There were a couple of big high-profile videos this week from artists I like, and they had big ideas, but they didn’t move me much. The video for Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney’s “FourFiveSeconds” went for a certain classicist magazine-shoot simplicity, and while Rihanna turned in a hell of a charismatic performance, the video was mostly pretty boring. Meanwhile, Sam Smith’s grand and elegiac “Lay Me Down” video was beautifully shot and full of interesting faces; shout out to the crying face-tattoo guy. But it seemed to burst with meaning without really meaning much of anything. Music videos, at some base level, are supposed to be fun, and neither of those videos really was. All five videos that did make the list are fun as hell. Check out our picks below.
5. Diet Cig – “Scene Sick” (Dir. Christopher Daly)
A perfect example of how to pull off a goofy, simple, energetic concept on a nonexistent budget. I love how the big plot twist is (spoiler alert) the dude starts dancing.
4. Migos – “Cross The Country” (Dir. Shomi Patwary)
A fun thing about Paris: You can shoot a bunch of dudes rapping on a mixtape-track budget and still make it look elegant and glamorous. Shomi Patwary has been making slick, hallucinatory rap videos since before A$AP Rocky got his deal, and it’s fun to see him apply that aesthetic sweep to these three cartoon goons.
3. Skrillex – “Doompy Poomp” (Dir. Fleur & Manu)
This thing has no business being as funny as it is. I kept a straight face for most of this, but, for wrestling-nerd reasons, I finally lost it when balding nerd guy got mullet guy into the STF.
2. Jolin Tsai – “I’m Not Yours” (Feat. Namie Amuro) (Dir. Muh Chen)
Sumptuous ridiculousness involving a banquet hall full of post-apocalyptic biker types being turned into donkeys, like this was Pinocchio. So maybe we need to start paying attention to Taiwan, the same way we need to pay attention to South Korea and Japan?
1. Chris Brown & Tyga – “Ayo” (Dir. Colin Tilley)
Sumptuous ridiculousness involving a front-end loader piling money into a swimming pool, a golden toilet, a bunch of video chicks playing polo, a tiger wandering around a mansion, and a rooftop helicopter deck. Look, I can’t stand Chris Brown either. But that won’t stop me from enjoying the funhouse-mirror version of a balling-out 1998 rap video.