At Sunday night’s VMAs, MTV awarded its Video Of The Year trophy to Beyoncé’s “Formation.” Nobody gives a fuck. Let’s acknowledge that. Nobody watches the VMAs to see who wins what. At this point, even Kanye West has probably figured out that the awards mean precisely nothing. That said, this is the first time since 2012, when Rihanna won it for “We Found Love” — if not 2010, when Lady Gaga won it for “Bad Romance” — when you could make an argument that the right video won it. So MTV at least got something right. Give them that. This week’s picks are below.
5. Sam Spiegel & Ape Drums – “Mutant Brain” (Feat. Assassin) (Dir. Spike Jonze)
There are plenty of things wrong with this. It’s more a perfume commercial than an actual music video. It’s one of the greatest and most restless directors in music-video history repeating himself, doing a new version of “Weapon Of Choice” with the daughter from The Leftovers standing in for Christoper Walken. It’s the second-best all-one-lady-dancing video of the week, and it’s proof, if we needed it, that Margaret Qualley can’t dance as well as Teyana Taylor. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with the finger-lasers, the crazy facial expressions, the inexplicable murder, or that beautiful moment where she comes soaring through the eyeball.
4. Miike Snow – “My Trigger” (Dir. Ninian Doff)
The Cold War era would’ve probably been a whole lot less terrifying if we’d known that a dance dance resolution was a viable option. Also, Dr. Strangelove would’ve been a better movie if it had been more like this.
3. Kanye West – “Fade” (Dir. Eli Linnetz)
The fact that Teyana Taylor had a baby in December makes the mere existence of this video a fucking physical marvel, a triumph of human determination. And as consciously porny as it make be, this video gets extra points for showcasing strength more than sexiness, and for tangling strength and sexiness up with one another.
— BENNY (@UGETAFUR) August 29, 2016
2. Moses Sumney – “Worth It” (Dir. Allie Avital)
D’Angelo’s “Untitled (How Does It Feel?),” reimagined as an Arca video. You know it was a good fucking week for music videos when something as powerful as this wasn’t #1.
1. Vince Staples – Prima Donna Short Film (NSFW) (Dir. Nabil)
Best subplot in this disorienting, staggering piece of work: Imagine the withering Yelp review that Vince Staples is going to give this hotel.