We’re back with another roundup of some of the week’s best and most talked about music videos. We’ve got some very powerful videos from Vic Mensa and Macklemore, along with some videos for big club hits from the likes of Calvin Harris and The Chainsmokers. Check out the full roundup and my reactions below.
Vic Mensa – 16 Shots
Mensa’s hard-hitting song from his last mixtape about the Chicago teen, Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times by police, was given an equally provocative video. The video shows Vic going through all kinds of police brutality, including beatings, getting tazed, and ultimately getting shot. But he continues to get up and walk away from each incident. It’s powerful imagery, but the most powerful punch comes from video of the actual shooting of the teen. “16 Shots” is an equally powerful song about the problems going on in our society today and the frustration people (especially black) feel with our policing and way we’re treated.
Joe Budden – I Gotta Ask
Joe Budden releases the first imagery from his latest album, Rage & The Machine. It interweaves footage from his live shows, with video of New Jersey, and Joe rapping throughout a mansion. It’s not revolutionary videography but it’s cleanly executed. The song itself is super dope, the beat flips a dope sample and Joe drops his usual dope bars
KXNG Crooked – Shoot Back (Dear Officer)
Crooked I KXNG Crooked return with his own video and song about the recent police shootings and unrest in the black community. The video is a little low budget and shows Crooked dealing with crooked “police” in various instances. The song however, is pure quality. The beat is fire and Crooked verbally dismantles it as usual.
Zeds Dead – Too Young
Probably my favorite track off Zeds latest project (thanks Pusha) gets the visual treatment. It’s all done in claymation(?), and I guess it’s a take on our “selfie” culture and addiction to our phones and social media. The video is meh, but the song is dope.
Macklemore – Drug Dealer
Macklemore has been known for his heavy handed songs and “Drug Dealer” is near the top of that list. I wasn’t a huge fan of the song, but the video makes me like it more. It’s really powerful imagery about a person going through severe drug addiction and withdrawals, which he’s had personal struggles with. The song and video’s a powerful takedown of prescription drugs.
A song I’ve been hearing in the clubs a good amount lately gets the visual treatment. The video itself makes no sense in relation to the song, but it’s Calvin so he gets a big budget and clean visuals. The song is typical dance fare and definitely not his best work.
The Chainsmokers – Closer
“Closer” is probably the biggest song out right now and it finally gets its own video. Typical music video fare about a guy falling for a girl. Nothing that’ll change the world. I can’t say the song is anything really special but there’s no denying it’s catchy.
What’d you think about the videos that dropped this week? Which ones were your favorites? Did I miss any that I should be checking out? Let me know in the comments below and subscribe to our weekly newsletters if you enjoy the content we put out.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.