Look Back At It: CB's Favorite Music Videos of 2014

Posted by Chris Black on December 15, 2014 in Lists

Contributor Post

What’s really good my IMVDB heads... (please, hold your applause)...! It’s ya boy CB aka Blakaveli and it’s been a minute since ya boy has dropped a gem on em! I've been mad busy which is great but I miss hitting y'all with these ill music video knowledge darts. But enough about moi!

The good folks at IMVDB asked me to put together a end of the year list of some of MY favorite music videos of 2014. Now, end of the year lists are always tricky and can be sometimes boring; usually because they're written to appease the public's opinion. Not with this list. There are a few videos we can agree on that are dope that have been co-signed by damn near everyone and there are some that will leave you like... "huh?" But that's the beauty of having my own column...I can say and do whatever I want BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. 

For example, IMVDB asked me to make my list 10 deep. Ya know what though? I'M MAKING MY LIST 13 DEEP CAUSE I'M A REBEL! There were a lot of videos this year. A LOT! A lot of good ones that I wanted to include on this list. If you don't see your video on this list then either your check hasn't cleared yet or you haven't sent me the check yet... *wink wink*. And ya know how most lists try to rank videos...naw son...I'mma give it to you raw! I'll leave you guys to decide which one is THEE best of the year. Good luck! Here we go:

1. Jake Bugg - "There's a Beat and We All Feed It"
Dir: Bob Harlow

I love the energy and imagery of this video! Each portrait is so quick and jarring that it doesn't leave you time to process what the fuck you just saw. It matches the energy of the track perfectly! The use of mixed media works very nicely here.

2. She and Him - "Stay Awhile"

This video is just really dreamy! The thing I love about CANADA is that you can tell when you're watching a CANADA video. They're so visually striking and interesting and they have a light tone to them. 

3. Ben Khan - "Youth"

Here's another video that has a distinct look that can only be attributed to BRTHR. Not only is this track a banger, but the video has a lot of dark elements and is a moodier output for BRTHR. Again, the images fly by you so quickly that you've got to watch it few more times to catch everything. I like that in a video! A lot of dope visual choices in this one. Shout out to my guys Alex & Kyle.

4. Paolo Nutini - "Iron Sky"
Dir: Daniel Wolfe

Holy shit! That's really all that can be said of this amazingly powerful video from Daniel Wolfe. Daniel Wolfe always comes with that rawness in his music videos. And this one is his rawest!! So good! Shot so incredibly well. This video does a great job of creating an emotional connection between subject and audience. Holy shit!!! 

5. DJ Snake feat. Lil Jon - Turn Down For What

The biggest video of the year!!! The Daniels did it again, but bigger! This is such a fun video to watch and I'm sure it was pretty fun to make. The casting was perfect and there's no one who can pelvic thrust quite like Dan Kwan. I've see him dance irl and he's a beast on the dance floor. Keep shaking that thang thang Dan! Big ups!

6. Faces On Film - "The Rule"
Dir: Carlos Lopez Estrada

Sometimes what makes a music video good is it's simplicity and often times because budgets are so small, it's hard trying to find that balance between simple and interesting concepts and small budgets. This video from Carlos Lopez Estrada finds that balance. A simple and smart music video that features cool animation. It's something about the flames that puts me in a trance. Very cool concept!

7. Flying Lotus feat. Kendrick Lamar - "Never Catch Me"
Dir: Hiro Murai

Wow! Hiro had an incredible year! He released a million music videos this year and they were all fire!!! I'll be honest, I had trouble deciding which Hiro video to include in this list. I went with the video that resonated with me the most, emotionally and it's his Flying Lotus video. There are so many dope things about this video. The casting, the narrative, the choreography... those kids danced their asses off (as my mom would say)!!! The ending is beyond perfect! Shout out to Hiro!!

8. Jon Waltz - "Bang"
Dir. John Merizalde

Most of the hip-hop videos I watched this year were terrible. But this video is one of those standouts of the year. This video is such a beautifully crafted rap video that avoids rap video cliches. I call this a "Hood noir." John does a great job of capturing the emotion of the song (a tale about gun violence) in this piece. Every time I watch it I get chills as it connects with me on a personal level. Wish more hip-hop videos were this compelling. Shout out to John!

9. Wunder Wunder - "Hail The Madmen"
Dir: Dimitri Basil

This video is so hilarious and strange and full of babes! Helloooo nurse! I love the look of this video with it's 60's beach vibe going. The first time I saw this video I was hoping to see what the threat was which means I missed the point completely. Who cares what the threat is?!?! The comedy and absurdity lies in the people's reactions to the threat. The people being thrown in the background! The black dude doing cartwheels instead of running!! There's so much genius going on in this! And the casting is so on point!!! Such a fun and memorable video!

10. Black Atlass - "Jewels"
Dir: Yoann Lemoine

When I watched this video for the first time my initial thought was, "Is there anything Yoann CAN'T do?!?!?" I imagine him being bad at like, making toast. But he's an accomplished director, musician, etc. I read that he did all the 3D modeling himself for this video. WTF?!?! Anyways, this video is so fire!!! It's so strange and weird and interesting and slightly scary and haunting and, and, and...!!! This might be my favorite from Yoann. Bananas!

11. Paul McCartney - "Early Days"
Dir: Vincent Haycock

Man!! Another one of those videos that makes you warm on the inside. This video reminds me so much of my grandfather who's from Mississippi and the stories he'd tell me. Watching this video is like watching my grandfather's story come to life. Beautiful execution on so many levels. The casting, the cinematography, the narrative...all on point! Another banger for Vince! Shout out to Vince!

12. M.I.A. - "Double Bubble Trouble"
Dir: M.I.A.

First off, most of you don't know that i'm a big Power Rangers fan (Power Rangers was trash from Zeo and on). When I was like 12, my mom took me to see the Power Rangers movie and not only was I the biggest (physically) kid there, I was the oldest. Anyway, the Chorus from M.I.A.'s song comes from the Power Rangers movie theme song... (shout out Shampoo and fuck Ivan Ooze). 

Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah...this video is so ill! It's got a heavy internet aesthetic that comes off as cool and not pretentious. So many strange and interesting images and subcultures featured in this video. Maya is the fuckin coolest isn't she?!?!? I love you ma!

13. Beyonce - "7/11"
Dir: Beyonce

Just so you know I'm legally obligated to include at least one Beyonce mention in this post so I figure I might as well throw one of her videos in the mix. Now I'm not the biggest Beyonce fan, but I love this video. A LOT! What I love about this video is that there's no crew, lights, cinema camera, it's just Beyonce and her dancers and she's so real in this. We're seeing a side of her we rarely see. Image is so important in music videos and Beyonce's like, "or nah." She just kept it 100 and let us into her world a little bit making everyone slightly more envious of her life. God I love Beyonce! I love you Jay, but Beyonce Knowles-Black has a better ring to it!

Well guys, those are all the videos of 2014 I enjoyed! If you felt I left something out then let me know. Drop me a line at theblack@imvdb.com or find me on Twitter @theblack. I'll be back in 2015 with more heat. Have a great holiday and may your children be black and beautiful!

Black, out!

Chris Black is a music video director and producer. He's got the cool of Zack Morris with Mr. Belding's haircut. He's highly intellexual and hella urban. When he's not talking about rap, he's discussing the music video form. He's got Alfalfa dreams, but Buckwheat realities. Check him out on twitter (@theblack) or peep his website (chrisblack.la).

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