by clicking from one YouTube link to the next. From what I can tell, the biggest boy band in the country is BigBang, whose new video, a take on American ’90s-R&B ruffneck love songs, was inexplicably filmed outside a Williamsburg JMZ stop. The choreography is no-shit delightful, the clothes are wonderfully goofy, and the song is dangerously catchy. Pay special attention to group member T.O.P., who manages to comport himself with sleepy-eyed bad-motherfucker panache while wearing a military waistcoat, a gigantic bejeweled-skull medallion, and turquoise Gumby hair.
1. Chairlift – “Met Before” (Dir. Jordan Fish)
An ambitious concept carried out better than anyone could’ve hoped. This is an interactive choose-your-own-adventure music video, which seems like the sort of thing that’ll freeze up your computer the second you click it. It’s not. The interface is easy and intuitive, the actual game part is fun, and it’s all too easy to spend half an hour clicking all the different decision points and trying to find the different endings. (This means it’s a smart music video, too, since you end up hearing the pretty great song enough times for it to leave a serious impression.) Somehow, every one of the versions I’ve clicked has turned out to be an entirely decent music video, which feels like a massive achievement. My one quibble is that Caroline Polachek doesn’t make an especially convincing science nerd, but I guess that’s not a problem per se.