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10 Videos That Should’ve Been Nominated for VMAs

Kanye West Taylor Swift
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Last week, MTV revealed its list of nominees for the 2013 VMAs. And while there are a few welcome surprises (like Flying Lotus, A-Trak and Janelle Monae), a lot of the categories just feel… same-y. Put it this way: Justin Timberlake and Macklemore, aka your mom’s favorite rapper, are up for almost half the awards being presented.

This prompted us to come up with a few music videos that should have been nominated for a VMA this year. You see Kanye in that picture above? That’s us.


Tyler, The Creator Feat. Pharrell 'IFHY'

Directed by: Wolf Haley
 
 
 

Ever since he chewed up that poor cockroach and hung himself on 'Yonkers' two years ago, edgy, shocking aesthetics have been the draw of Tyler, The Creator's music videos. That rang true for 'IFHY,' with its human-doll hybrids that would probably scare the shit out of you if bumped into one at night, but the plot also captured the emotional gravity of Tyler's 'Wolf' album. That is, of course, until the film bleeds into 'Jamba,' which snaps Tyler back into his hyperactive self to run over the doll — literally and figuratively.

It's also worth nothing that 'IFHY' draws striking resemblance to a 2009 European play, but the video's executive producer, Tara Razavi, claimed that they "never discussed another video or visual piece at any point through the process."

Action Bronson 'Strictly For My Jeeps'

Directed by: Jason Goldwatch
 
 
 

Action Bronson's had some of the funniest visuals in rap for going on two years, but it wasn't until 'Strictly For My Jeeps' this May when he dropped his craziest yet. Bam Bam pulls off a cartwheel (no, seriously), goofs around with RiFF RaFF and motorboats a morbidly obese video vixen; what's not to love about this Jason Goldwatch-directed clip?!. The song's not bad, either.

WZRD 'Teleport 2 Me, Jamie'

Directed by: Walter Robot
 
 
 

Although Kid Cudi's experimental rock project with Dot Da Genius, 'WZRD,' was met with a huge critical shrug — particularly with it following his cult favorite, 'Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager' — the album had its moments. Case in point: 'Teleport 2 Me, Jamie.' This emotionally revealing single provided the only visuals off 'WZRD,' but with its starry, psychedelic cinematography and lovelorn storyline, it captured the spirit of the album in those four minutes. And let's not forget that scene of Cudi in his full-blown rockstar form: shirtless, jamming on an electric guitar and smoking a cig.

Remy Banks Feat. Bodega BAMZ 'GLDCHN'

Directed by: Luke Monaghan
 
 
 

Remy Banks and Bodega BAMZ's 'GLDCHN' is the least likely to actually get nominated for an MTV VMA in this list, but it's easily the most entertaining. Luke Monaghan's hilarious film centers around a "rap addict" who sheds his awkward nerdiness for complete bad-ass bravado at the drop of a rap song. Cue a fat, white, ginger dude strolling round Hollywood like he owns the joint. You could argue that the video is also a semi-satirical look at a good portion of white hip-hop fans, but then we'd probably be reading too much into it (like a good portion of other white hip-hop fans, amirite?)

Earl Sweatshirt Feat. Tyler, The Creator 'Whoa'

Directed by: Wolf Haley
 
 
 

What were we just saying about Tyler, The Creator's videos? In a direct contrast to the seriousness of 'IFHY,' his production for Earl Sweatshirt's 'Whoa' was what happens when you give Wolf Haley complete creative freedom and three-and-a-half-minutes. We see a topless Earl eye up an ageing, wrinkled ballerina, Lucas Versetti slober on an ice cream cone and Tyler get pushed around a trailer park in a shopping trolley. Those Odd Future kids, eh?

Kids These Days 'Doo-Wah'

Directed by: Austin Vesely
 
 
 

'Doo-Wah,' a bluesy gem found on Kids These Days' 2012 LP, 'Traphouse Rock,' was a song about heartbreak, regret and the crushing realities of life. Director Austin Vesely's visual piece perfectly captured these overwhelming feelings as the Kids (miniature-sized versions of themselves, anyway) build a haven for themselves to escape the troubles of full-sized life. The irony isn't lost when the Chicago band perform 'Doo-Wah' to a crowd of toys, as Vic Mensa repeats, "I thought we'd be famous." They may have broke up due to creative tensions earlier this year, but 'Traphouse Rock' wasn't a bad way to bow out for Kids These Days.

A$AP Ferg 'Work'

Directed by: Shomi Patwary & Thuan Tran
 
 
 

Whether it's bridging uptown with downtown, the underground with the mainstream or Harlem with Houston, A$AP Mob have a knack for bringing cultures together. Just take A$AP Ferg's 'Work' video. Directors Shomi Patwary and Thuan Tran brought Fergenstein's trap rap anthem to life in an abandoned courtyard and sand dune — two settings you don't exactly associate with New York hip-hop. And let's not forget that image of Ferg in a robe and durag, looking like a modern day hip-hop version of Tony Soprano.

Big Sean 'Guap'

Directed by: Mike Carson & Mike Waxx
 
 
 

Big Sean isn't the best MC in the Game — hell, he's not even top 5 — but it's pretty funny watching him think otherwise. For all its ridiculous frills (like how Sean leads a parade on a speed boat in his home city) the video to 'Guap' is pretty entertaining. It's also one of the most visually stunning music videos you'll watch all year — and you can thank ILLROOTS' Mike Carson and Mike Waxx for that.

Chance the Rapper Feat. BJ the Chicago Kid 'Good Ass Intro'

Directed by: OJ Hays & Andrew Straw
 
 
 

You don't have to look past the title to see that LSD influenced Chance the Rapper's hugely acclaimed breakout project, 'AcidRap.' But it was the BJ the Chicago Kid-harmonized 'Good Ass Intro,' one of the early releases from the project, that really illustrated the effect of the psychedelic drug. Animated by OJ Hays, the song's accompanying video was a cartoonish, color-bursting journey through Chicago's streets (and later the woods, because that what happens when you trip balls), which really reflects Chance's musical style; he isn't zonked-out like other drug rappers, this kid's full of life.

The Purist Feat. Danny Brown 'Jealousy'

Directed by: Globodigital
 
 
 

The Purist and Danny Brown's 'Jealousy' is probably the weirdest two-and-a-half-minutes on YouTube (excluding those super weird corners of YouTube you get trapped in at 3 a.m.). The Globodigital-made video accompanies us on a tour of what can only be described as PlayStation world on acid, complete with Danny Brown head statues and naked chrome aliens. I literally dare you to watch this video high.

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