Monday 24 September 2012

Top 10 Hype Williams Hip-hop Videos - 10-6

Hype Williams is one of the most successful and influential music video directors of all time. If you haven't heard his name already, then you sure as hell will have seen some of his videos. Working with artists as diverse as Christina Aguilera, Will Smith and Coldplay, Hype began his career in the early 90s and quickly defined an era of hip-hop, helping propel artists such as Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes to international stardom with his unusual set design and freaky camera tricks.

The fishbowl lens was a personal favourite of mine and if you don't know what that is, then check out one of my favourite Hype videos in the next installment. In the meantime however, here is the first half of my top 10 classic videos that Hype has directed so far.

10. LL Cool J - Control Myself ft Jennifer Lopez

Ok, I know what you're thinking and yes the whole thing is ridiculous but that's almost the point of this promo. Hype was one of the first video directors to celebrate excess purely for the sake of it and Control Myself takes this to the extreme. Between LL Cool J's GIANT pectorals and Jennifer Lopez's booty shaking, it's hard to turn away. Oh and this video also shows the obsession that Hype had in the early 2000s with dividing the screen into numerous shots using a widescreen ratio. Pretty cool. Especially the weird bee thing at the end. Zezezezezezezezezezezezezezezezezezeze...  
9. Puff Daddy - I'll Be Missing You ft Faith Evans & 112
This memorial to Notorious B.I.G. could have easily been a soppy tribute video but Hype manages to pull it off, making a tasteful video (for the time) that pays respect to the hip-hop legend. The bike bit is a bit random and yes there are some obligatory kids included but overall this is still a classic video for a song that retains its emotional impact even today. 
8. Nas - Hate Me Now ft Puff Daddy
Puff Daddy again, this time without the horrendous old man dancing, on a classic hip-hop track with Nas. This is classic 90s hip-hop to the extreme, with Puff walking away from explosions, fur coats, a white tiger in a cage, scantily clad women and Nas controversially impersonating Jesus as he carries a cross. It doesn't get much more gangster rap than this and with Hate Me Now, Hype helped to define an era.  
7. Aaliyah - Rock The Boat
Aaliyah filmed this video just before she died but rather than edit the promo into a sentimental tribute, Hype just lets the RnB starlet do what she does best. The dancing is stunning and the vibe of the video is both sensual yet dignified, perfectly summing up Aaliyah's appeal as both an artist and as a person. 
6. Kelis - Caught Out There
With this video, a superstar was born. From the spoken word intro and creepy music to the technicolour hair and talking corpse, Caught Out There was a perfect introduction to the angry sass of Kelis. My favourite bit is either when Kelis is looking through the polaroids with disgust while in the bath or at the end when she walks down the street in slo-motion, surrounded by angry women marching as fireworks explode in the sky. What an image.

If you thought some of those videos were freaky, wait until you see my top 5 Hype videos! Click here.

Were drugs legal in the 90s or something because there's no way the man made those videos sober!? Genius though. Feel free to share if you've enjoyed these clips and want more hallucinogenic music promos thrown your way soon!


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