- Words Ryan Cahill
- Words Joey Crutchley
We dissect the very best music vids from 2018.
Whether it was Troye Sivan dressed as Marilyn Manson or Ariana Grande transforming into Regina George from Mean Girls, this years music videos have been some of our best – and nostalgic – to date. They’ve made social and political commentary, championed the art world and seen even bigger budgets that before, and some of them will no doubt go down in history. Here, we take a look at some of the very best music visuals that 2018 had to offer.
Ariana Grande – “thank u, next”
There’s literally no need for an introduction. It’s pure pop culture perfection, 90s style. And the Kris Jenner cameo is pretty much the most iconic appearance in any music video this side of the millennium.
A$AP Rocky ft. FKA twigs – “Fukk Sleep”
On November 2nd A$AP Rocky dropped the futuristic and vibrant video for the FKA Twigs assisted single, Fukk Sleep. The video was directed by Diana Kunst, and sees both Rocky and Twigs take a trippy, psychedelic ride through New York City. Together they break windows, visit a Chinatown jewellery store and wreak havoc and mayhem in a bodega. After all that, they then end up hitting the strip club to then crash a very pristine dinner party. The track is taken from Rocky’s third studio album TESTING. ~ Joey Crutchley
Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
Provocative and political, Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” video was one that stood out the most this year. Packed with anecdotes and subliminal messages, the social commentary made a big impact, with Gambino utilising his platform to make a point of America’s political and social landscape. It’s already been nominated for a Grammy for Best Video and we’re expecting it’ll win quite a few more accolades next year too.
Childish Gambino – “Feels Like Summer”
As the end of summer dawned upon us and we put aside our shorts and shades, rapper Childish Gambino (appropriately) dropped the video for his single Feels Like Summer. The playful animated video details Gambino’s colourful and characteristic view of the hip-hop scene, depicting the animated rapper himself walking down a neighbourhood, listening to music while encountering a variety of rappers and musicians.
A$AP Rocky, Solange & Willow Smith play a tug of war with The Weeknd, Ty Dolla $ign and Frank Ocean while Azealia Banks is quite literally stuck up a tree and an emotional Kanye West (donning a MAGA cap) is consoled by Michelle Obama. Nicki Minaj is seen sat building a toy castle only to have it toppled down by Travis Scott; referencing him keeping her recent record Queen from the number 1 spot with his own record Astroworld.
The video was co-directed by Gambino, Ivan Dixon, and Greg Sharp and was illustrated by Philadelphia artist Justin Richburg. ~ Joey Crutchley
Tierra Whack – “Whack World”
Whack World (Video) – Tierra Whack
On 30th May Philadelphia rapper and singer Tierra Whack dropped what she called a “visual auditory project.” Entitled Whack World the vibrant album / video is 15 tracks and 15 minutes long.
Each track is exactly one minute with the album flowing like espresso shots on a Monday morning, enriched with glorious hooks that unfortunately end abruptly as if somebody pressed skip on Spotify. The tracks shift from sassy to introspective to irritated to flirtatious. Some of them blend well together but the end result is you wanting more. The short and snappy tracks make it easier for you listen again and again and again, without ever getting bored.
The music video sees directors Mathieu Leger and Thibaut Duverneix pair each track with a short and sweet visual ranging from surreal abstract performances to moody close ups of the rapper herself, to Whack even hosting her own dance party in what seems to be an East London chicken shop.
With Whack World Whack successfully challenges the idea of what an album is. Bringing forward – what albeit could be deemed confusing and infuriating – a different concept for an album. We’re in a climate of music where albums can be made by pretty much anybody; curated on streaming platforms like Spotify and Soundcloud, all enriched with hand-picked specific singles. Whack however is seen to throw her middle finger in the air when it comes to defining what exactly her music is and how it should be perceived, and we can’t wait to see whats next. ~ Joey Crutchley
"Whack World" by Thierra Whack
Janelle Monáe – “PYNK”
Unapologetic trailblazer Janelle Monae exudes female empowerment in the bright and bold video for her song PYNK. The video, which is laden with feminine and vaginal imagery, sees Monae embark on a multi sensory, profound journey into a world of queer sexuality. The track is taken from Monae’s third studio album Dirty Computer. ~ Joey Crutchley
Charli XCX ft. Troye Sivan – “1999”
Charli XCX is well acquainted with era defining music videos (We all remember the video for “Fancy” with Iggy Azalea, right? Need I say more?), and her video for “1999” had obtained the same status. An ode to pop culture perfection of the 90s, the visuals feature everything from Steve Jobs to Titanic, and even includes Troye Sivan and Charli appearing as Rose McGowan and Marilyn Manson – yes, seriously! It’s nostalgia packaged up into a 3 and a half minute video, and we can’t get enough.
“Reload” by MIA
It’s peak nostalgia, except in the literal sense. This throwback video from the very start of MIA’s career was co-directed by Elastica front-woman, Justine Frischmann. The footage resurfaced upon the release of one of this years biggest documentaries, Matangi/Maya/M.I.A, which was an in-depth look at MIA’s career made via archive footage that she’s taken over the past 20 years. The queen of music vids, her previous outputs including “Born Free”, “Bad Girls” and “YALA” have been helmed as some of the best music videos of all time, so we couldn’t resist a bit of “Reload”. It’s MIA at her finest; pre media misconceptions, pre negative (and nasty) press profiles and pre label signing.