Missy Elliott – WTF (Where They From) (Official Video) (2015)
Directed by David Meyers. A legend returns through the medium that helped us first recognize her greatness. The video for “WTF (Where They From)” proves that Elliott can still be the bold innovator that most of the world learned about nearly 20 years ago with her debut video, “The Rain.” Teaming with director David Meyers, this time Elliott leaves behind the hyper-real settings she famously inhabited for songs like “Get Ur Freak On” and “Lose Control,” and instead appears in more grounded locations like city streets and Metro stops. Still, she looks like a visitor from the future, sent to reflect the possibilities of boundless creativity.
Kendrick Lamar – Alright (Official Video) (2015)
Directed by Colin Tilley & The Little Homies. Through his twenties, prolific director Colin Tilley has specialized in glossy hip-hop videos like Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” and DJ Khaled’s “No New Friends.” For Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” he creates a starker experience befitting one of the most ambitious albums by a major artist in recent history. In the nearly seven-minute piece, Lamar emerges as a charismatic but vulnerable superhero, flying through the city and doing donuts in a parking lot as a kid gleefully sits shotgun. While the video for “Alright” owes some debt to filmmaker (and previous Lamar collaborator) Khalil Joseph in its editing, sound design and imagery, Tilley rises to the challenge of matching Lamar’s beautifully complex and conflicted vision.