BEST OF 2011: Best Video of 2011: Jay-Z and Kanye West – Otis

by Winston "Stone" Ford

Like I’ve said time and time again, since the cost of production has been reduced to a few hundred dollars, the flood of music videos online has made it harder to stand out. Thankfully there are directors who are still pushing the boundaries of creativity in 2011. Even though a majority of these videos have dark themes, there are something about what they contain that makes them stand out from the rest. Have your own favorites of 2011? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Jay-Z and Kanye West – Otis

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Is there any video that is more epic this year? Kanye and Jay-Z tearing up a Maybach? Model chicks in the back? Anziz FREAKING”Ansari? Spike Jonze? When this video came out I watched it for 20 times in a row each morning when I woke up. No lie. Just like Jay-Z killed auto-tune, this video killed the fake trappings of aspirational hip-hop. Why aspire to own a Maybach? We aspire to tear one up.

And to think, now the Maybach brand is going out of business.

The rest of the five:

5.) Skrillex – First of the Year (Equinox)

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After his Grammy nod, Skrillex has become a poster child for electronic dance music in America. Not bad for a dude who was a virtual unknown last year. His video for First of the Year however is no bubblegum pop. Basically its a little girl beating the crap out of a pedophile. Homie messed with the wrong alien.

4.) The Volta Bureau – Hope

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Not only is The Volta Bureau’s “Hope” a rather enticing house track, but the dark nature of the video is rather intriguing. The very thought of our automobiles holding us captive (led by a 67 Chavelle aptly named “The Beast”) is a interesting play on oru car-based culture. Honestly, it makes me glad that I sold my car last year.

3.) Tyler The Creator – Yonkers

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With the over-saturation of music, there are very few videos nowadays that just hit you. But from moment one, I knew that this video for “Yonkers” was going to be a winner. Playing out like a demonic one man show, it essentially and single-handledly pushed the boundaries of where a hip-hop video can go. No fast cars and models. For a change.

2.) Jessie Ware and Sampha – Valentine

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In just 2 short minutes (and 9 seconds), director Marcus Soderland created one of the best videos of the year. Simplistic in nature, the track “Valentine” shows the stark realities of love and love lost. But what sells the video is the acting of rising UK singers Sampha and Jessie Ware. Or maybe it’s not acting? They look like they really just had a fight. It’s this pure emotion is lacking in music videos, and the duo captures the essence of the song perfectly.