Posted On: Dec 7, 2022 at 6:40 am. PST
It's been over 40 years since video killed the radio star, but nothing has come close to killing music videos, not even YouTube's algorithms or MTV's pivot toridiculous.
2022 was full of beautiful videos, from TM88 and the relaxed Pi'erre Bourne"To go out"to starbreak by GloRilla“F.N.F. ”And while big stars like Beyonce, The Weeknd and Drake posted brilliant big-budget videos, lesser-known artists were just as busy creating stunning images, from A$AP Ant's psychedelic video to"God's Hour"with A$AP Rocky the alternative scene wunderkind Cruel Santino with neon inflections Y2K"HOT ROCKS".
When it comes to music videos, the really great ones stand out not just for their powerful visuals, but also for their storytelling and what those stories say about us. Kendrick Lamar, whose video "We Cry Together" is nominated for an Academy Award, earned two spots on our list. Elsewhere, an animated video that took over a year to make and a story of childhood innocence. These are the best HipHopDX music videos of 2022.
Check out all ourCategories and nominees for the Hip Hop Awards.
Check out the nominees for best music video below.
NOMINATIONS FOR BEST VIDEO OF 2022
- D.M.B – A$AP Rocky
- Money – J.I.D.
- The Heart, Part 5 – Kendrick Lamar
- We Cry Together - Kendrick Lamar
The 2022 Hip Hop MUSIC VIDEO award goes to...
THE HEART PART. 5 – KENDRICK LAMAR
DIRECTORS: DAVE FREE AND KENDRICK LAMAR
In the age of misinformation, Kendrick Lamar uses deepfakes to ask himself, urgently and directly, what makes a good person. This question is at the heart ofMr. Morale and the Big Steppers, where Kendrick teams up with accused rapist Kodak Black and pop psychologist Eckhart Tolle to explore Kendrick's transphobia, vaccine skepticism, and infidelity and traumas.
Before that album, the video for "The Heart Part 5" explores the issue more explicitly, with Kendrick literally transforming into OJ Simpson, Will Smith, Kobe Bryant, Jussie Smollett and the now truly cancelled, Kanye West. It forces the viewer to consider the black celebrity heritage, its risks and tribulations, the pressure and scrutiny. Who is the media focusing on, when, why and for what purpose? Kendrick doesn't offer clear conclusions, even channeling the spirit of Nipsey Hussle to comfort the late rapper's family and friends. Life is too confusing to pretend you have all the answers. The video's impact and creativity earned it the DX's Music Video of the Year award.
"Cash withdrawal" -Pharrel Williams F.Tyler the creator and 21 wild ones
DIRECTOR: FRANCOIS ROUSSELET
"Cash In Cash Out" combines an up-tempo verse from 21 Savage with a snarling, rumbling beat that Pharrell Williams describes as a“torch in the face”sounds like "electrically charged black clouds". The music video carries that same intense, incredible, kinetic, tactile, visually overflowing energy. An endless army of 21 savages throws money in the air; a legion of disembodied hands crawl over the piano keys, as if The Addams Family Thing has just chilled Elliante. Tyler the Creator zips around the set in a Hot Wheels car, popping in and out of Louis Vuitton luggage in an endless loop as he stomps on 808s.
What at first glance looks like an overloaded stop-motion zoetrope is actually the culmination of more than a year of animation work by Electric Theater Collective under the direction of François Rousselet throughout the pandemic. Something so real you can touch is generated from nothing more than imagination and a little technical alchemy. It takes time to manifest greatness.
“D.M.B” – A$AP Rocky
DIRECTED BY:A$AP ROCKY
Eight days before the birth of his first child, A$AP Rocky released the video for "D.M.B.", in which he proposes to Rihanna through gold bars that say "MARRY ME?" and she flashes her diamond teeth to reply "YES I DO". It's the culmination of a procession of romantic portraits: Rocky kissing Rihanna in the living room, Rihanna jumping into Rocky's arms as he gets out of jail (twice), a candlelit dinner that ends with the couple fleeing the scene.
Over a hypnotic beat co-produced by Skepta, Shlohmo and Rocky himself, Rocky is somehow totally in love as he sings "Roll my blunt, fill my cup/Be my bitch, rub my belly/Rub your ass, be mine slut/Be mine". fuck yeah so what Of course, Rihanna steals the show even in mere glimpses, her hair slicked back and wearing a power suit, her eyes gleaming in the sunlight as Rocky lifts the veil from her face.
“D.M.B.” they are (perhaps) a wedding video, but it's also sort of a sequel to a video from A$AP's early days. 2013's "Fashion Killa" featured Rocky and Rihanna on an after-hours shopping spree, matching never-before-seen Raf Simons Adidas sneakers in Virgil Abloh's directorial debut. At different times, Rihanna wears Supreme and Tom Ford, kisses a mannequin, covers Rocky with a cardigan. He hugs her from behind and smacks: "Versace, he's got a lot but he may never use it / But he keeps it for our babies to fly more than their fathers." Judging by the “D.M.B.” video, her son will need all the help he can get.
“Money” – JID
DIRECTORS: CHAD TENNIES AND MAC GRANT
There are two types of people in life: those who have and those who want. In the video for “Money”, JID addresses the latter, a pair of brothers who fight over change in returning coins and parking meters, washing machines in laundries and public fountains. Her mother remains even when she's out of the picture, ashtrays and medicine bottles on the coffee table, heels thrown on the floor after a night out.
But before it all turns to tragedy, there is joy. The brothers catch locusts, build blanket forts, splurge on candy and ice cream. The parable may be predictable, but the point is firm: "It's ironic that being broke is an expensive lifestyle."
“We cried together” – Kendrick Lamar f. paige taylor
DIRECTORS: JAKE SCHREIER, DAVE FREE AND KENDRICK LAMAR
"Why don't R&B bitches appear on each other's songs?" Kendrick snaps. 10 seconds later, he and co-star Taylor Paige are on top of each other, desperate to get laid. The nearly six-minute video for "We Cry Together" uses fluid tracking to chase the arguing lovers around a one-bedroom apartment, a deft visual parallel to the song's rhythmically precise dialogue.
In Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, "We Cry Together" serves as a thematic linchpin, the climax of Kendrick's struggle with romantic relationships. Then the album becomes more introspective, but now it's spiteful, stubborn, furious. Paige does her best, mocking him for having a small penis, blaming him for Harvey Weinstein's ignominious curtsy and R. Kelly's protestations of innocence. The video brings the song in full Technicolor, blending the nuances and backstory with the tiniest of body language and facial expressions. The album's seemingly difficult hits are softened by the way Taylour and Kendrick dance with each other; this "cruel fight" is actually just a sparring match they've had hundreds of times before.
go back to ourHip Hop Awards nominations pagefor more categories or check out the nominees forrecruit of the year, best producer &biggest return of 2022.
Take a look at our previous Music Video of the Year winners.
- Music video of the year 2021
- 2020Music video of the year
- 2019Music video of the year
Art and graphic design by JR Martinez.
Paragraphs written by: Vivian Medithi