As a film and media graduate it’s safe to say I appreciate the look and work of a visual form of art whether it’s a film or a music video.
And as a hip hop/RnB/pop fan I wasn’t disappointed with what we saw this year from artists, so I thought I’d break down a list to the best videos of 2015…
Bryson – Don’t
As a growing artist this year Bryson is the epitome of fresh. With the video for Don’t he keeps it simple – the result being that he exudes cool with city lights, his signature caps and a chick by his side.
With aesthetics that we later see in videos Hotline Bling (Drake) and Tinashe’s Bet (see stills below), Bryson strolls through the night city.
Although the video is kept simple, it keeps you interested with a few little touches. Shots are reversed to make it appear that Bryson and his girl are moving forward while cars in the road are driving backwards, there’s the use of the projected screen at the beginning and end of the video that make it look like it’s the imagination/thoughts of Bryson’s girl, and we see plenty of slow-mo shots as Bryson moves through the city.
Don’t gives us a little taste of what Bryson is about – city aesthetics with creativity flowing through it.
Kendrick Lamar – Alright
Following on from his music video for King Kunta, which had a more lively colourful tone, Alright’s purpose is clear from the beginning.
Filmed in dark black and white with shots of a city in destruction, the video mirrors the struggles that Kendrick highlights in album To Pimp A Butterfly. Alright was a visual message with a point to be acknowledged.
Showing hard times juxtaposed with shots of Kendrick flying through the city with a smile on his face, Kendrick’s positivity shines through – he wants to let his audience know that they’ll be ‘Alright’ so long as they stay strong, positive and continue to fight for what’s right.
The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
Like something out of an 80s movie, the video for Can’t Feel My Face focuses on The Weeknd taking centre stage performing in front of a uninterested onlookers one of them including Chanel Iman.
It’s only when a lighter is thrown at Abel and he goes up in flames that the audience jumps to their feet and enjoys his performance – a clear metaphor for fame and the people’s fascination with the failure and downfall of the celebrity.
It was hard to choose from The Weeknd’s video releases from this year, as he also gave us videos for The Hills, Tell Your Friends, and In The Night. But with the giant success of Can’t Feel My Face this year, it had to be this one.
Big Sean – I Know
Jhene Aiko and Big Sean are a couple of elderly rascals that still have some life and excitement in them yet.
The video for I Know involves them both in prosthetics with some good use of make-up to play their parts convincingly.
Set in a care home for the elderly the two love interests escape their ‘senior prom’ to have a good time in a random bar to go back to their youth.
Their make-up and their sweet little escapade made this video an easy addition to this list.
A$AP Rocky – L$D
A$AP Rocky’s video for L$D was filled with plenty of bright lights that blurred into one and an A$AP under the influence, taking us on a drug-induced journey that promised nothing but mellowed good times.
L$D was one video to experience this year because it really was all about the viewing experience.
Taylor Swift – Bad Blood
With cinematic kick-ass fighting as its opener, Bad Blood had our attention from the beginning.
And from there it just got better, with a cast featuring Kendrick Lamar, Cara Delevingne and Selena Gomez to name just a few and plenty of scenes of Taylor’s friends of models, singers and actresses preparing for battle.
A who’s-who for badass, successful women Bad Blood became an anthem music video for ladies everywhere.
Drake – Hotline Bling
Last but definitely not least – my favourite video of this year and perhaps one of the most iconic of 2015…
With Hotline Bling, music video directors now have the formula for a highly successful and popular video – Drake dancing in Timbs and a grey turtleneck.
One of the most talked about videos this year, with plenty of parodies and memes and videos of fans doing the ‘Drake dance’, Hotline Bling couldn’t not be on this list.
The video has plenty of colour through the lighting, a simple theme of Drake and his lady friends dancing in front of white backdrops with different shapes of boxes and stairs, and Drake’s iconic moves as he dances to his own track.
The video had plenty to offer everyone – slow mo shots of Drake’s ladies, Drake’s dancing, and plenty of outfits that you wouldn’t think would work but soon became inspiration for a few Halloween costumes for guys that wanted to be on Drake’s level (we should never forget Drake’s bright red jacket, grey turtleneck and OVO hoodie).
What was your favourite video of the year?