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The Greatest Music Videos of the 2000s

November 11, 2011

~As part of our ‘music videos series,’ our staff writers at HHM are selecting their five, era-defining music videos of each decade, from the 1980s to today. Jeremy Baskett, author of Tuesday’s ‘Baskettcase’ column, is first up, giving his nod to those videos that kept MTV afloat, helped define the YouTube generation and even payed homage to the past.~

A Column by Jeremy Baskett

The White Stripes — Fell in Love with a Girl

The White Stripes’ first big hit came way back in 2002, trailing off their third studio album White Blood Cells. Uber successful music video director turned film director Michel Gondry, who directed videos for the likes of Bjork, Paul McCartney and Radiohead, took on the challenge. Stop motion film work using Lego’s – or so you think. Gondry revealed in an interview that it was all computer animation to simulate the Lego’s. Who cares though, this video is still awesome. We won’t denote any points for the use of computers. You had us all along…

Jay Z — 99 Problems

Easily the greatest Jay-Z video ever made. Jay went back to his roots and filmed the video in Brooklyn, where he began his journey to becoming the hip-hop phenomenon that he is today. Much of the video features the Marcy House’s, the housing projects in Bedford-Stuyvesant where he did much of his cocaine peddling as a youngster. The video pays great homage to Brooklyn, the place where most of the 99 problems originated.

Fat Boy Slim — Weapon of Choice

Quite possibly one of the best music videos of all time. A Christopher Walken dance video in itself is extremely enticing, but the fact that he dances really fucking well makes it legendary. Spike Jonze directed this piece and over the years it has become one of his most unforgettable works of art. I guess the same could be said for Walken…

Ok Go — Here It Goes Again

This music video is some kind of fairy tale in itself. Ok Go was a struggling band that only had a small amount of cash to be used for their video. They used it to get some treadmills, had one of the band members’ sisters choreograph, uploaded the video and became huge stars. It still remains one of the most watched music videos on YouTube to date. This video is a staple of the 2000s YouTube nostalgia and though I may not be a fan of the band, it will forever be one the best videos of the decade.

Johnny Cash — Hurt

No one is more badass than the Man in Black. Johnny Cash has a lush history of superstardom and his story created led to some of the greatest country songs ever made. While the song “Hurt” was originally written by Trent Reznor for Nine Inch Nails, Cash truly made it one of his own, striking chords of his darkest hours, late in the life of a tortured legend. This song never fails to hit me right in the chest. Ironically, the video released just months before his death and likewise, became immortalized.

 

Honorable Mention

Grizzly Bear – Ready, Able

Though this video didn’t have as big of an impact as the other videos did, this is still an excellent video that everyone should see. “Ready, Able” is off Grizzly Bear’s Veckitimest album, arguably the band’s greatest effort to date. The video is a masterful claymation short and with or without drugs in your system, might take you on an unexpected trip.

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