Beyonce shakes her tailfeather, Erykah Badu reminds us what the inside of a wrecka’ sto’ looks like, and Stacy’s mom has got it going on here (AKA #21-#30).
Now we’re in the Top 20. Any idea what’s gonna be #1 yet?
20. “Float On” | Modest Mouse (2004)
Underground darlings for years, Modest Mouse broke through to the mainstream with this uncharacteristically peppy ode to floating through your troubles. Tons of underwater imagery (a theme that would become even more apparent with the Mouse’s next album), floating sheep…wait, are those sheep being taken to slaughter? Well, that kinda kills the mood of the video. At least they’re pretend sheep. Oh, and the cut and paste chain letter style of the video (up to and including the band members’ false ‘staches) is killer.-Blerd
19. “Work It” | Missy Elliott (2002)
Flaunting her new weight loss, kicking it old school in an Adidas sweatsuit, and hanging out with a little girl who busted some sick dance moves, Missy Elliott continued her video domination with the inventive clip for “Work It”. She and Dave Meyers had one of the best musician/director relationships of anyone I can think of, and Missy’s complete lack of fear resulted in some of the decade’s best videos.-Blerd
18. “The Hardest Button To Button” | The White Stripes (2003)
On a personal note, this is my favorite White Stripes video, and I love them all. With Michel Gondry once again at the helm, Jack and Meg play the rock equivalent of Hansel and Gretel, leaving a trail of instruments behind them. The clip required 32 identical drum kits, 32 identical amplifiers, 16 microphone stands, and I imagine hundreds of hours at the editing station. The final product is something akin to stop action animation, although its synchronicity with the beat makes it all the more impressive. The band also donated all of those excess drum kits to a music school following production, so good on them.-Dr. Gonzo
17. “Touch the Sky” | Kanye West (featuring Lupe Fiasco) (2006)
For the ‘Touch the Sky” video, Kanye went old school, playing a character based on Evel Knievel with a love interest played by Pamela Anderson (Lee?). Prepping to make a big jump, Evel Kanyevil is also joined by TV star Tracee Ellis Ross (in a cameo funnier than any episode of “Girlfriends” I’ve seen) and an up-and-coming Lupe Fiasco. Everyone enjoyed the video…except Evel Knievel himself. The legendary stuntman publicly spoke out against the “Touch the Sky” video, but he and ‘Ye made peace right before the original Evel passed away.-Blerd
16. “Ich Will” | Rammstein (2001)
Rammstein make videos like they’re feature films. Their music is so epic that it’s only fitting. On “Ich Will”, they’re cast in a Quentin Tarantino-esque by way of Dog Day Afternoon scenario that sees the group as bank robbers. It’s a play on the media’s obsession with mixing celebrity and notoriety into one blurred line.
The sextet act like a gang of thieves so well (See “Du Hast”) and it’s easy to see the hulking Til Lindemann as the intimidating leader or Flake as the bespectacled bomber or Richard Kruspe as the Cassanova crook. In other words, they look and act the parts well.
Off of Mutter, “Ich Will” is a driving pulsating three and a half minutes fueled by sweeping choruses and unstoppable riffs. It’s fitting that the video is just as ginormous as the song is.-Jesse
Gnarls Barkley’s Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse stepped aside for this video that turned out to be unforgettable for many a reason. Not only did the video portray an interracial couple as a completely matter-of-fact occurrence (still kind of a big deal in the 21st century), but the video finds the male character (portrayed by The Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaeffer) literally cutting his heart out of his chest. From there, the heart becomes the star of an amazingly powerful clip.-Blerd
14. “B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)” | OutKast (2000)
It’s pretty much universally known that the workout video industry has made billions of dollars capitalizing on the desire and consequent failures of so many to lose weight and get themselves healthy and into good shape. I have a secret as well as a solution to those woes and I’m ready to change the whole game up. It’s all free and just as stimulating visually and physically as any video you’ll find.
At 154 BPM’s the first single from Outkast’s fourth album, Stankonia straight up bangs! The video capitalizes on the infectious beat and blistering tempo and is non-stop fast paced fun throughout. Sure, ‘fun’ may not be a term usually associated with a hip hop video but it truly applies here. The personalities of both Andre & Big Boi are on full display as they both spit swiftly over the beat while either running (as Andre spends most of his face time doing) or whipping Cadillacs around (as Big Boi and Goodie Mob do). The landscape over which they travel is grandiose to say the least and aesthetically brilliant. Children chase Dre over bright purple grass fields lined with purple trees. Cadillacs scream down neon green streets, drivers bobbing to the beat. The scenery is strictly Mad Hatter on acid….lots of acid, but it works perfectly. The video nears its end showcasing the skills behind the track. A fury of hands beating on an MPC, lightning fast cuts on the 1200’s and the Morris Brown College Gospel Choir doing their thing singing the refrain. Get the picture? The track does not stop and the video matches its pace step for step….a visual masterpiece. I personally guarantee that if you throw this on you’ll burn more calories than by watching some silly workout video! Sorry Jane Fonda, you gots to go!-Chuck
13. “Stan” | Eminem (2000)
You know how they have those literal translation videos on YouTube? There’d be no point in doing one for Eminem’s “Stan”, considering the video follows the song practically line by line. However, before a video component was ever created for it, Eminem’s tale of an obsessed fan who goes over the edge and takes his wife and unborn child over it with him was already more cinematic in scope than most feature films. It’s one of the few pop songs in recent years that could have potentially been a full-length movie. With that in mind, there was no way that a video was going to be bad. Thankfully, the clip captures the tension and drama of the song perfectly.-Blerd
12. “No One Knows” | Queens of the Stone Age (2002)
Leave it to Queens Of The Stone Age to come up with a video that appears to have absolutely nothing to do with the lyrical content of the song and leaves you scratching your head by the time it is all over. “No One Knows” was the lead single from Queens Of The Stone Age’s creative peak (so far at least) “Songs For The Deaf” which saw Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters….oh c’mon, you know who Dave Grohl is) taking up a drum stool again and reminding the world that he is still one of the best rock drummers in the world.
11. “In Da Club” | 50 Cent (2003)
With the support of heavyweights like Dr. Dre and Eminem, there was no doubt that 50 Cent was going to be kind of a big deal. The megastar in training is literally in training in this clip. We find Fiddy working out at the Shady/Aftermath Artist Development center, and at the end of the clip, Dre and Em are shown taking notes in lab coats. It was a great visual co-sign from the two men who were the biggest stars in hip-hop at the time, and a great introduction to a new artist with an interesting story.-Blerd
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