If you’re a millennial, you’ve likely heard a million jokes from dusty baby boomers about how “back in their day, MTV actually played music videos.” Overconfidence of older generations in their comedic abilities aside, they do kind of have a point: the days of music videos playing on TV are virtually behind us, and that’s a sad thing. I’m a young millennial, so I wasn’t alive for the birth of MTV, but I do remember sitting in front of my TV and watching the videos for songs like Evanescence’s “Wake Me Up,” Kanye West’s “Gold Digger,” and Bowling for Soup’s “1985” and thinking: Ah, yes—this is high art.
Since music videos moved to the digital realm, their impact has decreased significantly. If a video is good, we talk about it for a few days, meme it into oblivion, and move on. If it flops, we pretend we never saw it and go back to bumping the song, which is likely still good to us.
Still, though, each year we do get a handful of music videos that knock us off our collective rockers. In the past few years, we’ve gotten Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble,” Frank Ocean’s “Nikes,” and the entirety of Beyoncé’s Lemonade, all of which have been able to overcome this post-music video era we’re living in and make their mark on viewers.
In 2018, we’ve been lucky enough to get some sweet visuals to help enhance our listening experience. These are the best music videos of 2018, so far.