Music (even stuff by Bhad Bhabie) is the soundtrack of our lives, but this generation? They want visuals.
Once a track by a popular artist drops, fans eagerly await the accompanying video, enticing bits of it are usually teased on social media beforehand to amp up the anticipation.
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And the videos released nowadays aren’t like the cheesy, amateur ones they trotted out on MTV back in the Martha Quinn era. They are often done by well known directors and are way flashier, sexier, fancier. More like over the top mini movies.
It’s hard to whittle down the list to just a few favorites, but we did the best we could (we are working hard here, people).
These two singers just work, with chemistry that actual real life couples would kill for (sorry Gerard Pique). We’re talking about Shakira and Maluma. The ethereal backdrop of this video is perfect for “Trap,” which has such lyrics as, “He wants us to do it in different places,” “She asks me and I give it to her,” and “Hey baby, do not deny me, let’s go.”
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez had only been dating a short while when “El Anillo’ video came out. Fast forward to almost a year later, and no ring. No problem. “We’re kind of taking it day-by-day. We’re in a good place,” she said recently of their relationship. You’d never know the state of their union by this Spanish language video, where the superstar, looking like a mythical goddess, croons, “Where’s the ring at?”
2018 was City Girls’ year. The rap duo of Yung Miami and JT (who’s in jail, but that’s another matter) aren’t known for, um, holding back. OK, so you can’t listen to their music without earbuds in public or watch their videos at work, but their material is worthy of any raunchy best-of list. The ladies’ “Millionaire D–k” almost X rated video is practically required viewing for anyone who wants to date in Miami. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
It’s hard to believe Ricky Martin was at one time breaking hearts as part of Latino boy band Menudo. The pop star’s musical styles have definitely evolved. We loved his song “Fiebre” for a few reasons: The fact that Martin teamed up with reggaeton kings Wisin y Yandel gives him a whole different type of cred. Plus the orgy themed video had a really artistic feel to it. Don’t laugh: It’s from award winning director Carlos Pérez, of Miami production company Elastic People, which has worked with the likes of Marc Anthony, Daddy Yankee and Snoop Dogg. Like we said, cred.
No year end list would be complete without Cardi B on it. This talented troublemaker owned 2018, for better or worse. Though fans might vote that “Money” was her sexiest video, we lean toward “Ring,” which refers to the sound a telephone makes, not the JLo jewelry kind. B manages to wrap up wires and cords in ways that we didn’t think were humanly possible.
Nicki Minaj and Cardi aren’t exactly besties, but they know how to give good video. The image that stays with us most from Minaj’s “Good Form” vid is not the bare behinds (there are a lot) but Nicki sloshing around in a giant cup of milk as a giant pink cookie hangs overhead. “You see I let him eat the cookie ’cause it’s good for him.” We could argue with her ideas about nutrition, but on second thought, nah.
But she’s such a good girl, she couldn’t possibly do a sexy video, you say. Think again. Taylor Swift has changed her image over the years from heartsick country crooner to long legged pop queen, kicking butt and taking names. The video for “End Game” sees Swift writhing around in underground clubs in her element, aka Miami. Welcome to our world, Taylor.