We pick hip-hop’s 10 best music videos and the 10 best viral videos of 2013.
2013′s Best Music Videos
10. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “White Walls” (feat. Schoolboy Q + Hollis) – Directed by Ryan Lewis & Macklemore – The success of 2012′s The Heist gave Macklemore and Ryan Lewis a little bit of a budget to play with, which was used to great effect in this video for “White Walls”. Also marking Schoolboy Q’s first, true leap into the mainstream, this video was a visual tour-de-force, that you could not look away from. Multiple rap cameos from A$AP Rocky, Big Boi, Trinidad James, Wiz Khalifa, DJ Drama, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and more.
9. Kendrick Lamar – “Backseat Freestyle” - Directed by Kendrick Lamar & Jerome D – We’re not going to sugar-coat the reason we love this video, but it has a lot to do with one of the characters from Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City: Sherane. Literally the backbone of the album’s narrative.
8. Marco Polo – “G.U.R.U.” (feat. Talib Kweli + DJ Premier) – Directed by Todd Angkasuwan – Effects laden video that finds Talib Kweli giving a proper tribute to the one and only Gang Starr frontman. For longtime fans of the group, many parts of the video will strike a chord, as Kweli and Marco Polo incorporate many classic visuals and sampled bits of video. Well done on a low budget.
7. Tyler, The Creator – “Tamale” – Directed By Wolf Haley – Completely off the wall “visual interpretation of Tyler’s mind”. Some crazy shit happening here. Where can we get one of those trampolines?
6. CZARFACE (Inspectah Deck + 7L & Esoteric) – “Air ‘em Out” – Directed by McFarland & Pecci – Pretty hilarious depiction of Inspectah Deck and 7L & Estoeric’s working relationship during the CZARFACE recording sessions. “Fuck!”
5. Step Brothers (Alchemist + Evidence) – “Step Masters” – Directed by Jason Goldwatch – Sibling rivalry in action, as best friends Alchemist and Evidence compete in a variety of challenges. We’re guessing weed and beer preceded the shoot.
4. JAY Z – “Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film” – Directed by Mark Romanek – Art world and rap world collide on this experiment where Jiggaman performed the song for six hours straight, among a live audience of artists, fashionistas, musicians, actors, and other members of high society. Dope.
3. Lil Dicky – “Ex Boyfriend” – Directed by Brian Storm & Lil Dicky – Undoubtedly the funniest video of the year, this one just keeps upping the ante. Likely we’ll be hearing a lot from this cat this year, most likely on a major label. Kanye probably feels this song.
2. Kanye West – “Bound 2″ – Directed by Nick Knight – Speaking of which…. Kanye outdoes Ray J’s sextape with this Kim-tastic clip.
1. Run The Jewels (Killer Mike + El-P) – Directed by Joey Garfield – Mike and El closed out the year with their last video from the Run The Jewels project, built around a series of disturbing Christmas cards and holiday cliches. Honorable mention goes to the “36″ Chain” video.
2013′s Best Viral Videos
10. Turnup Twinz – “Ratchet, Turnup, Molly” - Cipha Sounds, Peter Rosenberg, and Ebro parody the “current state of hip-hop” with this track that pokes fun at 2013′s buzzwords. Yolotwerkselfie.
9. Mos Def Force Fed By Guantanamo Bay Standards – Although Gitmo representatives vehemently denied that this was an accurate representation of this process, Mos Def underwent the procedure to make a statement about conditions of the prison. Hard to watch and definitely rap’s most controversial viral vid of 2013.
8. ItsTheReal – “Beef Wit Us” (feat. Maino) – Rap comedy troupe ItsTheReal (a division of The Unfathomable ItsTheReal Empire) play tough guys in this clip, mainly because they are friends with Maino. Hilarity.
7. Action Bronson Body Slams Fan On Stage In Boston – Don’t get on Action Bronson’s shit list. Also, Danny Brown’s on stage escapades would have made it here if the quality was better.
6. Charles Ramsey – “Dead Giveaway” – Absolutely amazing autotuned answer to Charles Ramsey’s interview, following his rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight in Cleveland, after ten years of capture. This takes the cake.
5. Tyler The Creator Calls LAPD “Assholes” Using Their Megaphone – Classic Tyler, as he tells fans he’s sorry that the Odd Future show was shut down by the police. The LAPD kindly allowed him to use their megaphone to calm the crowd down, which he instead used to remind us that the cops are “assholes”.
4. Action Bronson Performs “Strictly For My Jeeps”. At An Old Folks Home – This never gets old.
3. Kanye: You Ain’t Got The Answers, Sway! – Kanye had been turning up in interviews all year long, with interviewers hardly challenging him, mostly nodding in approvement. Not Sway Calloway, who put Kanye in Matt Lauer-defense mode. Screaming ensues.
2. Inside “Magna Carta Holy Grail” with JAY Z + Samsung – The first time JAY Z coined the “#NewRules” hashtag, this video captured audiences worldwide, as it acted as both an announcement and a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process for Magna Carta Holy Grail. “We finish the album and we drop it,” says Jay. “Beautiful,” Rick Rubin responds. History in the making.
1. Jay Shells Marks Classic Hip-Hop Locations – How dope was this? Street artist Jay Shells takes a unique approach to getting up, by producing a series of street signs that mark classic locations in hip-hop lyrics. Watch and be amazed.
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