Top 21 Music Videos of 2010 – Part 1

Posted December 31, 2010 by J Matthew Cobb in Features

HiFi Magazine highlights the best music videos of 2010

In our inaugural “best-of” assignment, HiFi Magazine rounds up the very best music videos of 2010. A nice hybrid of rock, pop, R&B and indie made their way into our visual collection. Of course, high concept, adventurous experiments highlighted this year’s picks. And while many decided to expand the idea of the epic mini-movie idea (i.e., M.I.A., Kanye West, Ne-Yo), some were actually pretty incredible to pass up. You will probably be amazed to witness some of our choices did their very best to avoid the computer-generated, million-dollar budgets. Just good ole edits and lots of teamwork. So here’s the first half of the top 21 best music videos of 2010. May the video countdown begin.

>> Fast forward >> Top 21 Music Videos 0f 2010 – Part 2


Justin Bieber feat. Ludacris


Bieber chases a girl through a Cosmic bowling alley and his hard work pays off as a growing crowd gets in on the fun of the bubblegum pop tune. The girls go against the boys in a hearty dance-off done with the spunk of a ‘You Got Served’ featurette.


“Whip My Hair”

The song, after a bundle of repeats, gets nerve-wrecking due to its overly-repetitive loop, but the video shimmers with youthful Punky Brewster rebellion. As you already know, the kids start waving their hair back and forth. It’s more exciting to see than it looks on paper.


“Teenage Dream”
Katy Perry

Okay, the song sucks you in when the chorus enters, but the video focuses in on Perry’s exaggerated alter ego: Rebel-erina. There’s a good dose of sexuality being tossed about in the concept video, especially in the scenes with her video partner – actor Josh Kloss. As the song works its last set of rounds, the highly-spirited teens gets rowdier in their carefree world of dance-pop music and lusty romance.


Janelle Monae feat. Big Boi


Sliding her way through a mental ward, Monae brings the funk of James Brown, the creative quirkiness of OutKast and her on-stage Jackie Wilson technique to a boil. Her fancy footwork and dazzling antics spread on the rest of the cast like a climax in a Broadway play.


“Soldier of Love”

Lead singer Helen Folasade Adu is seen riding on a white horse, dressed in light combat gear. Gorgeous experiments of wind hitting flying capes and powerfully executed greenroom creations are amassed. But Sade takes on ambitious roles here. She’s dancing a mean tango, she’s seen twirling a lasso and she’s leading a troupe of soldiers in routine step-by-step marching drills.


“Love the Way You Lie” feat. Rihanna

Rage and love combined details the unsung story of a tumultuous love affair playing Russian roulette, portrayed by actors Megan Fox (“Transformers”) and Dominic Monaghan (“Lost”). Eminem’s aggressive words and Rihanna’s warm sex appeal on the chorus are a nice contrast. By the end of the video, all the dark cinematics pauses as a house fire burns out of control.


“Rude Boy”

Using the blueprints of Andy Warhol’s imaginative pop art, Rihanna uses MTV Eighties-themed visuals, jungle prints and dazzling 3-D layouts on one spunktacular big-bass club jam. Add to the equation – her sex appeal is merciless.


“Shutterbug” feat. Cutty
Big Boi

Big Boi marches into a room and leads a band of Muppet-styled musicians in one flashy, colorful display of artsy Eighties pop art. The Tron-inspired dancers also help add that special magic touch for the song’s ’80’s electro synths.


“Bang Bang Bang” feat. MNDR and Q-Tip
Mark Ronson and the Business International

The super-producer interrupts your regular programming with an retro-inspired, futuristic-imagined “Power Rangers-meets-Ed Sullivan” palette. MNDR and Q-Tip are also in on this new-age adventure. While cracking down on the winning elements of its visual effects, you’re witnessing one helluva Technicolor music video entrapped in a virtual arcade game.


“Who’s That? Brooown!”
Das Racist

Jump into the video game world with this funky trip back to Nintendo and Atari. With Suri and Vazquez hitting the streets of New York to fill in for Jay-Z and Justin Bieber at a nearby concert, a host of images from Frogger, Double Dragon, Q*bert, Tetris, Rampage, Back to the Future are inserted into the mix. The 8-bit video game, created by the Brooklyn-bred rap group, can be temporarily accessed at their website.


“Born Free”

Kanye may have inspired an invasion on the Establishment with his George Dubya rants, but alternative rapper M.I.A. created the course. This nine-minute art film depicts a United Stated S.W.A.T. team invading an apartment building and beating a bunch of young red-headed men into submission and then captivity. The song’s psychedelic punk rock swells and peaks like motion picture background music at the right moments. It’s a horrifying video to watch, much like the gorno genre of horror films, but there’s a silver lining etched deep beneath the painful images. If political parties, censorship groups and governmental policing are having a hard time digesting M.I.A.’s explosive art form, the controversy surely got the point across. In case you didn’t get the memo: None of us are really born free.


Top 21 Music Videos of 2010 – Part 2

For the second half, check out “Top 21 Music Videos of 2010 – Part 2” by clicking here.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine

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