If there’s one thing 2018 gifted us, it’s the power of music videos. A good music video elevates a great song. The cinematic visuals in 2018’s music videos did not disappoint. Let’s give praise where praise is due and applaud the best music video of the year!
It’s no wonder that “All the Stars” by Kendrick Lamar and Jersey native SZA was featured in the history-making blockbuster “Black Panther“, but that’s not the reason it’s on our list. The “All the Stars” music video was directed by Dave Meyers and the Little Homies with visual effects by Loris Paillier at BUF Paris. It has over 117 million views on YouTube, and won Best Visual Effects in this year’s MTV VMAs.
Drake’s “God’s Plan” music video wasn’t just a PR stunt. Drake’s music label, OVO Sound, gave a budget of $999,631.90 for the music video. As much as everyone loves an over the top music video, Drake did something different: gave it all away. Director Karena Evans followed Drake around Miami and captured him giving away the budget to the less fortunate. If this didn’t bring you to tears, you’re as cold as Wendy’s studio in the middle of July! The surprising charity from “God’s Plan” rightfully earned Video of the Year at the 2018 BET Awards.
Childish Gambino (AKA Donald Glover) does it again. He left audiences shooketh when his “This Is America” video dropped on Cinco De Mayo during his performance on “Saturday Night Live.” Meanwhile, after too many tequila shots and street churros, people stumbled home that evening and watched “This Is America” on YouTube. Surely, they took a long hard look in the mirror, rocked back and forth, reflecting on their stake in America’s supposed demise.
This is one visual music production, directed by director Hiro Murai, that will outlive all of us. “This Is America” took home three awards at the MTV VMAs, including Best Video with a Message.
We first heard “I Like It,” featuring Bad Bunny & J Balvin, from Cardi’s Invasion of Privacy album released on April 5th. Nearly two months later, “I Like It“‘s music video dropped. Directed by Eif Rivera, the video was actually filmed in two stages, and Cardi was pregnant for both of them! True members of the Bardi Gang will argue that this music video perfectly embodies Cardi’s culture, home (Bronx, New York City), and personality. For someone who was about five and seven months pregnant while dropping it low in this music video, spicy mami deserved that MTV VMA for Best Song of the Summer!
Who else can shut down the Louvre (the world’s largest art museum) and has a combined net worth that exceeds the estimated value of The Mona Lisa? No one but The Carters, darlings. “APES**T” served as the lead single for Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s studio album Everything Is Love, and both were dropped on June 16th during their On The Run II Tour. The multifaceted masterpiece directed by Ricky Saiz was flawlessly fused with artwork and history from the Louvre, choreography by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and bold specs of black feminism.
“APES**T” is worthy of its own spot in the Lourve. It already snagged four awards, but Jay and Bey made it clear that they couldn’t care less about those titles when Jay raps, “tell the Grammy’s [ef] that 0 for 8 shit / Have you ever seen the crowd goin’ apeshit?” A practically royal power couple like this doesn’t need peasants like us to tell them about their greatness; they tell us about their own greatness!