We’ve been hooked on music videos for as long as we can remember. This year saw some of the year’s finest music and best graphics. Just in case you missed them, we’ve compiled a list of the year’s best music videos. There are less expectations for the finest videos of the year to endure the test of time, but these 10 stand out for their creativity, comedy, and expertise in handling 2021-22’s most pressing issues.
Male Fantasy by Billie Eilish
Toward the end of her new album, Happier Than Ever, Eilish explores the influence that pornography has on the way men see sex and relationships in general. Speaking of discomfort, the film shows Eilish shifting positions and trying to calm down her thoughts, which mirrors the feelings she expresses when asked how she feels when people talk about porn these days.
Streets by Doja Cat
Doja Cat and director Christian Breslauer got inspiration for her “Streets” music video from the Silhouette Challenge, much as her TikTok dance for “Say So” made its way into the video and live performances. “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” by Paul Anka is chopped and screwed at the same time as Doja Cat’s transition from a drab department store window display into an enticing shadow. Her true nature as a spider-like predator who lures suitors to their deaths is eventually exposed. In addition to Doja Cat’s charismatic performance, the video also benefits from the Doja-to-TikTok feedback loop. Music is so good that it’a hit on TikTok. Use Garageband to create your own music. It’s available for both Windows and Mac.
Wild Side by Cardi B & Normani
“The world is ready for a Normani supremacy,” raps Cardi B. In Normani’s debut music video in almost a year, the video is stylish, seductive, and breathtakingly choreographed. To show us how solo projects should be done with other-worldly styling and lyrics to run away with, we watch as she switches positions and slides over the floor in complicated dance routines.
Good 4 You by Olivia Rodrigo
This year was a big one for Olivia Rodrigo, as her debut album, Sour, was released. “Good 4 U” distinguished itself from the rest of the record because of its candid lyrics and enchanting music video. It’s mostly because Rodrigo’s cheerleader uniform is a rip-off of the one from 2001’s The Princess Diaries, which pays homage to different Y2K icons. It’s also worth noting that Rodrigo’s blazing crimson eyes and long black gloves serve as subtle nods to 2009 horror thriller Jennifer’s Body.
Up by Cardi B
For her latest music video, Cardi B stars in the film alongside a gravestone that reads “RIP 2020,” and the video is full of funky costumes, vibrant scenery, and, of course, Cardi’s trademark doll hairdo. When it comes to her outfits, dancing, and visuals, Cardi B never fails to wow. There is no hesitancy in her music video for “Up.” Cardi B and Barbie doll heads perform sections of the song together in a Barbie wig. In addition to her transparent glass table, she’s seated on a plastic two-piece with a headband and glasses. There is no one. That’s why the music video for “Up” is one of the greatest of the year, in my opinion.
Prada/Rata by Arca
All of the 3D album covers from Arca’s Kick album series are used in the music videos for his most current reggaeton tracks, which were released last month. In addition to Arca’s “symbolic gestation” and artistic guidance, visual artist Frederik Heyman supplies digital models of Arca and the objects, machinery, and cryptic shapes that surround her using photogrammetry. Because of how trans and nonbinary artists reimagine and warp the human form, this movie calls to mind the online extreme beauty sphere. While Arca rides on the back of a deformed horse monster, she also sings and mimics the male figure with a tail, and human bodies combine with machines and animals, and above all, they defy classification and symbolize otherness. Heyman’s visuals meld in progressively unnerving ways.
Montero (Call Me By Your Name) by Lil Nas X
Provocative religious imagery abounds in Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” music video, which features the 22-year-old rapper/singer. With a song titled “Garden of Eden,” a reference to Lil Nas’ birth name, the song’s music video comically coopts anti-LGBTQ hatred and uses it as a weapon to empower and support queer visibility.
Lost Cause by Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish’s music video for “Lost Cause” captures the pure spirit of a ladies’ night in. In a conversation with her best pals, Eilish reveals that she’s in a relationship with a “Lost Cause” who doesn’t put in the effort. As a group of your closest pals lie about in pajamas, eat sweets, and play games, there’s no better way to dish out the specifics.
Don’t Go Yet by Camila Cabello
This song by Camila Cabello has vivid, strong colors, quick choreography, and lavish costumes. Cabello’s Latin heritage is prominently featured in the song video. In an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, the singer claimed she wanted the song to portray a family event where she could be free. And based on the song video, it appears that she was successful.
Rumors by Cardi B ft. Lizzo
The Goddess has returned with a film depicting her as a Goddess in her truest form. The song is a resounding “f-you” to the singer’s detractors, accusers, and rumors. On stage with Cardi B, the singer debunks every rumor about her with flying penises dangling from the sky and dancers writhing about on ancient columns.
Natalia is a Rap and Hip Hop enthusiast. After graduating from The New School of New York’s Public Relations Program and taking a course in Journalism at Michigan State University, she decided to dedicate her life to the music publishing business and to the discovery of new talent. She helps new artists gain exposure to the masses via online marketing and publications.