The Donald Trump bus tape feels like it’s been with us for years. It hasn’t. It came out a week ago today. And in the wake of that bizarre, upsetting turn, things like music videos matter less than videos like this one, of a Trump-surrogate lady attempting to excuse the shit her candidate is saying by pointing out that Hillary Clinton likes Beyoncé. In all that noise, it takes a lot for a standard-issue music video to break through. But some of them are still doing it, and five of those are below.
5. Denzel Curry – “Zenith” (Feat. Joey Bada$$) (Dir. JMP)
I fell in love with rap videos — and, to some extent, with rap music — thanks to videos like this, with their shadowy black-and-white mysteries and their seething, barely-contained energy.
4. Kamaiyah – “Fuck It Up” (Feat. YG) (Dir. Chris Simmons)
I also fell in love with rap videos — and, to some extent, rap music — thanks ot videos like this, with their searing, sunny brightness and their joyous explosions of local pride. Also, standing in the middle of a parking lots while three cars do donuts around you seems like a glorious way to get killed.
3. Danny Brown – “Pneumonia” (Dir. Simon Cahn)
All-in on the Cenobite version of Danny Brown.
2. The Weeknd – “False Alarm” (Dir. Ilya Naishuller)
Music-video history is full of videos like this — first-person accounts of mayhem that end in final surprise-reveal mirror shots. (Word to the Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” or Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz’ “I Don’t Give A Fuck.”) And this one gets even fewer originality points because it’s essentially a shorter version of Hardcore Henry, the Naishuller-directed video that came out earlier this year. But this really is some beautifully executed chaos and carnage, and that counts for a lot.
1. Bruno Mars – “24K Magic” (Dir. Bruno Mars & Cameron Duddy)
In retrospect, “Uptown Funk!” stands as one of the greatest and most important music videos of the past few years. And even though this is essentially just the watered-down sequel, its reflected magnificence is still a thing to behold. We should all be able to enjoy our own flyness the way Bruno Mars does in those videos.