By Andrew Lambert
“Runaway” – Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
Now when I say “Runaway”, I do not mean the song, which is what some consider to be Kanye’s Stairway. I am referring to the 34:32 full length film he put together for the 2010 album as a whole. If you have a half hour or so to spare, I highly suggest watching the film. Personally, it is my favorite piece of film in the music industry. Kanye’s storytelling, riveting imagery, creation of a fictional goddess, and the stunning visuals throughout the film make this an absolute masterpiece.
“Free the Robots” – Capital STEEZ – Amerikkkan Korruption (2012)
First things first, may STEEZ rest in peace! The lyrical genius that STEEZ was pioneered Pro Era into what it is today, and helped raise our very own Joey Bada$$. Joey fans know what STEEZ meant to Joey, but very few actually listen to his music. Not only is “Free the Robots” one of the most lyrically and politically electric songs out there, the music video is just as genius. STEEZ pushes boundaries with his multitude of visuals and his unbelievable instrumental. I suggest taking the time to dedicate a few minutes to the legend himself, Capital STEEZ.
“Chasing Faith/ Rain Dance/Allusions” – The Underachievers – Evermore: The Art of Duality (2015)
The Underachievers are one of the most unique rap duos in the game right now, and although they haven’t obtained commercial success yet, they are well on their way. They take the term “art” to a whole different level on every track, and “Allusion” is no exception. They take three of their best songs from their 2015 project and make almost a movie out of it. Inspired by 1998 film starring Johnny Depp, “Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas”, the rap duo’s trippy visuals make for a wild ride.
“Senorita” – Vince Staples – Summertime ‘06 (2015)
Vince Staples has been applauded on many occasions with his music videos. His black and white effect seems to be a theme throughout most of his videos, which many believe is an illustration of how color shouldn’t matter in society. Of his many unique videos, “Senorita” is a striking one, progressively sending a multitude of subliminal messages throughout the video. The ending will leave chills down your spine, just a warning.
“Money Man / Put That On My Set” – A$AP Mob – Cozy Tapes, Vol. 1: Friends (2016)
The Mob has made a name for themselves with crazy music videos, with “Yamborghini High” being the most popular one with it’s colorful and innovative effects. A$AP Rocky in particular has dabbled in film, so his acting skills were right up to par with the professionals in his short film that he made with the rest of the Mob. Only about 12 minutes, it tells a mini story that takes place in London, dealing with drugs. Like Vince Staples, Rocky uses black and white filters over the shots, with color sneaking in here and there. Although this film is entertaining and accompanies the music very well, it is also a very honest depiction of what drugs can do to a community as well as the modern grip that substances have over our cities.
“Hive” – Earl Sweatshirt ft. Vince Staples – Doris (2015)
Earl’s dirty style and lazy flow are a staple in today’s rap game. His unique style of sampling that he uses when he produces under the pseudonym “randomblackdude”, has become almost addicting. Of the many songs he has with Vince, “Hive” is by far the biggest. Stepping away from his usual wild visuals, such as “Off Top”, the music video is dark, just as it should be. It depicts Earl in a dark, dirty living room in a hoodie with a group of people dressed in that same skater bum look, but with demon masks on and odd costumes. The video features a number of subtle effects, such as the wallpaper slowly moving behind Earl, and almost gets under your skin, but is an impressive and honest visual for a brutally honest song.
“L$D” – A$AP Rocky – AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP. (2015)
Rocky’s beautiful ballad dedicated to the psychedelic drug is barely even a rap song, but nonetheless he keeps it gangster somehow so beautifully. The video is exactly what you’d expect it to be; trippy as all hell. In my opinion, it is the most accurate depiction of what it is like to be on the drug out of any music video I have seen. Allow yourself to get lost in the stunning visuals in A$AP Rocky’s music video, and if you like that, check out “Jukebox Joints”!
“Fight the Feeling” – Mac Miller ft. Kendrick Lamar – Macadelic (2012)
When Macadelic first dropped, Mac fan’s were not pleased, for they were used to the fun teenage Mac. As time has gone by, however, fans have come to appreciate the more real Mac Miller, his true feelings, and have recognized Macadelic as a masterpiece. While not an official video, the “Onwards” cartoon by James Jarvis with Nike has been associated with the song. THe film was originally silent, but someone dubbed the song over it, and that is what most people think of. The video is a cartoon, but the animations are executed extremely well, using outlandish landscapes for the character, as well as a subtle, yet magical moment when Mac Miller hands the microphone off to Kendrick, but I’ll let you guys experience that for yourselves.
“Birds in the Trap” – Travis Scott – Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight (2016)
Travis Scott has proven he has a bunch of wild visuals and trippy scenes up his sleeve, but the short film he created for his stellar album is a different view of Travis’ artistic abilities. The film opens up with Travis arguing with his girl, riding through Houston, and going through a typical day in H-Town. I won’t go into too much detail on the twist in the film, but it involved, life, death, and Travis’ Number One album, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. Go and experience tha chaos that is Travis Scott and watch his 14 minute film.
“Mirror” – Samiyam – Animals Have Feelings (2016)
“Sensual Seduction” – Snoop Dogg – Ego Trippin’ (2008)
“Mamacita” – Travis Scott – Days Before Rodeo (2014)
“Diamonds From Sierra Leone” – Kanye West – Late Registration (2005)
“The Story of O.J.” – JAY Z – 4:44 (2017)
“Alright” – Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly (2015)
“Wide Angle” – Felly – Wild Strawberries (2017)
“Something Foreign” – SiR ft. ScHoolboy Q – November (2018)
“Who Dat Boy” – Tyler, the Creator ft. A$AP Rocky – Flower Boy (2017)
“Goosebumps” – Travis Scott – Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight (2016)