8 Times Artists Built Their Own World in Music Videos

8 Times Artists Built Their Own World in Music Videos

· music
Go deeper into the world of your favorite songs. There’s more than meets the eye in these eight videos where artists take viewers behind the music.

From “Virtual Insanity” to “Chattahoochee,” these videos take viewers behind the music and deeper into the worlds of eight legendary artists.

Follow “The Black Parade” to see Speedy Ortiz’s sentient snack foods take on the Beastie Boys’ giant robots and 360 degrees of Run The Jewels (plus a lot more) in this eclectic lineup of just a few of our favorite music videos where artists build their own immersive worlds.

Between the wacky, rotoscoped and totally ‘80s green-screen hijinx of Weird Al’s classic “Dare to Be Stupid” and the glossy CGI sheen of Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More,” these music videos showcase the talents of just a few of our favorite artists and directors who use the latest techniques to create impressive and inspiring audiovisual experiences.

Doja Cat ft. SZA — “Kiss Me More”

Walking without rhythm is impossible when the beat goes this hard. Doja Cat and SZA inhabit a cotton candy-colored futuristic fantasy world halfway between Horizon: Zero Dawn and Dune in “Kiss Me More,” the smooth disco-funk jam from Doja Cat’s album Planet Her.

Take one bite of this dreamy yacht-pop bop and you’ll understand why it won Song of the Year at the 2021 Grammy Awards. Doja Cat’s breathy vocals and a catchy guitar riff that just won’t quit make “Kiss Me More” absolutely irresistible.

Beastie Boys — “Intergalactic”

The Beastie Boys summon a giant robot to defend the people of Earth from extraterrestrial invaders with “Intergalactic,” an explosive, kaiju­-themed romp through the streets of Shibuya, Shinjuku and Tokyo, Japan.

Credited to the mysterious Nathanial Hörnblowér—one of the many pseudonyms attributed to Beastie MC and video director Adam Yauch—this tribute to the Japanese monster movies of the ‘60s and ‘70s burns through reams of cardboard and papier mâché with an explosive Mario C beat and one of the catchiest choruses in the Beastie Boys discography.

Jamiroquai — “Virtual Insanity”

Jamiroquai predicts the future dressed as a funky oracle with exquisite taste in headgear in the trippy visual treat that is “Virtual Insanity.” The video for the 1996 hit from the Traveling Without Moving LP finds vocalist Jay Kay dancing himself to pieces inside a liminal, Kubrickesque chamber where the laws of physics appear to be written by MC Escher.

At the 1997 MTV Music Video Awards, Jamiroquai and video director Jonathan Glazer won big with ten nominations and four trophies: “Video of the Year,” “Breakthrough Video,” “Best Visual Effects” and “Best Cinematography.” Glazer scored another VMA in 1998 for Radiohead’s “Karma Police” and co-wrote and directed the 2013 sci-fi thriller Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johansson.

Speedy Ortiz — “Cutco”

A trio of anthropomorphic foodstuffs set out on a ghost hunt, but all they find are starring roles in a shot-by-shot remake of The Blair Witch Project in “Cutco,” the fuzzy single from Speedy Ortiz’s The Death of Speedy Ortiz & Cop Kicker... Forever.

Though the remains of Pizza, Hamburger and Donut were never found, the leftover footage is stuffed with tasty indie rock riffs served up in the classic ‘90s style—turned up loud with a side order of distortion.

Run The Jewels — “Crown” (Official VR 360 Music Video)

Do not adjust your virtual reality headset. This is Killer Mike and El-P coming at you in 360 degrees. The thrilling VR experience of “Crown” from the album Run The Jewels 2 debuted in New York Times Magazine’s 2016 “new music issue” and has since logged nearly 1.8 million YouTube views.

High contrast black-and-white lightning strikes and El-P’s thunderous 808s shake things up as characters come at you from every direction. The action heats up faster than Killer Mike’s cadence in this epic rap spectacle.

The Chicks — “Goodbye Earl”

The Chicks turned country music upside down with “Goodbye Earl,” the shocking conclusion to songwriter Dennis Linde’s “Earl Saga.”

It’s no secret what happens to Earl, the deadbeat mechanic who pops up in several country radio staples, including Sammy Kershaw’s “Queen of My Double Wide Trailer.” But it’s a lot of fun to watch it happen.

The music video stars 30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski as Wanda, who decides to take matters into her own hands in one of country’s most controversial tunes.

My Chemical Romance — “Welcome to the Black Parade”

My Chemical Romance marched into the spotlight with the “Welcome to the Black Parade” video, a bombastic blast of baroque pop-punk cinema that brought blink-182’s power chords in close contact with Queen’s operatic stadium rock anthems.

Dressed in the shining black and silver Sgt. Pepper-inspired uniform of the band’s alter ego The Black Parade, MCR vocalist Gerard Way is the grand marshal of a one-way procession to the afterlife in one of the defining emo hits of the MySpace era.

Alan Jackson — “Chattahoochee”

Are those boots waterproof? Alan Jackson goes down yonder to a world ruled by lighthearted riverfront shenanigans in “Chattahoochee,” the twangy third single from the album A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ‘bout Love). The video for the CMA award-winning hit famously features Jackson waterskiing in a pair of red cowboy boots and enough physical comedy to fill an episode of Hee Haw.

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