Best Hip-Hop and R&B Videos of 2010 (So Far)
A visual can go a long way. Especially when talking about the color an awesome video can add to an already excellent song. Fortunately, there’s no exact formula for making our Best Hip-Hop and R&B Videos of 2010 … So Far list, and the proof is in our picks. Kanye made the list with his “a picture is worth a thousand words”-themed 1:43 video, while Rhymefest broke the mold with a 3-D visual interpretation for ‘Say Wassup.”
10. ‘Power,’ Kanye West
Director Marco Brambilla managed to turn a 1:43 clip of Kanye‘s hit single ‘Power’ into an animated David LaChapelle painting that looks like it could be silk-screened on the walls of the Vatican. That’s pretty hard to do, but if you’re crafting a video for Kanye West, then there ain’t no half-steppin’.
9. ‘Window Seat,’ Erykah Badu
When Erykah Badu steps out of a classic car in Dallas — near the site where JFK was assassinated — the last thing viewers expect is to observe the soulful singer remove every piece of her clothing. Besides showcasing a voluptuous derriere after she drops her drawers, Badu is seemingly assassinated herself and a pool of her blue-tinged blood takes the form of symbols and letters.
8. ‘Who Dat,’ J. Cole
No. 8 in our 2010 hip-hop and R&B video list is Roc Nation’s J. Cole. The rapper joins the one-take video club with the clip for ‘Who Dat,’ where director BB Gun follows the North Cackalackan emcee as he makes his way through the streets of his native Fayetteville. Townies and a marching band join the rookie’s entourage while he raps to the track before making a fiery exit.
7. ‘Shutterbugg,’ Big Boi
Big Boi‘s video for ‘Shutterbugg’ is trippy in all the right ways, with the Outkast member pulling off his own head, standing in front of a wall of red party cups and fronting a band made up of puppets. Funkier than a mosquito’s tweeter.
6. ‘Tightrope,’ Janelle Monáe
The Arch Android calls on Wendy Morgan’s directorial skills to highlight her fancy footwork as she and her gang of suit- and bow tie-adorned friends glide through the halls and tippy-toe on the tables of The Palace of the Dogs Asylum. Big Boi makes a rap cameo — however, it’s the mirror-faced cloak wearers that come second to Monáe’s intriguing two-stepping.
5. ‘Pyrex Vision,’ Raekwon
Raekwon the Chef provided contraband visuals for his smooth crack anthem ‘Pyrex Vision,’ showing nude women chopping and cooking drugs in a raggedy apartment. Succinct yet stark, the clip proved Rae could back up his tough rhymes — and then some.
4. ‘Ride,’ Ciara
Ci Ci causes men to break a sweat and women to head to the gym upon witnessing her gyrating limbs and svelte figure in this clip directed by Diane Martel. Ludacris‘ guest feature only shines the light brighter on Ciara’s theatrics, which includes pulling her leggings down to an NC-17 level.
3. ‘F— You,’ Cee-Lo
There’s nothing like watching a tween version of Cee-Lo Green mouth profanities while ogling over his lost love in a retro scene reminiscent of ‘Grease.’ Plus, this NSFW video begins where the teaser clip ended by displaying bold words like ‘Lady Killer’ in a kaleidoscope of colors.
2. ‘Say Wassup,’ Rhymefest Feat. Phonte
Chicagoan rapper Rhymefest lays claim to the first 3-D hip-hop video of 2010 with ‘Say Wassup,’ directed by Konee Rok. Fest and Phonte get animated — literally — as they transform into cartoon characters like ‘South Park”s Kenny and Captain Planet. Comical in more than one sense.
1. ‘Pursuit of Happiness,’ Kid Cudi Feat. MGMT and Ratatat
Cudders toasts to the good life in the aurally overloading video for ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ where he raps in real-time as patrons around him gulp champagne in slow-mo. Drizzy Drake joins him for a bit to spray partiers with bubbly — and toast to the good life.