Music Videos: Cultural Appropriation, Rock Hall of Fame Induction, Verzuz Battle, ’90s Pop-Rock Hits, Janet Jackson’s Captivating Visuals
Top 10 Music Videos of All Time
Culture is an anthem that promotes the idea that diversity should be cherished. It also highlights the importance of staying true to oneself.
However, many of the music videos associated with the song contain blatant examples of cultural appropriation. Katy Perry, Coldplay and Rihanna, and Ke$ha all profit off combining Egyptian, Japanese, Chinese, Hindu, and Indian cultures, animals, and dress into their music videos.
The Foo Fighters
Since Dave Grohl’s self-recorded debut single turned into a hit, Foo Fighters have evolved from a drummer’s side project into one of the biggest bands in modern rock. Their ferocious work ethic has resulted in a slew of hit albums, multiple Grammy Awards, and a 2021 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The band continues to push the boundaries of their sound. On their latest album, Medicine at Midnight, they incorporated dance and funk elements into the familiar distorted guitars and howling vocals.
The accompanying music video is equally impressive. Set in an oppressive nursing home where a Nurse Ratchet character runs the show, the video pays homage to classics like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Meanwhile, the slickly-produced track itself showcases Foo Fighters’ penchant for rockers that split the difference between relatable emotional heft and the thrum of a coming storm. This is one of those songs that will be in jukeboxes and Spotify mixes for time immemorial.
Brandy & Monica
Back in 1998, Brandy and Monica released their hit single “The Boy Is Mine.” The duo reunited 22 years later to compete in the webcast series Verzuz.
The duo fought it out for the honor of being the first pair to complete a full music-and-more battle on the platform. Fans loved every moment of the face-off between two music icons who are still going strong in their respective careers.
Despite rumors of beef in the past, the Moesha alums made sure to put all the drama behind them and were cordial throughout the livestream. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be a Verzuz battle without some shade thrown here and there.
Celebrities including Snoop Dogg, Keke Palmer and even vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris tuned in to witness the women rap their hearts out and sing some of their most memorable hits. Besides singing their anthems, the ladies also talked about their lives and pushed for civic engagement.
Smash Mouth may not have hit the mainstream like their contemporaries, but their infectious pop-rock hits remain a stalwart of the ’90s. Their 1999 album Astro Lounge spawned their biggest hit, “All Star,” which remains a bouncy motivational anthem to this day. The song’s cross-generational popularity was further boosted when it was featured on the soundtrack of 2001’s kid classic Shrek.
Many musicians cite Smash Mouth as an inspiration, thanks to their catchy hooks and energetic performances. The band has also had their music featured in popular video games, including the wildly popular Lego Rock Band.
Though the band broke up in 2006, guitarist Greg Camp remained active on his solo project as well as contributing to a number of film soundtracks. Drummer Urbano was also cast in the sixth season of VH1’s celeb-reality show The Surreal Life, where he made some unsavory comments about his co-stars. Lead singer Steve Harwell was involved in a cancer research charity and died of lung disease in 2021.
Janet Jackson is one of the most legendary pop and dance superstars in history. She’s a queen in every sense of the word, from her iconic music to her jaw-dropping performances. Her videos are as captivating as her songs, and they’re packed with culture!
For “Nasty” Janet wears billowing African prints and enlists gorgeous dancers from Ghana, Nigeria, and Trinidad to join her in this breakdance-worthy visual. The Dave Myers-directed video is a nod to afrobeats sound, fashion, and culture.
Released in 1993, this sepia-toned visual evokes warmth and nostalgia. It’s a perfect fit for the song’s lyrical theme of appreciating life’s fleeting moments. It’s also a testament to Janet’s ability to captivate her audience with even the most simple concepts.