What defines a successful music video in 2021? Millions of views? A spot on YouTube’s Trending charts? Artistic innovation? A deep message? A little controversy? Being able to provide a brief moment of escape in a horrific news cycle? So far this year, the most impactful music videos have combined all of these elements. To cut through all the noise, artists like Lil Nas X and Megan Thee Stallion have used music videos to make a point and ignite larger conversations about the state of the world. And of course, there’s still a place in our hearts for videos that make us laugh (or just look cool as hell). There’s no better feeling than getting lost in the imaginative worlds of artists like Tyler, the Creator and Tierra Whack, who continue to push the envelope of outside-the-box creativity. With that being said, these are the music videos that have kept us entertained and engaged over the past six months. These are Complex’s picks for the 20 best music videos of 2021 (so far).
FeaturesListsDJ KhaledJay ZLana Del ReyMigosMusic VideosNasTravis ScottTyler The CreatorVince StaplesYoung ThugJames FauntleroyCardi BChloe and Halle BaileyOffsetRico NastyTierra WhacksaweetieJuice WRLDDoja CatSampa The GreatMegan Thee StallionLil Nas XBaby KeemFlo MilliDuke Deuce454Olivia RodrigoBest of 2021