(A few of) the very best music movies of 2021

It was an enormous yr for music, and with it got here some extravagant, show-stopping music movies

By ANGIE CUMMINGS — [email protected]

Whereas they’ll usually go ignored, music movies are an enormous a part of an artist’s model, serving to them solidify themselves as entertainers and creatives for all their followers (not simply those who get to see them carry out reside). There was a particular dip in music video high quality over the previous few years, however over the course of 2021, it has grow to be clear that many artists are dedicating themselves to elevating the music video bar. As a result of there was such a plethora of movies to select from this yr, and since so a lot of them are vastly totally different from one another, this record is randomly ordered and under no circumstances fully complete.

  1. “Wild Aspect” by Normani (feat. Cardi B) 

Every little thing Normani does is simply pure artwork, and this complete music video isn’t any exception. The track being solely one in every of her first couple singles since going solo actually simply solidifies her future as a celebrity. This music video pulls out all of the stops, from the top-tier wardrobe and set design to unbelievable digital camera work and choreography. I understand I stated this rating is just not in any explicit order however this music video is certainly one of many prime 3 of the yr. 

  1. “MONTERO (Name Me By Your Identify)” by Lil Nas X

There isn’t any record of prime music movies with out Lil Nas X’s terribly controversial video filled with biblical references alongside specific lap dances. In fact, this was met with various outrage from the conservative Christian group, prompting many to say Nas X is a follower of the satan and is deliberately “corrupting kids.” Whereas it’s apparent that this video was purposely made to be controversial, using Christian imagery to visualise queer experiences in courting, hookups and love is a robust software that Nas X has wielded completely since popping out in 2019. This splendidly campy and primarily CGI music video is without doubt one of the most unforgettable releases of this yr. 

  1. “good 4 u” by Olivia Rodrigo

What made this music video an prompt hit was undoubtedly the director, Petra Collins, who has been a verified “it lady” because the mid-2010s (primarily on Tumblr) for her notable dreamy and feminine-oriented visuals. This music video is the right visible homage to teen-girl angst and the “badassery” potential when that angst is unleashed. Full with a reference to the cult basic “Jennifer’s Physique,” this music video tells a twisted story with Rodrigo entrance and middle deviously smiling proper at you for many of the track. That is only a nice music video no matter your opinion on Rodrigo, or pop music in any respect, since its manufacturing worth feels rather more akin to that of an experimental indie film. 

  1. “Thot Shit” by Megan Thee Stallion

This music video is a type of wonderful quick movies paying homage to Girl Gaga’s iconic “Phone” video. Each video Megan has launched this yr may have simply made this record, however this passionate embrace of doing “thot shit” takes the cake for a lot of causes. Not solely is it totally visually interesting (it’s Megan, she at all times seems wonderful) however the entire narrative of her primarily tormenting a misogynistic outdated politician is simply an extremely enjoyable solution to take a jab in any respect the individuals like him who assault Megan (and lots of different girls) for immodesty, or simply being sizzling and having enjoyable. 

  1. “Kiss Me Extra” by Doja Cat (ft. SZA)

This track and music video are nonetheless one of many nice collaborations of the entire yr — an ideal introduction into the magic of “Planet Her” (Doja’s album that was launched just a few months later) and the extent of fantastic visuals we now have come to anticipate from Doja. The premise of the video is massive alien variations of SZA and Doja Cat dancing in silks and flowers as they lure a human man in one in every of their check tubes — there’s simply no means this couldn’t be an awesome video. The seems are wonderful, the story is enjoyable and the track continues to be so extremely catchy.  

  1. “Household Ties” by Child Keem and Kendrick Lamar

It is likely to be extra applicable to deem this a chunk of video artwork than merely a music video as a result of watching it’s such a robust expertise. Each single side of its artistic path, modifying and choreography is totally elegant. It has been a long-accepted indisputable fact that Lamar is a rap legend, so it’s only becoming that his first function in over a yr has a legendary visible. There are numerous stunning technical elements within the video, from beat-aligned layering to wonderful camerawork and high-quality artwork degree compositional stability in lots of scenes. If you happen to’re into the visible arts and video modifying, or simply cool music movies, I might extremely counsel checking this one out.

  1. “All Too Nicely” (10 Minute Model) (Taylor’s Model) by Taylor Swift

I really feel the necessity to preface this by saying that I’m not a Swiftie, however I nonetheless think about this music video/quick movie to be some of the necessary popular culture occasions of all the yr. As everybody has in all probability heard ten occasions over, this track is (rumored to be) about Swift’s relationship with the (now hated) actor Jake Gyllenhaal when she was 20 and he was 29 years outdated — and this video depicts that in all its utter creepiness and heartbreak. It’s fairly widespread to be enthralled from the primary second to the very finish of this 15-minute lengthy video, and whereas this may solely loosely rely as a music video, each a part of its narrative and visible qualities make it deserving to be on this (extraordinarily necessary) record.

  1. “Have to Know” Doja Cat

Apologies, I couldn’t preserve myself from together with two Doja Cat movies on this record (I simply may have added extra), so I’ll preserve this one temporary. This video depicts 5 alien girls (together with Doja Cat and Grimes) having an evening out and assembly some cool blue-haired alien-boy. Similar to “Kiss Me Extra,” there may be merely no denying that that is an superior idea for a music video no matter its different optimistic elements. Maybe Doja Cat is solely the reigning queen of music video ideas? Laborious to say, but when she retains dropping movies on par with these from “Planet Her,” she will certainly be a prime contender. 

  1. “Clear Soul” by Willow Smith (ft. Travis Barker)

Willow Smith’s mastery of all the pop-punk style of music was made clear with the discharge of this track, and when she dropped the music video in April it was set in stone that she belongs within the grunge corridor of fame. Within the video, we observe Willow right into a darkish and grunge-y live performance the place none aside from Willow (now with shorter hair and purple face paint) is performing. We’re then greeted with a mysterious silver being that Willow (model one) tries to flee. It ought to be clear by now that the precise premise of the video doesn’t actually make sense however I do imagine that’s a part of its attraction. You’re left guessing as to what’s happening and what may occur subsequent, and the one issues which are for sure is that Willow seems cool whereas freaking out within the membership’s rest room and that we’d all be fortunate to be within the crowd of that present.

10.“LUMBERJACK” by Tyler The Creator

At this level, some individuals may know Tyler extra for his visuals (together with his clothes line) than his music. With the discharge of his album from this summer season got here 5 top-tier music movies, and whereas this is likely to be one of many shortest movies of all the record, it’s the strongest. Despite the fact that the video is just a bit over one minute lengthy, the fantastical world we see and outfits donned by Tyler make this a type of music movies you may return to time and again simply to be reminded of its magnificence. I truthfully may have simply included any of the music movies from “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” for all the identical causes, however this one simply appears to face out. 

  1. “Working for the Knife” by Mitski 

I’ll admit it — this one is likely to be a barely private addition, however Mitski is under no circumstances an underground artist (if in case you have by no means heard of her, sorry). Not solely is the primary fifth of this complete video filled with references to her earlier albums, however comprises a few of Mitski’s iconic interpretive dancing (interpretive motion is maybe a greater description). Because the queen of unhappy indie music’s first single in three years, a symbol-filled expression of her battle with being within the highlight is the right solution to announce her subsequent album. It’s complicated, and it’s barely uncomfortable to look at throughout… which is the entire level. 

  1. “Ungodly Hour” Chloe x Halle

Final, however actually, not least is the long-awaited music video to the title monitor of Chloe x Halle’s flawless 2020 album. The music video was launched in February of this yr, and 100% did this unbelievable track justice. In step with their different movies, there are a number of breathtaking seems all through the video, together with choreography that makes you assume that’s precisely how you must dance to their track. This sister duo by no means disappoints with their visuals, and if this record was ranked in an precise order, greatest imagine this video could be extremely excessive up.  

Written by: Angie Cummings — [email protected]

Related posts