1. Rej3ctz fet. Chris Brown - "Cat Daddy"Kanye tweeted that he watched this 10 times. Personally I've watched it at least 100 times. There was a period where I was watching it at least 10 times per day. Aliza threatened to divorce me. It baffles me that this didn't show up on any other 'best music videos' lists. Did people just not see it? Cos once you see it, there's no question that this is the best video of the year. Note: 2nd dude is wearing his pants backwards. Also, Spongebob blinks. Also: Spongebob?!
2. Das Racist - "Who's That? Brooown!"Completely awesome video-game homage, mainly in the style of King's Quest, but with nods to other 8 bit classics like Frogger, Zelda, Double Dragon. Das Racist were on fire this year. Note: this is also a playable game
3. Big Boi fet. Yelawolf - "You Ain't No DJ"Saw this at my brother's house over Thanksgiving. Convinced me to get the Big Boi album. It's good. Dunno how I feel about Yelawolf. I spend more time looking at his tattoos and haircut than I do listening to him rap. But, Big Boi's the coolest motherfunker on the planet, and he thinks Yelawolf is cool. So by the transitive property of coolness, Yela must also be cool... right?
4. Die Antwoord - "Wat Pomp"These guys emerged out of nowhere as an internet phenomenon, largely on the strength of their videos. This one is earlier and less slick than 'Zef Side' and that ninja one, but the low budget zombie weirdo thing really sucks me in.
5. Eagles of Death Metal - "Don't Speak (I Came To Make A Bang)"This is a Nike advert directed by Guy Ritchie. It's more than a year old but I'm including it cos I found out about it in midst this year's World Cup fever. Just watching it I get intoxicated with soccer! It doesn't last beyond the video, but it's an exciting few minutes at least. Note: there's like a dozen super famous soccer players featured herein. Not that you care.
6. Turf Feinz - "RIP Rich D"Not sure if that's the full name of the song or the video or what have you. Crew of talented dancers from Oakland facing off in the rain, in honor of a murdered friend. This one's 1080p, so make sure to watch it full screen.
7. Young L - "Beating Up The Block"Young L is one of the most talented producers around, and his tracks are sick beyond belief. But, he insists on freestyling over his own beats, and he's a *terrible* rapper. So just to warn you, the lyrics on this are pretty much garbage. It's such a monstrous beat though that lyrics scarcely matter. Plus cmon, who could resist the swag of Young L's ridiculous ghost pendant? Even Rick Ross's diamond encrusted Rick-Ross-Face medallion looks weak next to that!
8. Die Antwoord - "Zef Side"This list could've been 50% Die Antwoord vids, but I settled for two.
9. Das Racist - "Ek Sheneesh"
Ditto Das Racist-- I had to resist putting all their videos on here. Can't separate the words from the images, it's all good to me. Well, that's not entirely true, this one's got good images even apart from the words. I find underwear dude's prancing to be strangely entrancing. But I love the words most of all; especially the jokes. "Oh you rap too dawg? Yeah I'm real enthused."
10. Jose Gonzalez - "Far Away"
I don't really have time to play video games anymore, which is a shame cos there are so many interesting games coming out these days. "Red Dead Redemption" is one I'd like to try someday. It's from Rockstar, the Grand Theft Auto developers. Only this time the game's set in the wild west and you're a cowboy. By all accounts R.D.R is a beautiful and engrossing game, so evocative in its depiction of the American west of yore that people spend hours just riding around on horseback looking at the scenery.
The video below shows the part of the game where you've 'unlocked' Mexico, and are riding for the first time across the border. "Far Away" starts to play as you move across the landscape. This is where we run into the limitations of traditional music videos as a form. I think to really experience this 'video' you have to actually play the game. But even by watching someone else play you get a sense of what a stirring experience it could be, listening to Jose Gonzalez at sunset, racing along on horseback into an unknown land.