Hip-Hop’s Greatest Music Video Artists
For many artists, music videos are another way of expressing themselves creatively. Often, the videos become timeless works of art themselves. Who can forget The Notorious B.I.G.’s $1 million video for “Hypnotize,” or the Beastie Boys’ campy sci-fi-style visuals for “Intergalactic?” Music videos not only help artists perfect their craft, but also help them fully deliver their vision to fans. The following is a list of hip-hop artists who did it best.
Busta Rhymes’ animated style has translated perfectly to the music video platform, as the Dungeon Dragon is the master of the platform in hip-hop. The concepts behind his videos are executed to perfection, whether it’s the Coming to America-themed “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See,” the animated world in “Gimme Some More,” or the futuristic, Terminator 2-style visuals of “What’s it Gonna Be.” Busta’s reputation as one of hip-hop’s most memorable personalities is unquestionably aided by his work in his music videos.
Eminem’s career has been built out of spitting lyrics that are so descriptive that they practically render visuals useless. Luckily for us, Shady obliges anyway. Many of Em’s videos are visual masterpieces, whether it’s the film-level quality of “Stan,” the visual metaphor accompanying “The Way I Am,” or, more recently, the explosiveness of the Rihanna-assisted “The Monster.” Maybe this investment in visuals is the result of his affiliation with Dr. Dre, as videos of the duo’s collaborations, such as “Forgot About Dre” and “I Need a Doctor” are top-notch.
If Busta Rhymes is the king of music videos in hip-hop, Missy Elliot reigns supreme as queen. All of her videos are highly visually-stylized (“The Rain [Supa Dupa Fly]”) and feature outstanding choreography (“Work It,” “Lose Control”). Missy even solicits the best video music performances out of her featured artists, such as Ludacris on “Gossip Folks,” and has instilled the importance of the platform to artists that she mentored, such as the late Aaliyah.
With the level of creativity constantly on display in OutKast’s music, it’s no surprise that Big Boi and Andre 3000’s accompanying visuals are a treat as well. Whether it was the memorable color spectrum on “B.O.B.” of the visual metaphors in “Ms. Jackson,” OutKast has always given fans the unexpected and unconventional. It was particularly fascinating to see how their visuals diverged on Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, the duo’s 2003 double album, which had each rapper in charge of his own disc in contributing to the project.
Kanye West has long been known for his attention to detail in his live shows, going to great pains to line up visuals, effects, and other production elements to give his audiences the best experience possible. The same goes for West’s music videos, which are among hip-hop’s most creative. Consider West’s 34-minute film for “Runaway,” his live portrait on “Power,” or his outstanding use of color on “Gold Digger” as perfect examples of why Kanye West has earned his place on this list.
April 30, 2014 via Pepsi