Straight To Video

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

If it made any real sense to put the Jimmy Kimmel Live parody of Drake’s “God’s Plan” video on this list, I probably would. It was funny! I laughed! It was not, however, a proper music video, so it’s not on this list. Instead, this week’s picks are below.

5. Flatbush Zombies – “Headstone” (Dir. Luke Monaghan)

Flatbush Zombies’ whole music video aesthetic, for their entire career, was to take a mid-’90s Rap City video and to dip it in acid. And it has worked spectacularly. For this one, though, they didn’t even bother with the acid. (Maybe they microdosed, just slightly.) And it’s still great.

4. Speedy Ortiz – “Lucky 88″ (Dir. Emily Yoshida)

Emily Yoshida, who works for New York, is one of my favorite writers on the internet; she’s got a great sense of how sci-fi can work and a great way of rendering it into words. With this video, she’s made her own sort of sci-fi, envisioning the phone-borne convenience that’s taking over our world as an all-consuming slime.

3. Janelle Monaé – “Django Jane” (Dir. Andrew Donoho & Chuck Lightning)

This one is simple, but it’s stark and iconic, and that smash-cut during the “let the vagina have a monologue” part is already the stuff of Twitter-gif legend.

2. Janelle Monaé – “Make Me Feel” (Dir. Alan Fergusn)

This is like a bright, shiny early-MTV video somehow got fed through the gender-fluid dynamics of today. It’s a hell of an achievement.

1. Drake – “God’s Plan” (Dir. Karena Evans)

Look. I know. It’s deeply self-serving and at least a little bit off-putting to film yourself handing out stacks of cash to strangers, to let the camera linger on them crying and thanking god, casting yourself as some messiah walking on earth. But many of the good things in this world come from rich assholes wanting us to think that they’re good people? How many libraries have the word “Carnegie” on them? And if a bunch of people have money now who didn’t have money before, how could that be a bad thing?

In any case, this is just an extremely well-made music video, one that turns Drake’s celebrity and charm into a sort of surprise weapon. Unlike a lot of celebrities, he’s clearly enjoying his own capacity to make random people explode with excitement at his mere presence.

During the one shot in this video where Drake is in the hallway, jumping up and down with the kids — it’s at 3:14 in the video — a few poor security guards are given the unenviable task of holding the massive flood of excited kids back from the equally excited Drake. One security guard, the one with the sunglasses on the back of his neck looks harried. But another (I think it’s a security guard, anyway) gives in and starts jumping around with excitement just like the kids, just like Drake. Be that guy. Give in.