Best and Worst Music Videos of 2015

In the wide wide world of YouTube it can be tough to sift through the good, the bad, and the ugly. To help you out, here are our staff picks for the best and worst music videos of 2015.


BEST: A$AP Rocky – L$D

by Ryan Wentz

A$AP Rocky’s new hazy single, “L$D,” is provocative, and not just for its drug-fueled name. The video, marked by its psychedelic visuals and murky transitions, sees Rocky in a haze. Though it only lasts five and a half minutes, the video spans a wild night. It’s incredibly intimate: uncomfortable close-ups and blurry lights work magically with the loopy production to obscure shot after shot. At one point, the video clears for a snippet of another of Rocky’s new songs: “Excuse Me.” It’s a quick and comparatively tame interruption from the colors of “L$D,” which return towards the video’s end. At this point, Rocky has to be considered among the most avant-garde rappers with his genre-bending sounds and unique place in the world of high fashion. If anything, this video only solidifies his place at the top.

WORSTTaylor Swift – Bad Blood ft. Kendrick Lamar

by Ryan Wentz

This video is really ambitious. Taylor Swift deviates from her classic girly, teen-pop aesthetic and recruits a slew of celebrities to appear in this highly-anticipated music video, which debuted recently at the Billboard Music Awards. Kendrick Lamar, Lena Dunham, and Cara Delevingne, among others, cannot cure the mess. The result is a pseudo-Christopher Nolan flop. The 22nd-century visuals fail to properly reflect the song’s tone (which apparently was based on her ongoing feud with Katy Perry), and the overdone special effects are corny. Slow-motion shots and exaggerated explosions mar the video, and though it received considerable online traffic, it’s clear that this can be attributed solely to her high-profile.

BEST: Gorgon City – Go All Night ft. Jennifer Hudsony

by Emily Jordan

This video works for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it’s fitting for the electronic genre. Electronic artists don’t often have the same visibility as pop stars, and this video allows fans some insight into the guys behind Gorgon City; both their physical appearance, and their personalities. At the end of the day, videos are a chance to communicate with fans and that’s what “Go All Night” does. Second, the playful, hip concept of the video works really well with its sound. The song is undoubtedly meant to be danced to in grimy nightclubs, and that’s what the viewer sees. Although the club in the video looks infinitely more fun than any we’ve ever been to, just look at all those sequins. Jennifer Hudson’s prominent appearance in the video also opens it up to a wider audience who may have seen her in similar on-stage roles in things like “American Idol” or Dreamgirls. For all these reasons, this is my top pick for best video of 2015.

WORST: Nick Jonas – Jealous

by Emily Jordan

Nick Jonas made a strong comeback with this track, putting himself back on the map after years of silence following the end of the Jonas Brothers (R.I.P.). So it would make sense to expect a video that really blows fans, and critics, out of the water for a complete Nick Jonas world-domination-comeback. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. The kitsch-y special effects seem appropriate for the JoBros but not for a 2015 solo artist who’s all grown up. Because Nick has created a similar image and sound to heavyweight pop champ Adam Levine, he’s got to have the video to back it up. I think this video could’ve been improved by eliminating a lot of the distracting details and placing more emphasis on the romance narrative between Nick and the female lead. After a steamy Calvin Klein ad campaign in 2014, Nick should’ve given the world what it anticipated from the video to his first big single: more steam and more romance! This video is my top pick for worst video of 2015 for failing to work with the artist’s image.

BEST: Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On ft. MØ

by Jay

In this music video, DJ Snake, Major Lazer, and MØ break out their newest dance moves rocking traditional Indian garb with visuals of scenery across India.

With only eight lines of lyrics, and a chorus that essentially comprises 90% of the song, it is by far one of the catchiest tunes of 2015. The music video composed of gyrating hips and rotating shoulders, swaying to the smooth chill beats of DJ Snake do the music sweet justice.

In addition to the vibrant colors, intricate visual design, and simple dance moves, this music video knows what it’s trying to be and achieves it.

Other than MØ’s awkward dance moves where it looks like she’s trying to defecate while standing, this music video makes you want to hate it, but you simply can’t.

WORST: Britney Spears, Iggy Azalea – Pretty Girls

by Jay

With more than 25% dislikes, this humblebrag of a music video hits a new low for the music industry, but probably is something you’d expect from a Britney and Iggy’s collaboration.The music video contains visuals of 60’s retro hairstyles and clothing like they’re real life barbies.

With Britney on chorus and Iggy “rapping” this video attempts to bring back the year 2000’s valley girl accent, but instead sets women’s rights back by 50 years.

Together the music video, music, and lyrics all live up to the trashiness of the title: “Pretty Girls.” So mission accomplished, this music video manages to be exactly what you’d expected from the song name, and still be disappointing.

In addition, if you’re gonna sing about pretty girls make sure you have some in your music video.

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