Straight To Video

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

This is one of those weeks so stuffed with good music videos that I felt bad limiting the list to just five. So please allow me to use this space to recommend Action Bronson’s antic, goofy, ebulliently dumb “Let Me Breathe” meta-video. There’s a moment in that video where Bronson kicks a guy in the balls and then throws him through a wall, and it still didn’t make this week’s list, which is how you know this was a good week. This week’s picks are below.

5. Kesha – “Praying” (Dir. Jonas Åkerlund)

I’d like to imagine Kesha spent just enough time hanging out with the Flaming Lips to absorb some of their look-how-freaky aesthetic but that she then turned that aesthetic into something grand and sweeping and emotional rather than just freaky.

4. Towkio – “Drift” (Dir. Todd Burr & Towkio)

Towkio is so committed to the art of looking cool in a rap video that he’s willing to learn synchronized dances, ride in hot air balloons, and let stunt drivers do donuts all around him. He could’ve been killed so many different ways while making this, but what a colorful and energetic burst of life it turned out to be.

3. Japanese Breakfast – “Road Head” (Dir. Michelle Zauner)

As someone who has been cast in music videos for exclusively height-related reasons, I would like to salute the tall motherfucker who wore the creepy monster costume in this video. He is out there doing the freakily-tall population proud.

2. Run The Jewels – “Don’t Get Captured” (Dir. Chris Hopewell)

The tragedies of urban American gentrification and economic inequality and prison-state extremism, all as told through the medium of animated skeleton puppet.

1. JAY-Z – “The Story Of O.J.” (Dir. Mark Romanek & JAY-Z)

A devastating cartoon that uses the long history of racist American cartoons to dig deep into the even longer history of American racism, getting in a really nice riff on the famous Brooklyn Bridge shot from Romanek and JAY-Z’s “99 Problems” along the way. And that one visual cue redeems jay’s “DUMBO” punchline, which would’ve otherwise been one of the most wince-worthy lines he ever committed to tape.