Top 20 Music Videos of 2011: #20-11

So, its a bit late in the day for end of year lists. Soz guys. Imma do it anyway. Here’s our top 20 videos of 2011….

20. Saigon – ‘Enemies’
Director: Fabrizio Conte
At first glance, this is your standard walking-down-the-street-rapping hip hop video. But its so well done. Awesome direction, great locations. Saigon wandering round eerily deserted streets in really slow and wide shots. Perfect pace for the song. ‘Enemies’ is from Saigon’s loooooooong delayed debut ‘The Greatest Story Never Told’, which was independently released early last year after a lengthy battle with Atlantic Records. As a little bonus this track flows perfectly into the next album track ‘Friends’ at the end of the video. Nice.

19. Tech N9ne – ‘Who Do I Catch’
Director: Dan Gedman
Pretty much exactly what we’ve come to expect from a Tech N9ne video. Dark imagery, painted faces & frantic editing. You can surely never go wrong with Subterranean Homesick Blues-style cue cards though.

18. The Game ft. Tyler the Creator & Lil Wayne – ‘Martians vs Goblins’
Director: Matt Alonzo
Big in the hip-hop music video game, Matt Alonzo has had a slew of promos drop this year, and to be honest, they’ve all been pretty damn good: from ‘Ghetto Dreams’ by Common & Nas right through to ’64’ by Odd Future’s MellowHype. This particular video features hip hop heavyweight The Game being wheeled round a run down psychiatric ward, at which Odd Future‘s most talked about miscreant Tyler The Creator is also a patient. Yeah, maybe its a bit over the top (was there really any need for those contact lenses?)…but it’s pretty damn dark, and as this list will illustrate, that’s apparently what we’re into.

17. Big K.R.I.T. – ‘Dreamin”
Director: Motion Family
There’s something really endearing about Big K.R.I.T. Maybe it’s his Southern charm, maybe it’s the sincerity in his lyrics, or maybe it’s the part in ‘Dreamin” where he credits his success to his grandma ‘pulling strings’ with the Lord. This track comes from his March-released free mixtape Return of 4Eva, which was undoubtedly one of the standout releases of the year. The video paints a solemn picture of Krit as a lonely janitor, playing out his dreams of performing in the empty school theatre. Perfect.

16. Open Mike Eagle – Nightmares
Director: Jason Haberman
What a beat. LA-based Open Mike Eagle continued to impress this year, particularly with this hypnotizing track from his latest album Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes. The video fits Mike’s wry observations and deadpan expressions brilliantly. His concise wit juxtaposed with his profound seriousness wrapped up in a 1950s-style ‘nightmare’.

15. Curren$y – ‘She Don’t Want A Man’
Director: Phil The God
“Her man wants her to pick the kids up and balance the check book. Curren$y offers what she could have had if she didn’t take the rectangular route, marrying the professional with the gold wristwatch, which he stares at whenever she’s late. Frequently, ‘She Don’t Want a Man’ is about freedom vs. stability. Irrepressible lust contrasted with the lull of long-term love. This is the perfect mistake, the nightmare of many men: that one day the mother of their children will get bored and only want to ride jets. Instead of ‘shopping’, she’ll be naked and sated, twisting up post-sex spliffs with another man. Then she’ll return home and you’ll never know what happened.” – Jeff Weiss

14. Danny Brown – Blunt After Blunt
Director: A$AP Rocky x The ICU
2011 was quite a year for Danny Brown. His album, XXX, which he released as a free download via Fools Gold back in August can now be seen at the top of pretty much everyone’s end of year lists, and deservedly so. This video for ‘Blunt After Blunt’, directed by another of 2011’s most impressive ‘newcomers’ A$AP Rocky and The ICU, is a terrifying glimpse into what I like to think is Danny Brown’s day-to-day life. Every morning he rolls out of bed in his tiger striped hoodie and Hawaiian shirt (ain’t nobody else pulling that look off), lights up a blunt and opens a Colt 45 whilst brandishing a baseball bat in his dimly lit room. Standard.

13. Kendrick Lamar – Rigamortis
Director: The ICU
Another ICU video, this time in the form of Kendrick Lamar‘s ‘Rigamortis’ from one of the year’s finest albums, ‘Section.80’. His flow is endlessly impressive, as is the infectious jazz-rap horn loop. Set against a backdrop of various New York City locations, and accompanied by a two horn players and drummer, we see Kendrick roam streets that are littered with dead bodies – other rappers he has killed with his bars. Cool.

12. Madvillain – Strange Ways
Director: Jean-Yves Blanc
Way back in April, the legendary Stones Throw Records launched a video contest. The idea being fans would create and submit their own videos for any Stones Throw song before 1st July, and then the label would run a countdown and announce a winner. Sounded like a great idea, but it didn’t seem like anybody had really envisioned the astonishing amount of high quality videos that would come from it. We covered our favourite five entries back in September, so I thought it only right I include a couple in this list. This Madvillain video was created entirely by the work of one man (read: genius), Jean-Yves Blanc – clay figures, stage set, accessories, sketches, animations, video montage…everything. Wow.

11. Ghostpoet – Survive It
Director: UNKNOWN
I think what I love most about this video is how intrinsically British it is. Ghostpoet, dressed in his pajamas and dressing gown (or bathrobe, if you will), wandering round a grim housing estate perpetually drinking a cup of tea. The pacing and dark lighting are fitting. It couldn’t really get any further away from your standard bling ‘n’ bitches video fare. This track comes from Ghostpoet’s full-length debut ‘Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam’, which with its engaging production and impressively astute observations, was another firm 2011 favourite that showcases one of the UK’s most promising new artists.

Check out the countdown from #10-1 here.

2 Responses to “Top 20 Music Videos of 2011: #20-11”
  1. Good mix of videos.Love the tyler the creator and little wayne track,dont like the Game on it,kinda made me reminese for the gravediggaz….thanks for the education….x

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  1. […] Vauhkonen & Jeremias Nieminen Another entry from the Stones Throw Video Contest I mentioned yesterday. The response to the contest was overwhelming (in both quantity and quality), and this video for J […]

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