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20. Random Axe – “Chewbacca” – Directed by Noah Friedman – Sure, “The Hex” had a much bigger budget and heavier concept, but how could you go wrong with a day in the life of Chewbacca? Guess he owed a life debt to Sean P.

19. Prince Ea – “Backwards Rappers” – Directed by Aztechfilm – Low budget, but high on concept, Prince Ea’s “Backwards Rappers” is one of the illest concepts we’ve seen in a while. If you’re not one of the 700,000 people that have already seen this, watch it now.

18. Nice & Smooth – “No Delayin’” – Directed by Monstar Films – This song came out in 1989, this video was shot in 2011, and stars Greg Nice, Smooth B, and Big Daddy Kane. This concept was copied a few times over after it’s debut.

17. Talib Kweli – “Distractions” – Directed by Darryl Phillips – While we saw a few low budget attempts at incorporating the Occupy Wall Street Movement into videos, Talib Kweli did it best, immortalizing the year’s most controversial political event.

16. Saigon – “Oh Yeah (Our Babies)” – Directed by Fabrizio Conte – Saigon was very prolific in terms of shooting videos for his long-awaited Greatest Story Never Told LP, this one being the illest of the bunch. Saigon’s disturbingly real lyrics mouthed by neighborhood children makes it’s message all the more clear.

15. Ill Bill & Vinnie Paz – “Blood Meridian” – Directed by Tom Vujcic – Completely over the top ode to 70′s horror films. You can either stomach this or you can’t.

14. Big K.R.I.T. – “Dreamin’” – Directed by Motion Family – Rarely do rappers show us what real life is like, which is why K.R.I.T.’s concept of being a janitor performing for an empty theater was so refreshing.

13. Apathy – “Check To Check” – Directed By Anthony DeRose – Beautifully shot, Ap’s ode to being poor is ice cold. Dope cameo from his pops.

12. Bad Meets Evil – “Fast Lane” – Syndrome – Focusing on the lyrics, Em and Royce animate their rhymes in a way we haven’t seen before.

11. Cee-Lo Green – “Cry Baby” – Directed by Mickey Finnegan – Steve Urkel plays Cee-Lo Green in this homage to the Broadway musical.

10. Pharoahe Monch – “Clap” – Directed by Terrance Nance – Haunting, well executed short film about a police raid gone wrong.

9. The Roots – “undun” (Short Film) – Directed by Clifton Bell – This high art take on The Roots’ undun LP weaves three of the album’s cuts together into a gorgeous black and white tapestry.

8. Lil Wayne – 6 Foot, 7 Foot – Directed by Hype Williams – Easily the best song from Tha Carter IV, Hype takes just about every line from the endlessly quotable track and works it into a shot. Nice change of pace from Williams.

7. Jay-Z & Kanye West – “Otis” – Directed by Spike Jonez – Some might call this a paired down version of your typical Jay or Kanye video. Except in this one, they destroy a Maybach.


6. Beastie Boys – “Make Some Noise” – Directed by MCA
– This is video is the official sequel to “Fight For Your Right To Party”, now staring Elijah Wood, Danny McBride, and Seth Rogan as The Beasties. We prefer the 5 minute version, but here’s the extended 30 minute cut, if you’re up for it.

5. Kanye West – “Monster” – Directed by Jake Nava – Yeezy’s monstrous posse cut came out in way we never expected, as a visually striking horror film.

4. Dr. Dre – “I Need A Doctor” – Allen Hughes – Chilling video reminds us of how many people around Dr. Dre have died too soon, including his son. Dr. Dre crashes a Ferrari in a fit of recklessness, while Eminem helps resuscitate him both figuratively and literally.

3. LMFAO – “Party Rock Anthem” – Directed by Mickey Finnegan – Regardless of how you feel about Red Foo and Dre Kroon reinventing themselves as the Party Rock Crew, they killed it with this video. “28 Days Later” meets “Thriller” for the win.

2. Tyler The Creator – “Yonkers” – Directed by Wolf Haley – We caught glimpses of Odd Future’s twisted vision in some of their earlier videos, but “Yonkers” pushed it over the top. Black and white simplicity and a giant cockroach for lunch.

1. Duck Sauce (A-Trak + Armand Van Helden) – “Big Bad Wolf” – Directed by Keith Shofield – Watch the whole thing.

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5 Responses to "HHS 2011 Year-In-Review: The Year's 20 Best Music Videos"
  • JamesDutch says:

    How bout the song Alec Baldwin by Soul Khan,its a pretty badass video

  • khordkutta says:

    Big Bad Wolf, that was cool, good concept, funny as heck and oddly disturbing. Didnt kno about nice and smooth, nice throwback vid. Monch was my joint of the above mentioned though. Dug monster also.

  • Mike says:

    Raekwon – Shaolin vs. Wu Tang should’ve been #1. Fail.

  • WuBrotha#1 says:

    Honorable mention: Raekwon ft NaS “Rich & Black”

  • Luaty says:

    Dude, it’s Spike JONZE not JONEZ. The director of DROP and WHAT’S UP FATLIP? Amazingly creative!

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