Best Videos of 2012 (So Far): Odd Future, Rihanna, Lil Wayne, Brandy & More
In 2012, fans want to hear their favorite artists' songs right away, downloading leaks before official release dates. However, music videos continue to allow hip-hop and R&B artists the creative freedom to rebirth a song's popularity with famous cameos, sets on location abroad or in fantasy worlds, or by showing off the freshest styles.
Since June is here and marks the midway point of 2012, The BoomBox offers 15 of the hottest music videos so far. There's visuals from veterans like Brandy, Jay-Z and Rihanna to newcomers Danny Brown, Emeli Sande and A$AP Rocky. So get ready to see the most talked about creative videos that excited people, as well as unique projects that deserve attention. Bar miztvahs, weird babies and rapping painters included.
Watch Monica & Brandy's "It All Belongs to Me" Video
The last time we saw these two R&B songstresses together in a video, they were teenagers going neck and neck over a fresh-faced Mekhi Phifer. Now their grown, glammed up and bringing the same spunk and sass to the visuals for "It All Belongs to Me." In the process, they're high-fiving each other after taking back what's rightfully theirs from no-good guys.
Drake's "HYFR" Video Feat. Lil Wayne
Only Drake would come up with the idea to do a re-bar mitzvah. His do-over party is turnt up with an all-star lineup of cameos from DJ Khaled, Trey Songz, Birdman and, of course, Lil Wayne. Even with the grandiose video, nothing beats the vintage footage of a little kid Drizzy doing what looks like an early version of Lil' B's cooking dance.
Watch Nas' "Daughters" Video
Nas' "Daughters" video is the perfect visual for the intimate No I.D.-produced track, which finds the rapper spitting bars about raising a daughter who embraces a wild and free lifestyle he doesn't condone. Yet, Nas puts the blame on himself. The video is filmed from his daughter Destiny's point of view as she gets older and starts talking to bad boys and succumbs to peer pressure. "Daughters" is one of Nas' finer storytelling moments.
Watch Chris Brown's "Turn Up the Music" Video
Chris Brown is so "turnt up" in this video that he ends up in a never-ending party. To add to the madness, only people with masks and animal heads have RSVPed to the big bash. There's not a low moment, as he showcases his signature spinning, pop-and-locking and acrobatics in the spotlight.
Trey Songz' "Heart Attack" Video
In the Benny Boom-directed "Heart Attack," Trey Songz is on emotional rollercoaster with his beautiful love interest Kelly Rowland. The relationship between the two spins more and more out of control as the video plays on. Although they make a hot match on camera, the conclusion of the video proves their romance would be deemed too toxic in real life.
Watch Jay-Z & Kanye West's "N----s in Paris" Video
Who didn't want to see what Jay-Z and Kanye West had in store for this video, dappered up, acting up and showing off, just like the song implies? The super rap duo gave us a live performance chopped up with kaleidoscope-like effects. Even though they didn't really travel to Paris to film the visuals for one of the best songs of the year, they at least didn't forget to include the Eiffel Tower.
Estelle's "Thank You" Video
Estelle brings the dramatics as she liberates herself from her less than worthy love. It's a sad one, but hey, the British darling moves on in high style, rocking stylish minks, shades, bags and shoes. If there's one thing to learn from these visuals is that retail therapy is recommended for a broken heart.
Watch Odd Future's "NY (Ned Flander)" Video
Odd Future unveiled another set of weirdly mesmerizing visuals for one of their tracks: "NY (Ned Flander)," featured on the The OF Tape Vol. 2 LP. Hodgy Beats plays a pudgy, bald, pill-popper who just is a couch potato and a neglectful father to his son, who appears as Tyler, the Creator -- in diaper-wearing baby form. As crazy as it sounds, it's even odder to watch.
Flo Rida's "Wild Ones" Video
Flo Rida takes it to the next level in this video, skydiving and speeding in dirt trucks with his own version of a Bonnie-like partner-in-crime. By day it's all about extreme sports, but at night the "wild ones" take it back to the club. No sign of featured singer Sia, but the girls dancing and moving about lip sync her powerful vocals.
Watch Lil Wayne's "Mirror" Video
Taking a good, thorough look at himself as he delivers his vocals on "Mirror," Weezy's takes on the role of an artists, preferably in the spirit of Jackson Pollack, throwing black and red paint onto a canvas. There's no women, cars or money to drape himself in, just Lil Wayne and his emotions as Bruno Mars appears to croon on the chorus. The Young Money rhymer's masterpiece is finally unveiled and the work of art is quite controversial.
Watch Rihanna's "Where Have You Been" Video
Not only did Rihanna reveal her newly back-to-black hair in the clip, but she brought out the dance moves for "Where Have You Been" too. For a singer who traditionally does a slow wine dance while simply looking pretty, the Bajan beauty looks like she's having fun cutting a rug in the jungle environment the video takes place in.
Watch David Guetta's "Turn Me On" Video Feat. Nicki Minaj Video
Danny Brown's "Grown Up" Video
Somehow Detroit native Danny Brown managed to find a mini version of himself, including his signature look of skinny jeans, side-swooped hair and gritty teeth for "Grown Up." This little one has the ego and confidence of a grown man and he does the video justice as Danny looks to reenact his wild childhood ways visually. The rapper also reveals how he lost some of the teeth that have created his intriguing smile.
A$AP Rocky's "Goldie" Video
Anyone notice A$AP Rocky driving on the wrong side of the road in Paris, which this video is supposed to take place in? Besides that, the black and gold elements yell smoothness, as the Harlem representative rocks fur coats and cool glasses with gold bottles in hand. This is what "N----s in Paris" could have been.
Emeli Sande's "My Kind of Love" Video
The video for Sande's "My Kind of Love," off her debut album, Our Version of Events, is much more sentimental than the rest shown here. The Scottish-born, U.K. resident's soothing, poignant vocals go hand in hand with the visual, as she goes to the aid of a terminally ill friend and looks to bring her back to life with her love.