On Monday night, at its increasingly irrelevant VMA gala, MTV named Taylor Swift’s “You Need To Calm Down” as its Video Of The Year. Which, I mean, come on. My position on Taylor Swift is a matter of public record — I respect motherfucking craft — and I understand that MTV will always hand its biggest award to the most famous person in the room. But the idea that the “You Need To Calm Down” video is better than the “Bad Guy” video is patently absurd and maybe even offensive. This week’s picks are below.
The rotating-room effect has been fun ever since Breakin’ 2, but I can’t remember seeing anyone use it as a visual metaphor for a relationship’s ups and downs before now. It works pretty well for that, even if the relationship in question is not even remotely believable. I can buy a lot of things, but I can’t buy Teyana Taylor dating a dork.
In the Drake videography, this is strictly autopilot stuff, a victory lap after another OVO Fest. But stately black-and-white and mythic poses can elevate a lot of things.
Missy Elliott should’ve been handed the Video Vanguard Award the second her video for “Da Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” premiered. She finally got it this week, only 22 years late. Her new “Throw It Back” video isn’t anywhere near her best, but it’s still a fun, vivid, colorful, weirdly hypnotic piece of work — a worthy new entry in what might be the greatest videography of all time.
Tall solidarity. And shout out to the giant version of Lana Del Rey for walking so gingerly through Los Angeles, taking care not to step on any freeways.
What a fucking masterpiece. If this doesn’t win the VMA for Video Of The Year next year, I might have to parachute in and Kanye West that whole motherfucker up.