Tom’s off 5 Best Videos duty this week, so I’m taking over. The last time I was tasked with arranging this list, Rihanna dropped the video for “American Oxygen” exclusively on Tidal and I speculated on whether or not it would have been worthy of inclusion if I had been able to view it. This week, we saw the second video off of Rihanna’s forthcoming album, and “Bitch Better Have My Money” pretty much blows the fuck away any video Rihanna’s ever released. Whether you like it or not, this video will spawn an inordinate number of thinkpieces, so take notes. Ri Ri committing heinous crimes in the almost-nude might be the most talked about video of the week, but it’s not the best. That title goes to someone else…
5. Titus Andronicus – “The Magic Morning” (Dir. Patrick Stickles & Ray Concepcion)
And the Oscar for DIY video directing goes to…
4. Son Lux – “You Don’t Know Me” (Dir. Nathan Johnson)
Postnuptial depression, it could happen to you!
3. Big Sean – “Play No Games” (Feat. Chris Brown, Ty Dolla $ign) (Dir. Mike Carson)
Whoomp! There it is — the ’90s are still cool.
2. Rihanna – “Bitch Better Have My Money” (Dir. Rihanna & Megaforce)
“Bad Blood,” stand down.
1. Kendrick Lamar – “Alright” (Dir. Colin Tilley)
Kendrick Lamar knows how to keep it fun by keeping it relevant, so of course he can transform an aesthetically stunning stunt-filled saga into a chilling political statement. Instead of his hometown of Compton, which was featured prominently in the “King Kunta” video, Kendrick takes to the streets of Oakland, repping the East Bay like he was fucking born there. The song’s initial narration expands from the vague, pondering internal monologue heard on the record to a pointed and sneering critique of police brutality. Kendrick’s not walking across the San Francisco Bay like Jesus or anything, but he is levitating through the air as freely as the cops might gun him down. Even without the hijinks, this would still be number one.