Music videos have been a large part of an artist’s repertoire since the invent of programming like MTV and BET, showcasing the artist’s creativity and the artistic talents of countless directors, artists, and designers. Underrated and often given little display are animated music videos, where artists can often impart a fantastical view of their audio visions onto the audience, and often looking better than the music sounds.
We at Stereo Champions scoured the records to compile our top 25 animated Hip Hop music videos, based on creativity and design styles, where artists from America to France have finessed captivating visual content to partner with their sounds. Without delay, let’s start the countdown:
Coming from the infamous KRS-One, ‘Break the Chain’ is the music video adaptation of the audio-comic project compiled by Kyle Baker (who also created the Nat Turner comics) where he used various artists to create a comic that channeled the message that the chains of slavery were removed, physically, and were applied to the mind. He visually reminds the audience to be mindful of their own culture and the importance of self-confidence and cultural pride.
In this ode to Speed Racer, Ghostface skillfully melds his lyrics with segments of a mildly hilarious episode of Speed Racer. While this classic isn’t anything new, the concept is quite creative and flows with the punches as the Wu deliver bars that hit almost as hard as cars who can’t seem to compete with Speed’s greatness.
This video isn’t perfect. It has some extremely mundane styles of drawing and typography but that isn’t where its creativity makes sense, obviously. The interesting yet smooth use of color, gory yet artful imagery, and clear depiction of concepts are easily compelling even if the song may not be so much. Animation isn’t new – but there’s still much to be played with in the realm of animated music videos.
In this highly artistic piece, Uptown XO experiments with simplicity and jarring symbols that evoke well-understood meaning in the audience in addition to the rhythmic use of imagery. This DMV artist is known for putting out heat so there is no surprise there.
It’s not easy to match up real-life imagery with animation and one of the introductory videos, the Gorillaz did just that. With an innovative script, the animated figures keep the audience entertained while continuing the Gorillaz narrative as an animated band – which was undeniably novel.
In this heavy mix of CGI and animation, the Gorillaz once again find a simple way to creatively convey hilarity without being overly offensive, and continue to wow us with the antics of their band members.