The Top Ten Best Music Videos of 2021 (So Far)
#10. “Montero (Call Me By My Name)” – Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X catapulted himself into the public eye yet again with his controversial music video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” The video depicts Lil Nas X discovering his sexuality in ‘Montero,’ a biblical imitation representing the Garden of Eden, before being banished to Hell by way of a stripper pole. Once there, Lil Nas X gives Satan a lap dance, igniting a new wave of memes as well as backlash from more conservative Christians. However, this bold statement of his sexuality has given way for a new generation of LGBTQ+ youths to find acceptance for themselves.
#9. “good 4 u” – Olivia Rodrigo
Rodrigo topped the Billboard charts with her pop punk breakup anthem “good 4 u.” The accompanying video was teenage angst in three-and-a-half minutes showing Rodrigo in a cheerleading uniform dance sequence before donning leather gloves and burning down her childhood bedroom in a blaze of fury (but let’s be real – who hasn’t dreamt of burning down something when your ex has moved on?). Her restrained anger throughout the song is a credit to her acting skills and shows the viewer exactly what is going through her mind in those pivotal scenes.
#8. “Best Friend” – Saweetie (ft. Doja Cat)
Saweetie and Doja Cat’s ode to friendship begins as a man tries to come up and flirt with the two of them, but they swiftly turn him away. Supporting each other (both figuratively and quite literally when Doja Cat climbs on Saweetie’s back to grab a purse on a high shelf) is the main focus as well as highlighting the good times to be had with your best friend. Their fun-filled adventure culminates in a nude cliff-dive after a scene in a police lineup. It’s clear that this music video is supposed to be lighthearted and fun as a celebration of female friendship.
#7. “Industry Baby” – Lil Nas X & Jack Harlow
The latest video from Lil Nas X is yet another headturner. After announcing the single with a short video showing Lil Nas X in court over the ‘Satan Shoes,’ the official video continues the same storyline 3 months later in Montero State Prison. Taking aim at those who said his “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” video showed too much of his sexuality, he included a dance sequence in the shower surrounded by other naked prisoners. Lil Nas X has never shied away from controversial press and does not seem to be starting now.
#6. “Wild Side” – Normani (ft. Cardi B)
The music video for “Wild Side” drips with excess in the best ways. Cinematic sets and direction, lavish costumes, and choreography featuring the two stars draws the eyes and peaks interest. The ease of which Normani and Cardi B perform is hypnotic and each dance sequence is executed to perfection.
#5. “LUMBERJACK” – Tyler, the Creator
As the song itself discusses a snowy weekend in Utah and the “LUMBERJACK” video shows Tyler, the Creator reading vintage car magazines, getting his nails done, and coming trapped in a blizzard. The bright pastel colors they use stand out and give the video as a whole a more vintage feel. Directed by Tyler, the Creator himself and clocking in at just over a minute, the “LUMBERJACK” video was a good lead into his latest album, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST.
#4. “Up” – Cardi B
Cardi B has never been a stranger to high budget music videos. Her bright and fun visuals for “Up” show her sprawled in an oyster, rapping with Barbie doll heads in her hair, and even drinking champagne in a nude bodysuit on a glass table held up by a naked man. Cardi is clearly in control as the center of every extravagant shot and cements herself as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to her videos.
#3. “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” – Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey is in her element at the beginning of the retro “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” music video. Adorned in pearls and lace, she drives in her red convertible, lounges by the pool, paints, and indulges in the niceties of life before the club is swept up by tornado and horror sets in. Quick transitions juxtapose her previous life as she and her friends turn into werewolves as the nightmare lurking underneath bleeds into reality.
#2. “Thot Shit” – Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion takes aim and fires at the politicians who have criticized her overly sexualized songs and dancing over the years. The politician in the video receives an anonymous threat from Stallion herself and after not heeding her warning, feels her wrath. She hits him with a garbage truck, mobbing him with her dancers in the grocery store and diner, and even pouring hot coffee onto his head. The bold video even references some famous horror scenes such as a Nightmare on Elm Street where Krueger’s glove rises from the water as his latest victim takes a bath.
#1. “Ungodly Hour” – Chloe x Halle
Even though this song was released off of their successful 2020 album of the same name, the music video for “Ungodly Hour” takes a futuristic turn in showing the sisters in pulsing, neon rooms surrounded by wiring and other technology. Though their vocals are typically the focus of Chloe and Halle’s releases, the visuals accompanying this show a different and more creative side of the duo.