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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Best Music Videos of 2010s

The music videos that reflect this decade’s events

Music videos allow artists to add a visual element to their music. This past decade’s music videos point out issues concerning race and discrimination, the need for inclusion and more. These powerful themes have brought many artists together.

“Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” (2010)

The decade started with this uplifting Shakira song which also served as the official 2010 FIFA World Cup anthem. The video includes scenes of past soccer matches, lyrics that address the fears players might have and words of encouragement. Multicultural children are also seen dancing around together, offering an inspiring image of diversity. 

“Gangnam Style” (2012)

This wacky dance video deserves some recognition, especially since it has more than 3 billion views. Psy, a South Korean songwriter and performer, created the unique dance routine that took the world by storm. The video features different groups performing the dance in different public spaces. It blew up the year it came out and defined 2012.

“Roar” (2013) 

Katy Perry has written many pop songs, but this song remains relevant throughout the decade. This video is just one of many videos with over 2 billion views, because of its power as an anthem for overcoming adversity. After the video came out, Perry performed the song during the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show while on top of an animatronic tiger. 

“See You Again” (2015)

Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth created this popular song for the seventh installation of the “Fast and Furious” franchise, but also in tribute to Paul Walker, who died in a car crash in 2013 before “Furious 7” finished filming. Fans of the film series were given the chance to see Paul Walker one last time alongside his co-stars, in a symbolic scene where Walker drives off in another direction. 

“Lemonade” (2016)

Beyoncé released a visual album artfully directed and centered around race, gender and political issues, as well as the infidelity of her husband, Jay-Z. Some of the videos are set in the 20th Century, due to her using the 1991 indie film “Daughters of the Dust” as her inspiration. This film highlights the importance of passing down traditions through generations of family members. These videos resonated with viewers and continued to remain relevant in this new decade. 

“Blood, Sweat and Tears” (2016)

K-Pop has found major popularity the last decade, and groups like BTS gained immense success from it. The production value for K-Pop groups’ videos seems limitless. The seven-member group first appears in an art museum and later, are seen floating in the air. The videos BTS creates are aesthetically appealing, with their lavish outfits and mesmerizing coordinated dance routines.

“Despacito” (2017)

Latin music is gaining more attention worldwide and becoming a more sought-after genre in the mainstream. Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s collaboration brought the genre even greater success in pop culture. The music video has about 6 billion views as of now, because listeners can’t help but dance to the rhythm of Latin music. 

“This is America” (2018)

Childish Gambino is unapologetic in the way he expresses his political views in this music video. It might be hard to watch the quick gun violence and Gambino’s dancing in an upbeat way right after, reminiscent of minstrelsy, but the startling structure shows Gambino’s perspective on racism and gun violence in the black community. 

“Earth” (2019) 

This animated music video brought together Snoop Dogg, Ariana Grande, Leonardo DiCaprio and many more to bring awareness to global warming. With the issue of global warming, it is easy to feel disheartened, but Lil Dicky’s comedic video with talking animals highlights the problems of global warming in a non-intimidating way. 

Written by: Gabriela Hernandez — arts@theaggie.org

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