In Canada, we were late to the party when it came to BET, although we had the likes of Rap City on Much Music & the host, Master T, to lead the charge in bringing Hip Hop through video form (Mohawk College Grad, as well). When BET did come around, it was the introduction to the realm of the music video and the great ones that did it from the early 2000s like Missy Elliot, Ludacris, Outkast and just about every Bad Boy video out there (one of my favourites was Ja Rule’s I Cry). Since YouTube became more of the go-to place to watch videos consistently while BET & MTV focused on getting reality shows & sitcoms rather than actually playing videos, Hip Hop music videos seemed to only matter when they were the likes of Jay-Z or Kanye West releasing them, and the quality of just about everyone else’s looked the same. The creative concepts were gone and the generic store-brand, low-budget videos that were already flooding World Star Hip Hop, were flooding YouTube as well, which in turn, no one really cared for them anymore. They were just there for the songs, and nothing else more. Now, what really caught my attention as of recent (recent being, within the last week up to the last day of June 2015) were the bulk of videos that have come out from some rather big names (no pun – you’ll understand in a second) that display that creativity & entertainment that have made people come back out and discuss music videos as the topic of conversation.
“Yo did you see that new video? Get on YouTube right now!”
“This has to be video of the year. Y’all see this?”
“I’m so glad music videos are back”
All of these statements of joyous expression are just a quick glance at the excitement I’ve witnessed, and although, yes, there were videos from the 99 & 2000s that weren’t exactly Scorsesean, but with the likes of Hype Williams & Director X (when he used to go by ‘Lil X’), just to name a couple, you really couldn’t miss during that period of time. Younger faces like Colin Tilley & Mike Carson (just two examples) look to make names for themselves as directors that will have that kind of impact that the ones before them made, which we grew up in the same period of witnessing. It’s been a great year for Hip Hop through all forms, so here are just some of the great videos that have made it so. Enjoy.