Since concerts were canceled for the majority of the year, music videos became even more vital than usual in 2020. Making videos was one of the only ways that artists could build worlds around their songs and connect with fans beyond the music. And since everyone was stuck at home, we were a captive audience for anything they threw at us. When a music video really connected, like Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP,” it spread at unprecedented speeds, dominating social media timelines along the way.

Looking back on the past 12 months of music videos, there was no singular trend that dominated the year. Some videos set out to capture the reality of the world as it existed in 2020, and others attempted to provide viewers with an escape. There were successful no-frills, DIY videos, alongside blockbuster visuals that made the most of big budgets. Some were hilarious, and others were heartbreaking. So, when putting together this list, we attempted to highlight a range of stylistic approaches as we picked the videos that resonated with us the most this year. For the purposes of this list, videos needed to be released in 2020 and we only highlighted one per artist. These are Complex’s picks for the 30 best music videos of 2020.