I miss Hip Hop video countdown shows. Ed Lover has moved on to less censored pastures with his “C’mon Son” series, and the less we talk about BET’s “The Deal” the better off everyone is. Each week, we allow Beta Mack to sound off on the week’s most eye-catching clips. But in light of your overwhelming feedback to the 2009 DX Awards, the focus is being put squarely back on you—the reader. Out of over 3 million videos played on this site during 2009, the following top 10 are arranged based on how many times you have viewed them. Whether you love or hate what you’re about to see, you know who’s responsible.
10. Kanye West featuring Young Jeezy – “Amazing”
“Amazing” may have been ‘Ye’s most understated video ever. Instead of Anime or special effects, Kanye and director Hype Williams let the Hawaiian landscape take center stage. The only legitimate complaint is that Jeezy, this song and its accompanying video felt a bit out of place amid all of the other somber songs and visuals which came from 808’s & Heartbreak. But as ‘Ye’s current sabbatical proves, everyone needs a break sometimes.
The ongoing debate in DX’s comment section has been about 50 Cent’s choice of the R&B choruses, since he more or less used the same argument to help end Ja Rule’s career. The points of 50 singing his own hooks before inking the deal with Shady/Aftermath and now employing the likes of Ne-Yo to do the same seem like splitting hairs at this point. Instead of focusing on the hooks, take notice of 50 rocking the sleeveless v-neck while Kelly Rowland plays the role of wifey. Add in the kids straight from your local casting agency, and you get what 50 is really after. For all that talk of aggressive content,” he’s slowly remaking his image to get even deeper in the pockets of the suburban yuppies who still get a kick out of calling him “Fiddy.” The move was more understated than his Vitamin Water acquisition, but may prove just as commercially viable.
8. Snoop Dogg – “Fuck Yeaaah”
If you check your official tracklisting for Malice N Wonderland , “Fuck Yaaah” is nowhere to be found. But Snoop is a quick study in Hip Hop’s new web-driven era. This time around he provided plenty of viral videos, a mixtape and some timely “leaks.” And since Tha Doggfather was responsible for a porno or two long before dropping this album, it should come as no surprise that he provided some T & A to hype up his album.
7. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – 16 Bars
The talented Court Dunn brought his 16 Bars series to HipHopDX in 2009. The Restless Films Production Company founder directed acapella gems with Royce Da 5’9″, OJ Da Juiceman and Donny Goines. No participant was bigger though, than Cleveland’s Bone Brothers. With Dunn’s trademark black-and-white composition, unique audio synching and quiet settings, fans saw how harmonic the Thugs really are. Match that with a devoted online fanbase, and the numbers soared.
6. Kanye West & Spike Jonze – “We Were Once A Fairy Tale”
This was one of the most artful things Mr. West did with the second half of the year. Everybody on the HipHopDX staff had a different opinion of what the video meant. However, when the video leaked, and sites were C&D’d left and right, the original bad guys slipped under the radar. Thanks for not snitching (You mad).
5. Drake featuring Eminem, Lil Wayne and Kanye West – “Forever”
This one’s simple: three of the ’00s biggest stars together, the biggest rookie in 2009…and Slaughterhouse in the background? Haters and lovers united on this video, and much-like N.W.A. or Juice Crew fans, everybody had a favorite verse. “Forever” was one of the biggest hits of 2009, and the video unified all parties, the mainstream, the underground, the old and the new in a way that excited Rap music huge.
Two of New York’s biggest stars made an anthem together. Jay’s trendsetting and Alicia Keys’ beauty made a for a lovely union. With two major label stars making a video that had already topped radio charts, you knew it was going to be big budget. Legions of fans tuned in to watched, and admired what they saw enough to keep watching. One can only imagine how much bigger it would have been if Lil Mama popped in a frame or two.
3. South Park – “Gay Fish (Kanye West Parody)”
Trey Parker and Matt Stone managed to do what no one else in entertainment has been able to do for the better part of a decade. The “South Park” co-creator’s humbled Kanye West and gave all of us a laugh at his expense. The video, which spawned the infamous “Do you like fish sticks?” quote was so funny, even Kanye took to his blog to give it props in his usual all caps fashion. Long before the “I’ma let you finish…” jokes became played out, this episode provided a public forum for many fans discontent with Kanye’s ego. It wouldn’t be the last time the issue was addressed in 2009, but it was arguably the funniest.
2. Joe Budden, Nicki Minaj, Buckshot & Crown Royal – BET Awards Cipher
Two of 2009’s highlights included the emergence of Nicki Minaj and Joe Budden taking every available opportunity to piss off whoever he felt like. Budden switched between emo, pensive and argumentative at the drop of a hat. But, this clip reminded everyone of what he does best. When properly inspired, “Joey Jumpoff” can still rhyme his ass off. This particular cipher also gave Nicki Minaj a coming out party. Depending on which side of the fence you fall on, this either validated her as Hip Hop’s next leading lady and more than a Lil Kim clone, or made you wonder what all the hype was about. Either way, it marked a televised shift in Hip Hop, and it should be interesting to see what these two have in store for 2010.
1. UGK – “Da Game Been Good To Me”
Without Pimp C and Bun B’s growing respect as a soloist, everybody wanted to see what UGK’s presentation for UGK 4 Life was going to be like. Before DX even started featuring videos on our index page, you all tuned in with record numbers to see the story of the Underground Kings told in the illest way possible. If you check my car’s CD changer right now, you’ll hear the Bun Beata and the Pimp, “smoke something, bitch!”
“Chickn Talkn” by Triple C’s featuring Mack 10 & Warren G and the live performance of “Soul Food” by Goodie Mob featuring The Roots tied for the number one and two spots respectively. These videos were omitted because they were played on other sites.