Chris already wrote some words about Macklemore’s mind-boggling new “Downtown” video. That’s good, because my writeup of it would pretty much just be: “Umm… like… what?” It’s one of the slickest, most over-the-top music videos of the year, and yet its most enduring image is Macklemore grabbing his crotch and then rotating it. It attempts to belay accusations of cultural parasitism by almost literally using three old-school rap legends as props. It makes me worried for the long-term health of Eric Nally’s knees and Melle Mel’s thyroid. It’s an entertaining, professional music-video product, and I hate it. I hate it so much. I hate it to the extent that I love hating it, and I’m worried that this also means I love it. It’s not on this week’s list. Instead, my five picks are below.
5. Eagles Of Death Metal – “Complexity” (Dir. Liam Lynch)
A truly badass rock video that would be higher on this list if it ever reached the “This is the part on ‘Sprockets’ where we dance” stage.
4. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – “Crazy Party Night” (Dir. Yusuke Tanaka)
This, it turns out, is how the “Thriller” video might look if the “Thriller” video was actually scary.
3. A$AP Rocky – “Everyday” (Feat. Rod Stewart, Miguel & Mark Ronson) (Dir. Emmanuel Cossu & Fleur & Manu)
I would’ve put Behind the Candelabra somewhere near the bottom of my “movies that rappers will probably reference in music videos” list. It would be somewhere down there with Farewell My Concubine and the Air Bud sequels. And yet here we are.
2. Pure Bathing Culture – “Pray For Rain” (Dir. Greg Hardes & Jacob Proud)
I love that feeling of knowing exactly where a music video is going and then being proven totally wrong. This video does that a couple of times.
1. The Weeknd – “Tell Your Friends” (Dir. Grant Singer)
The moment that Abel Tesfaye and Grant Singer got together and decided that they’d use one of the year’s biggest pop albums as a springboard for sticky, fucked-up Bret Easton Ellis visions? That was a good moment.