Music videos are back! While not quite at their peak in the ‘90s where they’d often receive budgets well north of the million-dollar range (home shot, low-budget videos are still very much the norm), we have been seeing some of the most creative and visually stimulating visuals there has been in a while.
The BET Hip Hop Awards’ “Best Hip Hop Video” category highlights the best the year has to offer, which, given artists have been shifting back to putting an emphasis on the medium, will be as competitive as ever.
This year’s nominees include Cardi who appears twice in the category, Chris Breezy, Lil Nas X and more. Here’s a look at the complete list of this year’s “Video of the Year” candidates and what makes each entry special.
"Up" was Cardi’s first musical release since her mega-hit "WAP" with Megan Thee Stallion and came with a video that showcased an abundance of twerking to the Chicago drill, NOLA bounce tune.
You can catch Cardi subtly paying tribute to TLC's Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes in the scene where she’s wearing all-black with the Left Eye inspired hairstyle, dancing in a metallic room. The video also features Cardi in a variety of NSFW outfits.
Maybe other’s caught the tribute? Will it be enough for her to win?
The “WAP" video was a powerful ode to women that featured surprise cameos by Kylie Jenner, Rosalía, Normani, Big Latto, Sukihana, and Rubi Rose.
Set in a luxurious funhouse, Cardi and Megan dance throughout various trippy rooms while changing wardrobes countless amounts of times.
Megan told GQ. “I feel like for a long time men felt like they owned sex and now women are saying, ‘Hey, this is for me. I want pleasure. This is how I want it or don’t want it.’ It freaks men the hell out.”
Whoever wins “Video of The Year” will have to go through “WAP”.
Taken from the duo's collaborative Slime & B, which peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100, "Crazy" ended up being as fun a watch as it was to listen to.
Complete with comic book graphics, a pool party and a dance-off, the video had a way of making you feel like you’d miss something good if you blinked.
Chris Brown even dropped a video for the remix, which was aided by fellow hitmakers Future, Lil Durk and Big Latto.
Drake’s music video for “Laugh Now Cry Later” can be described as a big Nike advertisement — however, it definitely worked
The Dave Meyers-directed music video was actually shot at Nike's headquarters in Oregon and features cameos from top athletes like Kevin Durant, Odell Beckham Jr., and Marshawn Lynch.
Drake and Lil Durk, who is featured on the track, recreated LeBron’s oversized draft day suit and even Instagram comedian Druski makes an appearance.
But will the star power be enough to earn Drizzy a “Video of The Year” award?
From giving the devil a lapdance to the sale of “Satan Shoes,” which allegedly have a drop of human blood in them, everything about Lil Nas X’s music video “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” caused a stir.
And, for better or worse, that’s much of why he’s nominated.
“Montero” is littered with Greco-Roman and medieval Christian motifs, messages in both Greek and Latin, and everything else that would call a religious scholar to gasp in shock.
Tune in on Oct. 5 to see if Lil Nas X makes his haters mad by bringing the “Video of The Year” award at this year’s BET Hip Hop Awards.
The video opens up showing the pair lounging poolside as a guy proceeds to shoot his shot. After shooting him down, they go riding in a bejeweled luxury car, hit a strip club, then have a slumber party in the colorful Dave Meyers-directed clip.
Will the girl-power-inspired shot top the rest? We’ll have to see Oct. 5
Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic