The Best Videos of 2020

 Evan Dale // Mitch Dumler // Dec 27, 2020 

There was a lot to take in in 2020. A lot of hardship, a lot of pressing social movements, a lot of art, a lot of music, and a lot of their grandiose coalescence in the form of music videos. From far and wide, even under the constraints of quarantine and social distancing, artists continued a renaissance in the music video circuit, weaving dramatic, cinematic work onto the screen to bolster and reinforce their messages and their creative breadth. From the hometown block party anthem, to the ultimate reflection on the difficulty that this year brought into all our lives, music videos provided both escape and introspection at greater depth than even the gorgeous music they source. These are the five best videos of 2020:

Spillage Village | End Of Daze

End Of Daze dropped in the early Summer at a time of simultaneous divide and togetherness; tragedy and movement. And from no better collective could have come an immersive, honest, painful, and yet hopeful reflection on the state of the world (or what was then left of it). As an early single to their then forthcoming album, Spillage Village embarked on a long, creatively broad, socially nuanced anthem of the pain and struggles brought into focus during the Black Lives Matter protests, the opaque mire of the pandemic, and the uncertainty that 2020 was so wrought with. The single and accompanying video are some of the most powerful works not only from this difficult year, but in recent memory, shining a light on the realities that so many artists and so many people face, while putting into focus just how impossibly talented the whole of the Atlanta collective turned Dreamville all-stars really are.

 Read why End Of Daze is the Best Video of 2020: 

2020 Video of the Year | End Of Daze-01.
Brian Brown | Runnin

2020’s underground was all about Nashville, and Nashville is all about music videos. From a slew of unique and daringly visionary directors came a bounty of visuals immersing viewers in the emerging genius of Nashville’s wide-ranging artistry. And from nowhere else than local names, Brian Brown and Reaux Marquez came one of the simplest, yet one of the best. Runnin – taken from Brian Brown’s standout 2020 album, Journey – puts a viewer right in the middle of a fun-loving, lighthearted kickback that sees both artists (and a collective of so many more local names on the rise) putting forth their most lyrical feet. Equal parts necessary glimpse into the explosive Nashville scene and capture of the way they spend their time with one another, Runnin is a signature delivery from 2020’s signature creative hub.

Ari Lennox | Bussit

It doesn’t feel like Bussit was released in 2020. Before all the madness; before all the insanity, Ari Lennox was poppin’ it in fur like the world wasn’t about to be ravaged by a pandemic. It was a simpler time, coming as a culminative chapter to 2019’s famed Revenge of the Dreamers III release, and it was a time when music videos beamed with more light. Fit with jealousy inducing choreography and signature notes belted from the emerging heiress to the R&B throne, Bussit takes all its viewers back to a time we hope to get back to soon, where Ari Lennox, dance numbers, and unwavering braggadocio can fuel everyday life.

SiR | John Redcorn

It had been more than a year since SiR released 2019 album, Chasing Summer when he finally pulled together the visuals for standout track, John Redcorn. And from the same King of the Hill where its title was sourced, so too was the video. A creative feat of animation genius allowed he and the rest of Top Dawg to exist as the characters from the series. John Redcorn himself seems to be a perfect vibe to represent SiR’s eternally mellow and melancholy aesthetic, touring around town heartbroken, outcast, and ultimately misunderstood. A little bit of lighthearted playfulness couldn’t have come at a better time, and will live on as one of the more creative music videos in R&B history.

Kojey Radical | Good

Kojey radical is no stranger to putting together vibrantly creative audiovisual shorts for his music. Many of the most intrinsically beautiful, thought-provoking, and emotion-evoking videos of the past couple years have come by way of the transcendent London force of dynamic creativity (see Water, his Progression freestyles, Cashmere Tears, 2020, and so many more). Amongst fashion, rapping, and vocals, music videos just seem to be a lane he is ultimately genius at curating. But, with late 2020 addition, Good, the accompanying visuals were unique even for him. Constructed as a part of Sony’s 360-degree soundscape project with immersive audiovisual collective, Unknown Realities, Good’s visuals see Kojey in animated form amongst the destructing rubble of antiquated and false white stone heroes into the bronzed permanence of historical black figures. It is moving, powerful, and so very Kojey.