Björk takes a trek through Iceland's caves, Tinashe breaks out in a cold sweat and Kendrick Lamar gets shot in a black and white dream
KENDRICK LAMAR - "ALRIGHT"
Kendrick’s videos have always come out on top, from the old skool church feels of "Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” to the dark, spilled-out street party in “I”. However, this breath-takingly stylish Colin Tilley-directed, black and white dream for “Alright” has to be one of his best. In it, cars go up in white flames, Kendrick floats through the stark, monochrome city of the Bay to LA, before eventually getting shot by the fingers of a policeman, tumbling slow-mo to his death.
TINASHE - "COLD SWEAT"
Tinashe gets warped and trippy in this amorphous visual for her glistening R&B jam “Cold Sweat”, taken off last year’s debut Aquarius. As with all her best vids, the honey-voiced, dark pop priestess created it herself, alongside director Stephen Garnett. Also, she somehow makes that Little Red Riding Hood cloak look like a must-have garment, which is kind of cool in itself.
RAURY - "DEVIL'S WHISPER"
Last year, we included Raury’s fun and freeing visual for “God’s Whisper” in our top 20 music videos of 2014, and now, the Atlanta future-funk singer has blessed us with it’s dark and twisted sister “Devil’s Whisper” (below). In it, Indigo child Raury sings in a dark and hazy bar, takes part in an outside bathtub-dunking christening ceremony and ends up asleep on the same roof as the first video instalment, making a full circle. Just like “God's Whisper”, this video is utterly engrossing.
M.I.A. has always shattered convention through her high-octane visuals, political provocation and banging beats, and this month’s explosive creation with Gener8ion is no different. The clip is carefully cut ‘n’ pasted from Inigo Westmeier’s 2012 documentary Dragon Girls which follows the Tagou Martial Arts School in China. “I think (the film) is a good metaphor for the message M.I.A. is communicating in the song,” Gener8ion told us in an interview last month. “It shows the feeling of those little girls training in the biggest kung fu school in China, how they develop their identities in that kind of strict environment and manage to stay human.”
BJORK - "BLACK LAKE"
We couldn’t have been more excited when this MoMA-premiered video from Björk landed on Dazed during the second part of our Björk residency, and unless you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll understand why. “It was a complex yet adventurous process to synchronize with so many departments,” Björk told Dazed, before referring to “Stonemilker” as “Black Lake’s spontaneous baby sibling.” In it, Björk crouches and crumbles through the dark, womb-like depths of Iceland’s caves before emerging onto the soft green highlands above. As ever, it’s an intense, cinematic lesson in the far-reaching possibilities of what a music video can look, feel and sound like.
GEORGIA - "NOTHING SOLUTIONS"
If you haven’t fallen in love with London’s brightest new experimentalist GEoRGiA yet, then now’s the time. This mysterious, demon-filled visual sees the singer sprinting through a purple-lit forest as night glimmers into day and the white sun spills through the leaves. Weirdest camping trip ever, am I right? Also, the electro-pop hybrid comes ahead of her upcoming debut album. We can’t wait.
LA PRIEST - "LORRY PARK"
This disorientating video from ex-Late of the Pier artist Sam Dust aka La Priest is a kaleidoscopic creation of colourful shapes, twisted movements and kinetic, electronic sounds. You get the idea that this is what the world might look like if you could zoom in its furthest verges with a microscope. The evolution of La Priest has truly begun.
ILOVEMAKONNEN - "SUPER CHEF"
It has been proven that there is no better breakfast in the morning than a big fat joint and some fried-up broccoli. Health advice aside, this video from Dazed 100 alumnus iLoveMakonnen is made up of the same lo-fi oddball vibes that made us love the Atlanta rapper’s beats in the first place. Oh, and the murky, stripped-back visual is directed by Father of Awful Records fame – can you tell?
DONMONIQUE - "YOU AIN'T HEARD"
Last week, we included rising East Coast rapper DonMonique on our list of six female rappers you should be listening to right now, simply because that’s exactly what you should be doing. This video for “You Ain’t Heard” is just as shadow-filled and murky as the dark and dirty production from Ryan Scott. In it, DonMonique shakes her braids, blows smoke at the camera and looks as cool as what she's been cooking.
RIHANNA - "BITCH BETTER HAVE MY MONEY"
Yeah, we thought we’d save one of the best ‘til last. This Rihanna and Megaforce-directed visual has everything you’d want in a music video jammed into seven minutes, from nudity to horror to arson – and that’s without mentioning the flurry of cult film references, analogue-shot cinematography, major outfit choices and the turnt-up, hip hop anthem that lays behind it. To find out exactly how this killer music video was made, have a read of our interview with Léo Berne from Megaforce.