9. Juvenile "Ha" (1998)
Director: Marc Klasfeld
New Orleans had little national profile as a rap scene when Juvenile's groundbreaking "Ha" video appeared in 1998; No Limit was breaking through around the same time, and Cash Money was already preparing to carry the torch. "Ha," though, put together a new geography for the genre by showing a side of New Orleans that seldom, if ever, got airtime outside of news programs. For a rap video, it was oddly mature. Hell, for Cash Money-not a group of people known for conscious rap-it was an undeniably conscious video: The images tell a day in the life of the New Orleans hood, tick-tocking times during the day, flashing at a rhythm at odds with the beat's stone-scraping production, gave multiple angles of the city that truly reinforced the notion that an image is worth a thousand words. A picture of children playing on a dirty mattress; an image of young children watching someone hauled off in an ambulance. Images from the inside of the Magnolia Projects. Of men being arrested. Of tires squealing against pavement. Of an ambulance crew. Rundown buildings. A police chase on foot. The graveyard. It represented a real side of the hood that pop culture was genuinely afraid of, and managed to get it on MTV. That, in and of itself, is still a pretty stunning accomplishment.