Music videos were big-budget and watched on TV, not 600-pixel width YouTube boxes
Back in the day, you waited for Yo! MTV Raps to come on in order to catch a block of actual rap videos. Or you played with the rabbit-ears just to get a chance to catch rap videos by-request on The Box. Either way, you saw them on TV, where the artists gained a larger-than-life significance. As the art form evolved, the budgets got bigger. Remember where you were the first time you saw the "Triumph" video? The epic presentation of "Victory"? Or the alien New Orleans experience beamed into your home through Juvenile's "Ha"? The Hype Williams era, in particular, was big-budget, experimental and impressive. Expectations since have declined significantly. Hip-hop videos are shot in grandmother's basements, and that's cool because they're watched in blurry, pixelated windows on YouTube. The line between "recording artist" and "guy with a cameraphone" has declined significantly, and labels are no longer investing in many yacht-centered big-budget cinematic video experiences. Why spend the money when a ten-dollar video can just go viral?