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Top 20 Music Videos of 2010

December 17, 2010

20. Antoine Dodson and the Gregory Brothers featuring Kelly Dodson- “Bed Intruder Song”

How crazy is the world of technology when a news report about an attempted rape gets auto-tuned, turned into a song, and enters the Billboard Hot 100 chart? Antoine and the Gregory Brothers claim that they wanted to take a negative situation and turn it into something positive. The video currently has over 51 million views on Youtube. Meme of the year? No question about it.

 

19. Vampire Weekend- “Giving Up The Gun”

The second video from Contra features the most random cameos; making appearances are Lil’ Jon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joe Jonas, and RZA.

 

18.  Sade- “Soldier of Love”

Sade’s comeback music video has beautiful cinematography and shows her as the general of an urban-step crew, as disciplined and rhythmic as a HBC fraternity.

 

17.  Wavves- “Post-Acid”

In this trippy video the surf-rock indie band makes friends with an alien, hang out with him for a day, parties with him, and watches him return back into the sky by the end of the night.

 

16. Big Boi- “Shutterbug” (featuring Cutty)

This piece has the eccentricity and and visual stimulation of an Outkast video. No matter how unconventional Big Boi’s approach to music is, he still does it with a style and swagger that is so fresh and squeaky clean.

 

15.  The Black Keys- “Tighten Up”

In this funny music video Dan and Patrick watch their sons as they fight over a girl at the playground, the outcome is hilarious.

 

14.  Tame Impala- “Solitude is Bliss”

A man breaks through past emergency personnel and officers to dance his way through a disaster area, only to be slowed by a reappearing and disappearing crowd each time the chorus kicks in.

 

13. Kings of Leon- “Pyro”

An out of place good samaritan enters a seedy bar and gets knocked out when trying to interrupt an abusive boyfriend. Just as the patrons get ready to attack him, he stops them in their tracks with his surprise redemption.

 

12. Janelle Monae- “Cold War”

With just a close-up on her face shot in one take, Janelle Monae is able to convey all of the emotions contained in the song. She breaks into tears towards the end and it’ll break your heart just as much as it broke hers.

 

11. The Gorillaz- “Stylo” (featuring Mos Def and Bobby Womack)

Bruce Willis has a drag race with the animated Gorillaz members down an empty highway. Donut-eating cops try to stop them but are unsuccessful. The cinematography is quite impressive in this video.

 

10. Erykah Badu- “Window Seat”

Veteran eclectic soul-sista walks down the street of downtown Dallas, stripping away items of clothing until she is naked. Inspired by indie-rock band Matt & Kim’s 2009 video for “Lessons Learned,” this video (along with M.I.A.’s “Born Free”), was one of the most controversial released this year.

 

9. Arcade Fire- “The Suburbs”

Taken from a short film directed by Spike Jonze, a group of suburban kids deal with love, betrayal, and the government taking over the neighborhood.

 

8. Yeasayer- “Madder Red”

An actress leaves her sick deformed grotesque-looking pet to go on an audition, and is called back home to take it to the animal E.R. The outcome is a bit moving.

 

7. Das Racist- “Who’s That? Brooown!”

Brooklyn-based indie hipster rappers Das Racist travel through New York City looking for their hypeman in this animated music video made to imitate a vintage video game [via Atari]. Throughout the video are references to indie subculture and classic Atari video games. The coolest part is that there is a real interactive playable version of the video available on the duo’s website. The song samples rapper Charlie Brown of Leaders of the New School, taken from A Tribe Called Quest’s 1992 hit single “Scenario.”

 

6. The Roots- “The Fire” (featuring John Legend)

In this cinematic video prisoners, presumably of war, are taken out into the woods to be executed; some have plans to escape.

 

5. MGMT- “Congratulations”

Ben and Andrew take their alien-camel-bird looking pet for a walk through the dessert and it literally falls to pieces along the way.

 

4. Alicia Keys- “Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)” (featuring Drake)

Drake isn’t featured in the video, but Alicia portrays a young woman who falls in love with a white gentleman. Everyone else seems to have a problem with this interracial relationship, and no matter what year and decade they are in, it is seen as a problem. The irony? Alicia Keys is biracial herself.

 

3. M.I.A.- “Born Free”

In this very controversial and graphic short film music video, gingers are rounded up and taken out into the dessert where they are executed one-by-one. This is social commentary and uncompromising art at its best.

 

2. Kanye West- “POWER”

In this abridged version of Kanye’s first single from his new album, he stands as the center-piece in an elaborate moving painting inspired by Leonardo da Vinci.

 

1. Flying Lotus- “MmmHmm” (featuring Thundercat)

Youtube poster bigwhoa76 referred to this video as a “gateway drug.”  In the last 5 years alternative music has seen a rise in psychedelia, with bands like Animal Collective and MGMT making music videos that are best enjoyed under the influence of your favorite hallucinogenic of choice. Directed by Special Problems, “MmmHmm” is one of the trippiest artistically elite music videos ever made. A black chief, reminiscent of Afrika Bambaataa, merges with a plant-lady that conspicuously resemble a cannabis leaf. What kind of a genius comes up with this stuff?

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

These three outstanding films (two short, one full-length), were also released this year. Animal Collective’s ODDSAC was screened in select theaters as an independent art film before being released on DVD as a video album. Kanye West premiered Runaway on major music cable channels, and later released it on DVD with the deluxe edition of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. A shortened and edited version of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” featuring Beyonce was aired regularly on MTV and VH1, the full-length uncensored version is available on her Youtube channel.

Animal Collective- ODDSAC

Kanye West- Runaway

Lady GaGga featuring Beyonce- “Telephone

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