10. F. Gary Gray
Best Music Videos: “It Was A Good Day”, Ice Cube (1992); “I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That”, Cypress Hill (1993); “Natural Born Killaz”, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube (1994); “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik”, Outkast (1994); “Waterfalls”, TLC (1995); “Show Me What You Got”, Jay-Z (2006)
Best Movies: Friday (1995), Set It Off (1996), The Negotiator (1998), The Italian Job (2003)
F. Gary Gray’s contributions to hip-hop’s music video history is cemented, no doubt, but there’s one video in particular that will keep his name amongst the Hype Williams’ of the game forever and ever—Ice Cube’s classic “It Was A Good Day.” An observational stroll alongside Cube throughout his drama-free day, Gray’s visual aid to the former N.W.A. member’s storytelling tune made up for what it lacked in stylistic touches with stark naturalism.
Though he directed several other notable clips, Gray’s “It Was A Good Day” work is the most indicative of his moviemaking career: Like Cube’s best video, Gray’s filmography is devoid of any individualism. He’s hopped around through genres, most successfully stopping in comedy (Friday) and rollicking, heist-centered action flicks (The Italian Job); an inability to carve out his own “That’s an F. Gary Gray film” identity, though, leaves him with a curious air of anonymity. Nevertheless, he’ll always have that one good day to his credit.