Dave Grohl stars in a telenovela, D’Angelo gets butt nekkid, and facial hair gets set on fire (AKA, the previous ten entries on this list) here. On with the show!
30. “Jesus Walks (Chris Milk version)” | Kanye West (2004)
Packed with powerful images, the second of three separate videos for Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks” is one of those videos that you can’t turn away from for a second. While the other two versions are a bit on the tame side, the Chris Milk-directed version is a somewhat disturbing, almost completely literal re-enactment of the song’s lyrics, culminating in a scene featuring a Klansman on fire holding the cross. Releasing a video with such imagery would be a ballsy move for an established artist, let alone for someone on his debut album. However, it paid off big time, winning Kanye a VMA and a Grammy, and resulting in a #11 chart peak on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as two weeks at #2 on the R&B list. I’m sure what gratified Kanye most about this video is that at the end of the day-he owed nothing to anyone-he financed this version of “Jesus Walks” out of his own pocket.-Blerd
29. “Pork & Beans” | Weezer (2008)
Ahh, to live inside the warped mind of Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo. The “Pork & Beans” video featured the stars of virtually every internet meme that was popular at the time, bringing out a motley crew of “Z”-listers ranging from Britney Spears apologist Cris Crocker to…Britney’s ex-husband, Kevin Federline. Even Tay Zonday (of “Chocolate Rain” fame) and the Numa Numa kid made appearances. It was a three minute tribute to just about every person that has ever decreased the productivity of your workday.-Blerd
28. “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” (Zach Galifianakis version) | Kanye West (2007)
For all his ego, Kanye’s a pretty self-aware dude with a solid sense of humor. For the alternate version of the first video from his multi-platinum Graduation album, ‘Ye enlisted a pre-Hangover Zach Galifianakis and comedian Will Oldham to give us a little bit of bumpkin chic. Insanely awkward dancing (punctuated by numerous hip thrusts), a row of line dancing farm girls in blue smocks, and lots of cows? In a Kanye West video? If you didn’t already know to expect the unexpected from pop music’s loosest cannon, you certainly did after this clip.-Blerd
27. “Crazy in Love” | Beyonce (featuring Jay-Z) (2004)
All Beyonce needed to do in order to make the “Crazy In Love” video a success was shake her jiggable pie. She did plenty of that, but she also showed off a level of magnetism that she’d only hinted at in Destiny’s Child videos-or maybe Kelly, Michelle and the others were blocking her shine. She was joined by Jay-Z during a time when rumors that the two were a couple were just beginning to gather steam. They may not have confirmed their couple-dom at the time, but one look at their body language in this clip is all anyone with a knowledge of physical attraction needed. This video marked the official point where B went from teen idol to bonafide sex symbol.-Blerd
26. “Honey” | Erykah Badu (2008)
For the first single from her eagerly anticipated New Amerykah vol. 1, Erykah Badu and co-director Chris Robinson take us to the wrecka stow to pay homage to the history of rock, pop and soul music by reinterpreting a series of canonic album covers. It’s a smart little video, the kind that music geeks like me find endlessly entertaining. Can you pick out all of the original covers?-Dr. Gonzo
25. “Stacy’s Mom” | Fountains Of Wayne (2003)
Every kid had a crush on a friend’s mom at some point, but I bet none of you had a friend’s mom as hot as Rachel Hunter, right? I certainly didn’t. The clip for Fountains of Wayne’s biggest hit was a lighthearted clip that juxtaposed performance footage of the nattily-dressed band with shots of the former Mrs. Rod Stewart in various states of undress and/or bikini goodness. There was also a very John Hughes/Eighties-ish vibe to the video. Eye-catching whether you’re 11, 21 or 111.-Blerd
24. “Sensual Seduction”/”Sexual Eruption” | Snoop Dogg (2007)
Nevermind that for once, a censored version of a track surpasses the original. Nevermind that Snoop hadn’t done anything remotely this musically interesting in years. Let’s talk about the video. The smooth, R&B synthy seduction track gets a seemingly perfect video that is retro to the core. Beyond the technicolor animation, the soft focus and the VHS aesthetic, “Sensual Seduction” is memorable for it’s blatant homages to Prince (in copping the “When Doves Cry” video) and P-Funk (a brief shot recreating the Mothership Connection album cover). These are not subtle references, but they are done with class rather than simple exploitation of retro pop culture.-Dr. Gonzo
23. “Redneck” | Lamb of God (2006)
Who wouldn’t want Lamb of God playing their kids party. And who’s to say that a God-fearing Christian family couldn’t mistake a band called “Lamb of God” for wholesome party entertainment after seeing their ad in the yellow pages? “Redneck” is fantasy becoming reality for this metalhead and a nightmare come to life for this unsuspecting family.
Off of the superior Sacrament album, “Redneck” not only serves as a real standout single for the band but it also solidifies LOG in the higher echelon of metaldom alongside Gods like Metallica (who they’ve opened for) and Pantera (who they definitely channel on “Redneck”).
Anyway, the video has everything you’d expect from Lamb Of God crashing a kids party: drinking, strippers, and mayhem. The roadies destroy everything setting up the stage, poor Dad gets hit by the bus door too many times to count, and singer Randy Blythe ends things by passing out in a kiddie pool. A modern metal classic in song and video. “This is a motherfuckin’ invitation!” indeed.-Jesse
22. “Without Me” | Eminem (2002)
If there’s one thing Eminem loves, its being provocative. Whether its in his lyrics or videos, Slim Shady brings it with his patented no-holds barred, in your face style….critics be damned. Along with critics, “Without Me” damns and disses the likes of Moby, Limp Bizkit, N Sync, Elvis….even his own mother, who he flips off in a faux, yet fitting Sally Jessy Raphael scene. Even though he’s quick to blast anyone who has something remotely disparaging to say about him, he’s not all bully. Eminem openly pokes fun at his own well known family issues and has no problem playing Robin to Dr. Dre’s Batman. He embraces the role of troublemaker and controversy king, and he’s right….it would be so empty without him. Right?-Chuck
21. “Cry Me A River” | Justin Timberlake (2003)
In 2002 Justin Timberlake was riding high. Professionally, his newly embarked upon solo career was already showing great promise, after enjoying huge success while a member of the mega boy-band N Sync. Personally, he was doing OK too, as his romantic resume (now bullet-pointed with many of the entertainment world’s hottest and most desirable women) was just beginning to take off as well.
His first solo album ‘Justified’ was released in November of 2002 and contained the top 10 single, “Cry Me A River” produced by Timbaland and Scott Storch. The video for the single came on the heels of his very public breakup with pop sensation/sometimes bald-headed, umbrella wielding star Britney Spears (sorry-couldn’t resist). The story of their real life break up revolves around Britney’s alleged infidelity. Justin exacted a degree of revenge by depicting himself in the video getting even by being with another woman within the confines of his ex’s home. It’s a dish best served cold, and Timberlake’s revenge is also sweet as he leaves a treat for his ex looping on her t.v. set–video of he and his new girl. Well played Mr. Timberlake.
Usually stars are less than forthcoming about their private lives, yet Timberlake is borderline flamboyant in the portrayal of such intimate details of his life. It’s almost as though in a sense he is taking back ownership of his own privacy by publicizing it and taking away the paparazzi’s ability to scoop the story. Smart move…..as the single, video, album and his career haven’t looked back since. Certainly nothing to cry about there!-Chuck
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- Zack galifianakis