Saturday, July 23, 2011

MUSIC: My 2011 VMA Picks

I've always had trouble with the nominees and winners of the Video Music Awards. In my opinion, if an award title says "video," the criteria for why the artist should win should be based on their video and not just the song or its popularity. For that reason, I've listed my picks below in pink and based my choices on what the award title suggests and not what made it on my, and everyone else's, iPod this year:

Adele -"Rolling In The Deep"
It's a little difficult to be affected by a video when the star of it is barely moving.
Tyler, The Creator - "Yonkers"
While I understand that Odd Future is one of the breakout rap groups of the year, that doesn't mean I understand nor appreciate their contribution to the music industry. And I definitely don't get Tyler. He's straight up playing with a cockroach, throwing up, undressing, and then committing suicide in this video. And they say Gaga has issues.
Katy Perry - "Firework"
This video told inspiring stories of overcoming insecurities and coming out of your shell, and it included an insane amount of fans. Definite runner-up for me.
Bruno Mars - "Grenade"
I like the surprise, albeit overly dramatic, ending, but not much else goes on in the video.
Beastie Boys - "Make Some Noise"
Stellar cast + legendary rhymers = epic video!

• Adele - "Rolling In The Deep"
Beyonce - "Run The World (Girls)"
The video saved the song from obscurity and returned B to form.

• Katy Perry - "Firework"
• Nicki Minaj - "Super Bass"
I didn't really have any expectations for this video even though I loved the song the first time I heard it, but I wish she would've been a little more innovative to make it a viral sensation, instead of just being the black Gaga. I would've put Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez in the video, since they already knew all the words. That certainly would've made it a Twitter-topic within the hour, and worth consideration.
• Lady Gaga - "Born This Way"
It was certainly creative because of the kaleidoscope effect, but I would've nominated "Judas" over this one.

Cee Lo Green - "F*** You"
It sure has become a runaway hit, but I hope it doesn't win solely because of the "Glee" connection.
Eminem feat. Rihanna - "Love The Way You Lie"
I've always thought this video was kind of controversial because Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan play lovers who wail on each other, and Rihanna, a recent victim of domestic violence, is singing the chorus. But it was shot beautifully and the song was depicted properly.

Bruno Mars - "Grenade"
Kanye West feat. Rihanna & Kid Cudi - "All of the Lights"
All of the Youtube-style lyrics displaying across the screen were a little wack for such a high-caliber artist, but I did like the black+white intro and the interspersed color-tinted scenes.
Justin Bieber - "U Smile"
I like that, unlike most teen videos, it's in black and white, and that he showcases his piano skills, but that's not enough to merit an award.

Lil Wayne feat. Cory Gunz - "6’7’"
Aside from the clever-but-kinda-late Inception-intro, the video is really literal with imagery, showing a flower for nature and an old man for Father Time. The song is sick though!
Kanye West feat. Rihanna & Kid Cudi - "All Of The Lights"
Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes - "Look At Me Now"
I like that it's a throwback to Busta's 90s videos with the fish-eye lens, but it doesn't really do much to enhance the lyrics.
Nicki Minaj - "Super Bass"
Lupe Fiasco - "The Show Goes On"
There have been many attempts at making the from-backstage-to-the-stage video and they've usually been pretty basic, akin to behind-the-scenes DVD footage. But Lupe really played with the backgrounds, sets, and even had a kid play the younger version of him, which made it seem a lot less half-assed than those videos usually are. That said, I wish his other video for "Words I Never Said" was nominated instead. It covers political conspiracies in a clever way, complete with gas masks and brainwashing.

Foster The People
Wiz Khalifa
Dear Wiz, I would like to never hear the words "Black and Yellow" in succession ever again. Thank you, Adults.

Big Sean
Tyler, The Creator
I think he'll win if only so we can see what he'll say, or even do.
This girl cracks me up and I love her chola-like style.
Missing Nominee: It's totally unfair that Mac Miller didn't get nominated. He had great videos and his rhymes were above-par for a newbie white boy.

Katy Perry - "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)"
This video showed some serious 80s love and allowed the voluptuous popstar to show her more goofy side, while still being sexy.

Adele - "Rolling In The Deep"
Bruno Mars - "Grenade"
Pitbull feat. NE-YO, Nayer & Afrojack - "Give Me Everything"
This is basically a club video.
Britney Spears - "Till The World Ends"
They'll probably give it to Spears just to get her reaction, but this video was just a bad attempt at proving she can still dance.

The Black Keys - "Howlin For You"
I am so confused. That was a music video? It was a trailer. And the song was in the background. And that counts? I mean, I love the band, but this seems like a bit of a stretch.
Foo Fighters - "Walk"
This was actually a really funny video. Dave Grohl got to get his funny on.

Foster The People - "Pumped Up Kicks"
It's your average on-the-road tour video.
Mumford & Sons - "The Cave"
They're a fan favorite lately, but they're kind of just riding around on mopeds a la Larry Crowne.
Cage The Elephant - "Shake Me Down"
This is like a trippy trip down memory lane. 

Pitbull feat. NE-YO, Nayer & Afrojack - "Give Me Everything"
Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes - "Look At Me Now"
This was one of the best songs of the year. It marked the official return of Busta Rhymes, and was later amplified by a surprising Youtube duet.

Kanye West feat. Rihanna & Kid Cudi - "All Of The Lights"
Katy Perry feat. Kanye West- "E.T."
This was the wackest contribution Kanye's ever given. It was obviously just a publicity stunt to win back Taylor Swift fans, since Katy is her close friend. Sorry 'Ye, co-sign disregarded.
Nicki Minaj feat. Drake - "Moment 4 Life"
Drake has that Midas touch and Nicki's like his female equivalent. Barring any controversies or scandals, they should make it very far in this business—Hova & Beyonce far.

Adele -"Rolling In The Deep"
Katy Perry feat. Kanye West - "E.T."
The aliens in this video look pretty cool, but the lyrics don't really merit this level of dramaticism.
Lady Gaga - "Judas"
Depicting religious elements using a biker gang is definitely unique, but it also seemed like more of a stunt than a statement.
Kanye West - "Power"
If they're basing it on concept, then I think Kanye's should win because of the attention to detail in the recreation of the art.

Death Cab For Cutie - "You Are A Tourist"
It had a very DIY-feel to it—in a good way. Choreography, lasers, and projections were all a solid effort.

Beyonce - "Run The World (Girls)"
Hands down the best performer in the game.
Britney Spears - "Till The World Ends"
You've got to be kidding me. If "Slave For You"-Britney saw this video, she would laugh until she peed herself.
Lady Gaga - "Judas"
Let's be honest: Gaga can't dance.
Bruno Mars - "The Lazy Song"
He did an adorable job of trying to do a viral dance video.
LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock - "Party Rock Anthem"
I love this dance song but it just has one dance: shuffling. lol

Adele - "Rolling In The Deep"
Beyonce - "Run The World (Girls)"
Eminem feat. Rihanna - "Love The Way You Lie"
I usually judge this category based on which video has movie-quality cinematography and Em accomplished that with this video, and even managed an actual storyline, unlike the others, in the process.
Katy Perry - "Teenage Dream"
Just another let's-drive-to-the-beach video.
Thirty Seconds To Mars - "Hurricane"
This video just seems rather pointless. Elaborate? Yes. Provocative? Yes. But still pointless.

Adele - "Rolling In The Deep"
Eminem feat. Rihanna - "Love The Way You Lie"
Katy Perry feat. Kayne West - "E.T."
Thirty Seconds To Mars - "Hurricane"
Beastie Boys - "Make Some Noise"
I think it's rather impressive how the director incorporated so many cameos seamlessly and with so many well choreographed long-takes.

Adele - "Rolling In The Deep"
Katy Perry feat. Kayne West - "E.T."
Thirty Seconds To Mars - "Hurricane"
Kanye West feat. Rihanna & Kid Cudi - "All Of The Lights"
Manchester Orchestra - "Simple Math"
You've probably never seen this video or even heard of this band, but trust me, it should win. You know a video is good when even without star power it still resonates. A crash that incorporates flashbacks has been done, but for the director to melt the past and present together and cause a sort of Inception-like sequence is pretty impressive.

Manchester Orchestra - "Simple Math"
Katy Perry feat. Kanye West - "E.T."
Kanye West - "Power"
Linkin Park - "Waiting For The End"
The band members outlined in 3D constellations is by far the most intricate effect among these videos.

Chromeo - "Don’t Turn The Lights On
This was more creepy than cool. lol

Tune in August 28th at 9pm to find out the winners!

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