The best rap music videos of all time include “thriller” by michael jackson and “gin and juice” by snoop dogg. These videos are known for their unique style, creativity, and cultural impact.
Rap has always been more than just music. It’s a culture that includes fashion, language, and visual art. Many of the best rap songs have also been accompanied by visually stunning music videos that are as important and influential as the songs themselves.
From iconic videos like “thriller” by michael jackson to more recent hits like “this is america” by childish gambino, rap has continuously pushed the boundaries and set trends in music videos. In this article, we will take a look at the best rap music videos of all time and explore the reasons why they’ve stood the test of time.
Rap Music Videos: The Art Form That Reached New Heights
Rap music videos have been a staple of the music industry since the 1980s. These videos have become more than just a way for musicians to promote their latest tracks. They have transformed into a unique form of art that showcases the creativity and talent of the performer.
Rap music videos have become a medium through which artists can express their vision and represent their style. We will take a look at the history, impact, and significance of rap music videos.
A Brief History Of Rap Music Videos
- The first rap music video was released in 1981 for the sugarhill gang’s “rapper’s delight.”
- Mtv began airing rap music videos in the mid-1980s, leading to the genre’s explosive growth in popularity.
- In the 1990s, rap music videos became more elaborate and expensive, featuring high budget sets and special effects.
- In the 2000s and beyond, rap music videos have continued to evolve and experiment with new visual techniques, such as animation and cgi.
The Impact Of Music Videos On The Rap Industry
- Music videos played a crucial role in making rap music more mainstream and accessible to a wider audience.
- The success of rappers such as run dmc and ll cool j can be attributed to their iconic music videos.
- The artistry and creativity showcased in rap music videos has had a major influence on popular culture, fashion, and visual media.
Why Rap Music Videos Are Worth Watching
- Rap music videos are not only a visual representation of a musical track, but they also tell a story and convey powerful messages.
- The videos showcase the artist’s personality and style, allowing fans to connect with them on a deeper level.
- Rap music videos often feature stunning visuals, dynamic choreography, and talented performers, making them a captivating and entertaining art form.
Rap music videos have evolved from a simple promotional tool to a highly significant and influential art form. They have played a crucial role in shaping the music industry and popular culture, while also showcasing the unique artistic vision of the performers.
With their stunning visuals, storytelling, and creativity, rap music videos are definitely worth watching.
1. “Formation” By Beyoncé
The Cultural Significance Of “Formation”
Beyoncé’s “formation” music video is not just a catchy tune with a well-shot visual accompaniment; it’s a cultural phenomenon. There were numerous theories that she was sending a message to the masses with this song and video, and many took note, as it struck a chord with the african-american community.
Here are some key points that illustrate the cultural significance of this music video:
- The song and video are steeped in black culture, highlighting issues like police brutality and the aftermath of hurricane katrina.
- The “black lives matter” movement was brought to the forefront, with the lyrics of “formation” serving as an anthem for those who feel marginalized.
- In addition to empowering the african-american community, the music video illustrates the beauty and resilience of black culture.
The Theme And Symbolism Of The Music Video
“formation” is jam-packed with symbolism and imagery, reflecting the song’s lyrics and the plight of the african-american community. Here are some of the themes and symbols:
- The video was filmed in new orleans, reflecting the city’s cultural heritage and struggles. The video showcases details such as a “stop shooting us” graffiti, reflecting the issues of police brutality and violence.
- Beyoncé’s wardrobe featured several nods to black history, such as michael jackson and the black panthers.
- At one point in the video, beyonce lies atop a police car and then sinks in the water, representing the aftermath of hurricane katrina and the lack of action during the disaster.
- The choreography includes many references to african history and culture, showcasing the diversity and beauty of blackness.
The Impact Of “Formation” On Modern Culture
The impact of “formation” went beyond the music industry. It challenged the status quo and sparked conversations about race, culture, and empowerment. Here are some of the ways in which the song and video impacted modern culture:
- It sparked debates and discussions about cultural appropriation vs. Appreciation in pop culture.
- “formation” was praised for being both a challenge to the status quo and a call to action for the black community to take back their power.
- The music video inspired fashion trends, merchandise, and even a dance craze on social media platforms like tiktok.
- “formation” serves as a cultural milestone that has helped to create more opportunities for african american performers and artists.
“formation” is more than just a music video. It represents a shift towards more significant cultural conversations and pushes the boundaries of what is expected from a pop star. Its imagery and lyrics serve as a powerful reflection of the modern day’s racial struggles.
2. “Humble.” By Kendrick Lamar
The Visual Storytelling Of “Humble.”
Kendrick lamar’s “humble. ” Music video is a visual masterpiece that tells a compelling story. Here are some key points to help you understand the video’s visual storytelling:
- The opening shot of kendrick in religious attire and a glowing halo represents his own temptations and his willingness to play into the images of power and wealth in rap culture.
- The juxtaposition of kendrick sitting at a table filled with food and drink next to an empty table is symbolic of the themes of temptation and greed that he tackles throughout the song.
- The video also features a number of striking visuals, including shots of kendrick in a room with his head on fire and his collaboration with a group of musicians dressed in monk robes.
- The use of beautiful women in the video is also notable. The women aren’t sexualized but serve to represent the theme of temptation that kendrick is battling.
The Meaning Behind The Music Video’S Imagery
A crucial aspect of the “humble. ” Music video is the use of visually stunning imagery, which conveys important messages. Let’s take a look at the meaning behind some of the video’s most striking imagery.
- The shot of kendrick dressed in a pope’s hat with a blurry background represents his rejection of the catholic church’s tradition.
- The image of kendrick’s head on fire denotes the power he possesses and his ability to take over the rap game.
- The shot of kendrick and his disciples at the last supper portrays kendrick as a prophet.
All of these visuals showcase kendrick as a dominant force in hip hop and someone who refuses to conform to societal norms.
The Significance Of “Humble.” In Hip Hop Culture
“humble. ” Is not only one of kendrick lamar’s most popular songs but also one of the most significant records in hip hop culture. Here’s why:
- The song’s message about the importance of authenticity and humility in hip hop struck a chord with listeners, especially in the context of the materialistic and image-conscious nature of the genre.
- The music video’s symbolism and avant-garde visuals were a breath of fresh air in a hip hop scene that was becoming increasingly predictable.
- “humble.” Has cements kendrick lamar’s place as one of the most important musicians of his generation, and as a cultural icon who consistently pushes the boundaries of traditional hip hop.
“humble. ” And its accompanying music video is a tour de force that seamlessly blends familiar hip hop themes with thought-provoking visuals to create an unforgettable experience. It’s no wonder that the song has solidified kendrick lamar’s status as one of the greatest artists of our time.
3. “This Is America” By Childish Gambino
Best Rap Music Videos Of All Time – “This Is America” By Childish Gambino
Childish gambino’s “this is america” is one of the most iconic music videos in rap history. The poignant messaging of the video created a noticeable impact on society and pop culture. Below are the key elements of “this is america” that make it an unmatched masterpiece.
The Message And Commentary Behind “This Is America”
The video depicts the harsh realities of gun violence and police brutality against minorities in america. It sheds light on the country’s hidden truths and emphasizes the need for a change in the system. Some key points to note are:
- The video depicts the contrast between the joy and madness going on in the background with the dance moves and glover’s character.
- The lyrics repeat, “this is america” and signify the ongoing reality and reminder of the country’s situation.
- Gambino’s sharp commentary is evident throughout the video, through his actions and facial expressions.
The Use Of Symbolism In The Music Video
The video utilizes several symbols to convey its message, giving it a lot of depth and metaphorical meaning. Some examples are:
- Starting the video with gambino shooting a man with a bag over his head signifies the senseless violence that goes unnoticed in society.
- The chorus consists of children repeating the phrases, representing the future generation that is doomed to the same violent fate if things don’t change.
- The usage of white horses and sports cars symbolize the privileges and power of the wealthy. Meanwhile, the absence of any regard for the african-american population is symbolized by the way gambino dances with these things as the violence goes on in the background.
The Impact Of “This Is America” On Society And Pop Culture
Since the video’s release in 2018, it has left an indelible mark on society and pop culture, driving conversations about gun violence and racism. Some crucial points about the impact of the music video are:
- The video was praised by multiple publications for its cutting-edge commentary and seamless blending of art and social criticism.
- The video won four grammys, including “record of the year” and “song of the year.”
- It is known for starting conversation surrounding the black lives matter movement, and gambino’s lyrics and imagery have become an iconic symbol of the movement.
Childish gambino’s “this is america” is a masterpiece with a powerful message that will resonate with generations to come. Through its use of symbolism, social commentary, and artistic talent, the video has catalyzed action and educated viewers about the harsh realities of america.
4. “Gin And Juice” By Snoop Doggy Dogg
The Legacy Of “Gin And Juice” In The Rap Industry
Snoop doggy dogg’s “gin and juice” was a game-changing rap music video that left a lasting impact on the genre. Here are some key takeaways about its legacy:
- “gin and juice” was released in 1994 and became an instant hit on mtv.
- The music video solidified snoop dogg’s place as a west coast rap icon.
- The track’s laid-back vibe and catchy chorus made it a staple at many parties and gatherings.
- “gin and juice” has been referenced in numerous rap songs over the years and been covered by various artists.
- Its message of partying and having a good time has cemented it as a timeless classic among rap fans.
How The Music Video Epitomized West Coast Rap Culture
“gin and juice” was not only a musical masterpiece but also a visual one. The music video was a perfect representation of west coast rap culture at the time, as demonstrated by these points:
- The video was shot in long beach, california, showcasing the unique atmosphere of the west coast.
- It featured a pool party with upbeat music, happy people, and a lot of gin and juice.
- The music video was full of lowriders, palm trees, and other southern californian vibes that became fixtures in future west coast rap music videos.
- The fashion and attitudes of the people in the video epitomized the laid-back, relaxed, and cool style of the west coast.
The Influence Of “Gin And Juice” On Future Rap Music Videos
Snoop doggy dogg’s “gin and juice” music video set a standard for future rap music videos that to this day, has not been surpassed. Here are some points demonstrating the impact it had:
- The unique visuals and atmosphere used in the “gin and juice” music video set the bar high for future rap music videos.
- It gave aspiring rap artists hope that music videos could be used to create and showcase a specific cultural identity.
- The music video’s party theme became a prevalent theme in future rap music videos.
- Snoop dogg’s confident and relaxed energy showcased in the video became a staple in future rap artist’s personalities.
Considering its impact, snoop dogg’s “gin and juice” music video will always be listed among the best rap music videos of all time.
5. “Alright” By Kendrick Lamar
The Political Message And Symbolism Of “Alright”
“alright” by kendrick lamar is an iconic music video that not only features an infectious beat that gets you moving but also a powerful message about the political and social issues facing the african american community.
- The song encapsulates the struggles faced by the community, such as police brutality and economic inequality, and highlights the need for resilience and hope.
- Symbolism is peppered throughout the video, such as the scene where kendrick lamar is hugging a person in a hoodie, who then disappears in his arms, acting as a metaphor for the loss of young black lives.
The Unique Filming Techniques Used In The Music Video
The “alright” music video sets itself apart from others in several ways, as it not only uses spectacular visuals, but the way the video was filmed is also noteworthy.
- The video features several tracking shots that follow kendrick from various angles, adding an element of depth to the video and enhancing the visual appeal.
- A significant part of the video was also filmed using a crane camera, which allowed the director to capture the full range of the street sets while showing the intricate choreography of the dancers.
The Impact Of “Alright” On The Black Lives Matter Movement
Since its release, “alright” has become an anthem for the black lives matter movement, inspiring millions to stand up against police brutality and systemic racism in america.
- The lyrics of the song and the visuals of the video capture the frustration and anger felt by the black community towards the government and law enforcement, providing a voice for those who had been marginalized for so long.
- The video has also become a symbol of hope and resilience for the community. The scene where kendrick raps on top of traffic lights as police cars surround him represents the possibility of overcoming oppression.
“alright” by kendrick lamar is one of the most iconic and impactful music videos of all time, with the message resonating beyond just the music industry. The video highlights the need for equality, resilience, and hope in today’s society and inspires people to fight for change.
6. “Bad And Boujee” By Migos
The Viral Success Of “Bad And Boujee”
Atlanta trio, migos, released their track “bad and boujee” on october 28, 2016, with an accompanying music video. The song quickly went viral, launching migos to new heights of fame and recognition. Here are some notable facts about the viral success of “bad and boujee”:
- “bad and boujee” topped the billboard hot 100 chart in january 2017, knocking off ed sheeran’s smash “shape of you”.
- The song’s viral success was partly due to a challenge on the social media platform tiktok, where users lip-synced to a specific phrase within the song and uploaded their videos. This led to a significant spike in the track’s popularity.
- “bad and boujee” was later parodied on saturday night live, further cementing its cultural impact.
The Stylish And Comedic Nature Of The Music Video
The music video for “bad and boujee” showcases migos’s distinctive style and humor. The artists can be seen sporting designer clothing and accessories while performing in various luxurious settings. Here are some notable elements of the video’s style and comedy:
- The video features a number of humorous scenes, such as migos dabbing with stacks of cash and sipping on champagne.
- The trio wears eye-catching outfits throughout the video, including fur coats and oversized sunglasses.
- The video’s cinematography and lighting add to the stylish and slick atmosphere, with shots of the artists rapping against neon-lit backdrops.
The Impact Of “Bad And Boujee” On Trap Music
“bad and boujee” is widely credited with bringing trap music to the mainstream, and its influence is still felt in the music industry today. Here are some key points about the impact of “bad and boujee” on trap music:
- The success of “bad and boujee” helped to popularize the trap subgenre known as “mumble rap”, which emphasizes melodic, rhythmically complex flows over traditional lyricism.
- The song’s triplet flow, which features three syllables per beat, became a staple of trap music in the years following its release.
- Many mainstream hip-hop artists, from future to travis scott, have cited “bad and boujee” as a significant influence on their own work.
7. “Express Yourself” By N.W.A.
The Historical Significance Of “Express Yourself”
“express yourself” by n. w. a. Was released in 1989, during a time when hip hop culture was gaining immense popularity and recognition. The song was important because it emphasized the significance of self-expression, particularly for communities that were historically marginalized.
“express yourself” resonated with many and became an anthem of sorts for hip hop fans, especially those who felt ostracized by mainstream society. The song also laid the foundation for the empowerment of black people, especially those from low-income backgrounds, and it continues to inspire people to embrace their identity and stand up for what they believe in.
The Portrayal And Celebration Of Black Culture In The Music Video
The music video for “express yourself” was groundbreaking because it portrayed black culture in a positive light, something that was rare at the time. It showcased black people expressing themselves through dance and music, and it celebrated their creativity and individuality.
The video also featured diverse representation of black individuals, all of whom celebrated their culture in their unique way. This was significant because it gave black people a sense of pride and encouraged them to embrace their cultural heritage, something that had been suppressed for centuries.
The Lyrical And Visual Storytelling Of The Music Video
“express yourself” is a storytelling masterpiece, both lyrically and visually. The song’s lyrics communicate the importance of self-expression and the freedom it provides, while the beat and rhythm are powerful and engaging. The music video, on the other hand, is visually stunning and captivating, with scenes of dancers expressing themselves through movement and graffiti artists creating art.
The video highlights the contrast between mainstream society and hip hop culture, with n. w. a. Standing as representatives of the latter.
“express yourself” by n. w. a. Is one of the most important and influential rap music videos of all time. It resonated with young people from marginalized communities and encouraged them to embrace their identity and express themselves. The song’s music video portrayed black culture in a positive light, and it celebrated the creative expression of marginalized youth.
“express yourself” remains a powerful anthem and a testament to the significance of self-expression in empowering communities.
8. “Hotline Bling” By Drake
The Unique Dance Moves Showcased In “Hotline Bling”
Drake’s “hotline bling” music video showcased some unique dance moves that have become iconic. Here are some of them:
- Shoulder shimmy: Drake’s shoulder shimmy, where he moves his shoulders back and forth, has become a favorite among fans.
- Jazz hands: Drake also incorporates some jazz hands into his dance moves, adding a playful element to his performance.
- The cha-cha: One of the most recognizable parts of the dance in “hotline bling” is when drake does a modified cha-cha slide.
- The noodle: Drake also adds a move that looks like he’s noodle-like, where he bends and twists his body in unexpected ways.
The Viral Memes And Parodies That Followed The Music Video’S Release
“hotline bling” quickly became a viral sensation after its release, inspiring a slew of internet memes and parodies. Here are some of the best ones:
- “hotline bling” but every time drake says “bling,” it gets faster: This viral video remixes “hotline bling” to speed up each time drake says “bling,” which makes for a hilarious and frenetic experience.
- Drake dances to different songs: People on the internet have edited drake’s dance moves from “hotline bling” onto different songs, including “smooth” by santana and rob thomas and “abc” by the jackson 5.
- The snl parody: The comedy show saturday night live did a parody of “hotline bling” with drake, where he pokes fun at his own dancing abilities.
The Impact Of “Hotline Bling” On Drake’S Career
“hotline bling” was a turning point for drake’s career, taking him from a popular rapper to an international superstar. Here are some of the ways that “hotline bling” impacted drake’s career:
- Increased radio play: “hotline bling” was a commercial success, dominating radio play and streaming services, which increased drake’s visibility to a wider audience.
- Introduced drake’s dance moves: Before “hotline bling,” drake wasn’t known for his dance skills. The music video made his unique dance moves go viral, helping him stand out from other rappers and creating a signature move that fans associate with him.
- Award show recognition: “hotline bling” was nominated for and won several awards, including two american music awards and three grammy awards nominations.
9. “Lose Yourself” By Eminem
The Emotional And Raw Nature Of “Lose Yourself”
Eminem’s “lose yourself” is one of the most iconic rap songs of all time. Released in 2002, it quickly became a hit, and its impact still resonates today. At its core, “lose yourself” is a song about overcoming the odds and seizing the moment, even when the stakes are high.
The song’s emotional and raw nature is what makes it so powerful.
Here are some key points about the emotional and raw nature of “lose yourself”:
- Eminem’s delivery is intense and raw, making the lyrics feel more personal and intimate.
- The song’s lyrics deal with issues like self-doubt, fear of failure, and the pressure to succeed, which are universal themes that many people can relate to.
- “lose yourself” is an anthem for anyone who has ever felt like an underdog or faced impossible odds.
The Use Of Flashbacks And Imagery To Tell A Story
One of the reasons why “lose yourself” stands out as one of the best rap music videos of all time is its use of flashbacks and imagery to tell a story. The music video enhances the song’s message and elevates it to another level.
Here are some key points about the use of flashbacks and imagery in “lose yourself”:
- The music video uses flashbacks to show how different events in eminem’s life have led him to this moment. This adds depth and context to the song’s lyrics.
- The use of imagery, such as the shot of eminem’s sweaty hands before going on stage, helps to create a visceral connection to the song’s message.
- The music video’s cinematography and editing are excellent, adding to the overall impact of the visual storytelling.
The Impact Of “Lose Yourself” On Hip Hop And Film
Finally, “lose yourself” has had a significant impact on both hip hop and film. The song’s success and popularity have helped to shape the genre and inspire countless artists.
Here are some key points about the impact of “lose yourself” on hip hop and film:
- “lose yourself” was the first rap song to win an academy award for best original song. This was a huge moment for the genre and proved its mainstream viability.
- The song has been covered and sampled by many artists over the years, proving its enduring appeal.
- The music video’s impact has been felt in the filmmaking community, inspiring other music videos and even movies to use similar techniques and storytelling devices.
Overall, “lose yourself” is an iconic song that has had a profound impact on the world of music and film. Its emotional and raw nature, use of flashbacks and imagery, and cultural significance make it one of the best rap music videos of all time.
10. “Mo Money Mo Problems” By The Notorious B.I.G.
The Iconic Fashion And Style Showcased In The Music Video
The music video for “mo money mo problems” by the notorious b. i. g. Is known for its iconic fashion and style, which still continues to inspire current fashion trends. Here are some of the highlights:
- The classic black and white suits worn by the trio of the notorious b.i.g., mase, and diddy are still a popular fashion choice.
- The shiny, oversized bling worn by the artists, including the notorious b.i.g. ‘s infamous “big poppa” necklace, sets a new standard for hip hop jewelry that is still followed today.
- The dancing background actors, dressed in bright, fun-colored clothing, add a playful touch to the serious tone of the video.
The Visual Storytelling And Celebration Of Success
“mo money mo problems” celebrates the joy of success and the lifestyle that comes with it. The music video visualizes this story with the following elements:
- The extravagant mansion where the party is taking place signifies the success that the artists have achieved.
- The countless champagne bottles and the overall lavishness of the party signify that the rappers have made it “big” and are enjoying the fruits of their labor.
- The energetic dance scenes and confident performances of the artists and background actors cement the idea that they are on top of the world.
The Influence Of “Mo Money Mo Problems” On Rap Music During The 90S
“mo money mo problems” by the notorious b. i. g. Was a revolutionary song in the rap music scene during the 90s. Some of its influences and impacts include:
- The song had a unique blend of rap and pop, making it more accessible to a wider audience.
- Its celebration of success and the party lifestyle had a significant impact on the hip hop fashion and jewelry scene.
- “mo money mo problems” also had a positive impact on the career of the notorious b.i.g., cementing his place in the rap music scene as one of the greatest rappers of all time. Its success also set the bar high for future rap music videos.
Frequently Asked Questions Of Best Rap Music Videos Of All Time
Which Rapper Has The Most Music Videos?
Eminem has the most music videos with over 50.
What Is The Most Viewed Rap Video On Youtube?
Lil nas x’s “old town road” featuring billy ray cyrus is currently the most viewed rap video on youtube.
Which Rap Music Video Won The Most Awards?
Kendrick lamar’s “humble. ” Won the most awards for a rap music video, including mtv video music award for video of the year and best hip hop video.
What Was The First Rap Music Video Played On Mtv?
The first rap music video played on mtv was “rapper’s delight” by the sugarhill gang in 1981.
Who Directed Michael Jackson’S “Thriller” Music Video?
John landis directed michael jackson’s “thriller” music video, which is often considered one of the best music videos of all time.
How Long Does It Typically Take To Produce A Rap Music Video?
On average, it takes approximately 2-4 weeks to produce a rap music video, including pre-production, shooting, and post-production. However, this timeline can vary depending on the complexity of the video.
It’s no secret that rap music has made significant contributions to the music industry. From the flow of the lyrics to the beats that accompany them, rap music has become one of the most popular genres in the world. However, what sets it apart from other genres is its ability to tell stories like no other.
And when it comes to telling those stories on screen, music videos are the perfect vessel. The artistry of creating a music video is in seeing the vision of the lyrics and translating it into a visual experience. From busta rhymes’ “put your hands where my eyes could see” to childish gambino’s “this is america,” we have seen some of the most iconic and breathtaking rap music videos of all time.
So, whether you’re a music enthusiast or just appreciate the artistry of storytelling on screen, these rap music videos are sure to leave an indelible mark on you.