This year was characterised by some of the most amazing music videos. In no particular order, here are some of the best when it comes to artistry, creativity, storytelling and fun.
- Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE.
Directors: Dave and the Little Homies
Kendrick Lamar released four videos from his 2017 album this year and quite honestly, any four of them could easily make it on any list for videos of the year. However, even though HUMBLE. came first, it still remains the crème del a crème of his unmatched visuals in 2017.
ELEMENT. was an epic offering, especially the way they were able to pay tribute to photojournalist Gordon Parks’ work, however HUMBLE. has an edge in the way it was executed. Cameras and framing are used here in some of the most inventive ways and it almost feels as though not a single shot was wasted. The video has a number of references and to pick out the best part of the video is an impossible task. The bar has been raised once more.
- Young Thug – Wyclef Jean
Director: Ryan Staake
Named after the legendary hip-hop artist, Wyclef from The Fugees, this song was considered good until the video was released – then it was considered great.
Director Ryan Staake displayed some creative genius when he was forced to shoot a video without Young Thug when Young Thug didn’t show up for his own video. Instead of giving up on the $100,000 shoot, the director hit a moment of genius and directed one of the most entertaining videos of the year. Words won’t do it any justice, you have to see it for yourself.
- Michael Kiwanuka – Cold Little Heart
Director: David Helman
Michael Kiwanuka released one of the best albums in 2016 and in 2017 he released one of the most compelling videos. This music video is one of the most complicated albeit simple stories told on screen in music this year. What makes it complicated is the metaphors, symbolism and references used to tell the story. You have to watch the video a few times and understand the lyrics to the song as well before it all starts to make sense properly.
- The Lumineers – The Ballad Of Cleopatra
For those who do not know, The Lumineers are an American Indie folk, folk rock band. Their latest album, titled Cleopatra, was released last year to critical acclaim. Having released a number of music videos in 2016 telling the story of Cleopatra bit by bit, this year they finally released a complete visual project that could easily pass as a short film.
The story tells us that we either choose the life we want for ourselves or we settle for a lesser one because we fear the consequences and spend the rest of our lives wandering what could have been. It is about freedom, love, sacrifice, heartbreak and life as we know it.