At the end of every year, the team at HipHopDX likes to review and recap the most important things that happened in our culture. We look back at the Beef’s, the best social media moments, some of the best rap lyrics in the game, as well as recognize the overall best. So check all that happened in Hip Hop in 2019 or click here if you want to see the full list of Hip Hop Awards, nominees and winners.
Per the course, the best and top rap videos of 2019 were nothing short of sensational.
Whether we were being exposed to flying cars, stacks of cash, ominous domineering or something as endearing as wicker chair and meals on wheels, this year’s best rap videos spoke to the wide range of Hip Hop fans across the board.
Starting in 2020, according to a recent report, Billboard will begin to count YouTube streams towards their various charts.
The move also includes licensed video content on the digital service providers such as Apple, Spotify and TIDAL.
“As the steward of the definitive charts that uphold the industry’s measurement of music consumption, our goal is to continually respond and accurately reflect the changing landscape of the music,” Billboard-The Hollywood Reporter Media Group president Deanna Brown said adding, “Our decision to add YouTube and other video streaming data to our album charts reflects the continuing evolution of the music consumption market and the ways in which consumers connect to album-related content.”
In other words, expect everyone to step up their game like the winners down below.
10. RAPSODY FEAT. LEIKELI47 – “OPRAH”
Director: Farah X
The power of the dollar — specifically the Black Dollar — is showcased in full throughout Rapsody’s “Oprah” video. Named after the one-woman billionaire empire, the Eve creator goes on a shopping spree, dropping plenty of Harriet Tubman $20 bills as she and Leikeli47 spread generational wealth through America’s pockets that need it the most.
9. Denzel Curry – “BLACK BALLOONS”
Director: Zev Deans
Denzel Curry’s TA13OO, one of 2018’s best albums, ensured its presence was felt through the sci-fi surrealism of the “Black Balloons” video, co-starring Twelve’len and GoldLink. The futuristic clip goes the extra distance in creativity to highlight how shady record label tactics don’t get any better in the land of pure milk and honey.
8. 21 SAVAGE FEAT. J. COLE – “A LOT”
Director: Aisultan Seitov
Rewind the clocks back just a couple years ago and 21 Savage would probably never be caught dead in a suit, let alone immersing himself into a sophisticated and stunning piece of cinema such as “A Lot.” Surrounded by family, friends, and acres of gorgeous land, 21 Savage hosts a serene black-tie affair as invited guest J. Cole delivers his impressive lyrics in the dining hall.
7. MISSY ELLIOTT – “THROW IT BACK”
Director: Bille Woodruff
With Teyana Taylor as the Misdemeanor avatar, “Throw It Back” takes us through a mini-museum of Hip Hop history as paintings of Elliott in the past and present give way to a futuristic dance-off featuring Miss Supa Dupa Fly in prime form. More than a musical triumph, the “Throw It Back” video is a visual triumph and a return to form by one of the greatest to ever do it.
6. TIARA WHACK – “UNEMPLOYED”
Director: Cat Solen
Tierra Whack has become synonymous with creative video treatments, so to say she managed to outdo herself with “Unemployed” speaks volumes. Helmed by former co-director of Adult Swim’s deliciously dark claymation-based The Shivering Truth, Tierra finds herself slaughtering living potatoes to prepare dishes for a dining room full of large (obviously cannibalistic) potatoes. Creepy, weird and alluring.
5. A$AP ROCKY – “BABUSHKA BOI”
Director: Nadia Lee Cohen
His unfortunate legal travails notwithstanding, A$AP Rocky has had quite the banner year. And he capped it off with “Babushka Boi,” which is equal parts social commentary and tribute video. In between name-checking some of Hip Hop’s greats (2Pac, Scarface) and tipping his, uh, babushka to his past fashion accessory worn to cover his face after an accident, are visuals of cops depicted as pigs (subtle…) and a Dick Tracy-inspired storyline.
4. J. COLE – “MIDDLE CHILD”
Director: King Mez
The directorial debut by North Carolina MC Mez — who most notably helped write 14 of 16 songs on Dr. Dre’s Compton — “Middle Child” is a conversation piece, ripe with visual triggers. From nods to middle-American “culture” (marching band, mud bogging and hunting) to the all-out aggressiveness of placing rapper heads on his mantle and poignant commentary on the way black features are appropriated and commodified, this one begs for re-watches.
3. DABABY – “BOP”
Director: Reel Goats
Today’s video shoots are no longer the multi-million dollar theatrical productions they once were, but DaBaby’s “Bop” threw it back to the good old days when “Hip Hop Musicals” like Carmen were commonplace. But in between street dancers throwing it back and extras throwing up Black Panther-style fists are brutal bars courtesy of the North Carolina native. And he establishes his dominance once and for all when he spits, “Oh, you asking for pictures with niggas? (huh?)/What’s your name? Get the fuck out the spot, nigga (get the fuck).”
2. LIZZO – “JUICE”
Director: Quinn Wilson
Lizzo and her in-house creative director Quinn Wilson found a way to make an incredibly fun, lively song into an equally entertaining (even if not wholly original) visual. The video plays out as a series of clips on television — from an ’80s Jane Fonda-esque workout and a late-night talk show to the fake infomercial Soul Glo from Coming to America.
1. DABABY – “SUGE”
Director: Reel Goats
What does the office space, a postal carrier and Suge Knight have in common? Unless you were a receptionist at Death Row in the ’90s — absolutely nothing but that’s the beauty of DaBaby’s hilarious “Suge” video. DaBaby’s star turn was thanks in large part to the comedic elements of his personality, which especially shine in his videos. Through his visuals, the Carolina native set himself apart from the pack by using an over-the-top style that evoked memories of Ludacris’ glory days. In truth, multiple DaBaby videos could rightfully claim the “best of the year” title, but his breakthrough single “Suge” set the bar. With its absurdist scenes of DaBaby playing a mail carrier and the track’s namesake Suge Knight operating in an office, the Reel Goats-directed video helped established DaBaby’s humor – and underlying menace – as he emerged in the mainstream landscape.