Top 10 Music Videos of 2017
10) Jay Z - The Story of OJ
“Y'all on the Gram holdin money to your ear, there's a disconnect, we don't call that money over here” Big Baller talk on this one, yet as tough as this record is you need to spare me on all the ‘million dollars worth of game’ he’s ‘giving us for free,’ as some of the insightfulness is a lil overblown but even still I respect the motivation. The best layer to this record however is the theme that revolves around the title, one that suggests that racism and discrimination is still a reality for all Black men and women no matter your circumstances, including the apparent fact that Jay Z and his wife Beyonce are soon on their way to becoming billionaires. Also worth noting is that on this record NO I.D. samples Nina Simone’s Four Women, a record of a similar theme revolving around women of different complexions. Meanwhile the visuals are incredibly powerful by way of illustrating the effects of a minstrel show, which on a separate note makes me once again think about my favorite rap group Little Brother, and their debut studio album that has still been overlooked to this day.
9) Fat Joe & Remy Ma ft Ty Dolla $ign - Money Showers
“Front of my pussy on the back of his tongue, I ain't had love for a ***** since what happened to Pun, so if he fuck around and I don't happen to cum, ***** you can be my ex, that's where I'm from, man these funny style bitches, I be laughing at them” Cool & Dre samples Ralph Tresvant’s classic ‘Do What I Gotta Do’ for their best production on the Plata o Plomo album and this one is nothing short of legendary. This record didn’t get a quarter of the attention it should have, as even on top of the classic sample Joe, Remy & Ty Dolla all do their numbers in their own right, particularly Ty Dolla who definitely knows how to flex on hooks in general. Furthermore the video is 🔥🔥🔥 and The Playas Club theme is a good look as well. Don’t miss out on this great record and entertainment.
8) Chris Brown - Pills & Automobiles
“Wet, wet, wet, wet (yeah), Wet, wet, wet, wet (ayy, yeah, ayy, yeah)” One of the last of the promotional singles (or actually perhaps the only official single) on Heartbreak on a Full Moon, and even though this should have been released in the summer I fux with this water park music video all the way 🔥🔥🔥
7) Jay Z - Shine
“Mama had four kids, but she's a lesbian, had to pretend so long that she's a thespian, had to hide in the closet, so she medicate, society shame and the pain was too much to take, cried tears of joy when you fell in love, don't matter to me if it's a him or her” Over a Stevie Wonder sample Jay reveals to the world the sexuality of his mother Gloria Carter, who closes the record herself with some incredible poetry of her own. [Mind you this is the second time we’ve heard Jay’s mother on record and both times its been 🔥🔥🔥]. And as far as the visuals are concerned, actress Dominique Fishback from The Deuce comes through and kills it, making this just one of the many powerful short films off 4:44.
6) Lute - Morning Shift
“Fruity Pebbles in the morning with his daughter, she a star, reminiscing on the days when her mama had his heart, see, ain't no time to dwell, it's like the people grow apart, spend all your time in thought then it's back to where you start, I can't comprehend what I cannot understand, I'm only human, never defined by circumstance, fuck this rap for silence, let's talk about real life, how many of yall ***** real ***** in real life” Strong introduction from the official debut project from Dreamville’s own Lute, who had originally been introduced back on Revenge of the Dreamers II, and has since then crafted a project that is sure to have 99% of J Cole’s audience on board off the strength of the affiliation alone. Place me in that category as well, yet to his credit Lute’s number one quality has been his sincerity and genuineness, which was showcased to great results in a short documentary that was released alongside the album. Otherwise these visuals are simple and effective and nothing but flames, and by all accounts it seems clear that the Dreamville brand is on pace to grow to new heights in 2018.
5) Kendrick Lamar - LOYALTY.
“I'm always on your mind, I put my lyric and my lifeline on the line” Kendrick and Rihanna’s first collaboration and it’s a good one, good melody, good lyrics, and Rih Rih swerves on it, ultimately one of the many great records on the project. Tbh I like this one even more than the HUMBLE. video, yet even the LOVE. video is fire so you can honestly take your pick. Truthfully that Rihanna hanging off the edge of the building was underappreciated in this one though
4) J Cole - Want You To Fly (HBO snippet)
“Yeah, uh, God is real and he using me for a bigger purpose, so fuck the world that would have you think that a ***** worthless, sometimes I think that these verses can help a person, way more than the ones they reading in churches on days of worship, no disrespect to the Lord and Savior, that ain't just ego, I just observe that them words no longer relate to people, cause modern times be flooded with dollar signs, and social media stuntin', my ***** just wanna shine, their frame of mind so far removed, from the days and times of Nazareth, like these days is a labyrinth, in a maze so elaborate, we barely get through half of it 'fore it's too late, my ***** is felons from sellin weight in more than two states, .22 in his waist before he could even shoot straight, quick to draw on you like Aaron McGruder, ***** who fate? All of that to say maybe the hood need a new faith, a new story about a boy from not too far where you stay” smh… Cole is more truth than any judge, teacher, preacher, or politician, and he really does spit it like he get it from the bible, for your survival… in a humble yet insightful way like only he could. That 4 Your Eyez Only documentary is available on all HBO platforms now! <<< and we should all embrace Hip Hop in it’s purest form, along with the visuals for all 10 records on the album.
3) Jay Z - Marcy Me
“Back when ratchet was a ratchet and a vixen was a vixen, and Jam Master Jay was alive I was mixin, cookin coke in the kitchen back when Rodman was a Piston, Mike was losin to Isiah but he soon would get his sixth one” A trip down memory lane and this is the genius of Sean Carter at his finest, where it’s almost unfortunate that in today’s era of relentless streaming and social media, music videos like this one actually are going overlooked and in most cases unnoticed. Nonetheless these short films are works of art and they’ll live forever, and this one right here is an incredible addition to his catalogue.
2) Logic ft Damian Lemar Hudson - Black SpiderMan
“Son, say: black is beautiful, be black and proud, fuck everybody hatin on me right now, I’m black and proud, I’m just as white as that Mona Lisa, I’m just as black as my cousin Keisha, I’m biracial so bye Felicia, praise Black Jesus now call the preacher, maybe Jesus was black, maybe Jesus had dreads, Spiderman should be black, I vote for Glover instead” Continuing his passion and plight of dismissing racial stereotypes track by track and album by album, Logic breaks down the walls further with this monumental record produced by the Los Angeles artist Damian Lemar Hudson, who’s also the featured vocalist and one of the main protagonists in the appropriately very cinematic music video, that through the right lenses is honestly nothing short of legendary.
1) Kendrick Lamar - DNA.
“I got, I got, I got, I got, loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA, cocaine quarter piece, got war and peace inside my DNA, I got power, poison, pain and joy inside my DNA, I got hustle though, ambition, flow, inside my DNA” make no mistake about it… Kendrick Lamar absolutely annihilates this record produced by Mike Will Made It, and combined they put together a likely addition to Kendrick’s Top 10 records of his career… this one is the very definition of 🔥🔥🔥 and yes the music video is even more crazy (and by now it should be noted that Kendrick has definitely mastered the visual qualities of his artistry, where based off this and Humble alone he definitely has same of the most thought provoking imagery in music) - one last footnote - the moment where he says “Born inside the beast, my expertise checked out in second grade,” is singularly one of my favorite lyrics I’ve heard in a long time.