What even counts as a music video now? They can be an hour long. They can be events again, via YouTube Premiere. They can be virtual reality. They can be an Expensify ad.
99. Ghostemane, "Gatteka"
56. "Orange Trees" by Marina
Subscriber Account active since. Keep reading to see our 57 favorite music videos from this year so far, ranked in ascending order. This video will go down in history purely by virtue of bringing together three of pop's most important women — and putting them in absurdly perfect outfits in the process. Watch "Don't Call Me Angel" here. Marina Diamandis — known professionally as Marina and previously by the stage name Marina and the Diamonds — radiates summertime happiness joy in the video for "Orange Trees. Watch "Orange Trees" here. At its most basic level, "A Lot" celebrates the complexities of family, especially in black communities. It's an ode to the joyful moments and the deep abiding love, but also the struggles and baggage. Watch "A Lot" here. Although the colorful visuals for Khalid's "Talk" don't totally align with the song's anxious theme, it can easily be read as an homage to Drake's "Hotline Bling," which is one of the best comparisons for a modern music video.
100. Missy Elliot, "Throw It Back"
You know why? Also, " best music videos " is a somewhat valuable search phrase that, over the course of an entire year, pays off with loads of clicks and, probably, some passive revenue from Google ads. But that's a side of the business I don't deal with, so perhaps I should shut my mouth and make content. Everyone lives to serve the algorithms now, so get on board or get off the internet!
Recognizing both the videos we spent all year talking about and the ones we wished more people had gotten the chance to watch on heavy rotation, here are the Billboard staff's 50 favorite videos of Nathan R. Casting kid versions of rap stars has been a bulletproof music video concept for at least 20 years already, but "Bigger Than You" does well not to try to recreate the IRL universe of three of rap's biggest names. Instead, it just lets their teen doppelgangers swag out at study hall for a couple minutes. The invocations feel authentic; even mini-Drake has the combination of light external awkwardness but unmistakable internal resolve that undoubtedly still made the real Young Aubrey one of the popular kids at an early age. Phoebe Bridgers, "Scott Street" dir. Alex Lill.