It’s BET video of the year time, and the competition is plentiful, and stiff. The bad boys of rap square off against supreme songstress Rihanna, and clean-cut Justin Timberlake. Who will the victor be? Watch these videos and cast your vote.
Warning: All of these videos are NSFW
2 Chainz ft. Drake — “No Lie”
“She could have a Grammy, still treat her a** like a nominee.” This seems to be the theme throughout No Lie, an ode to self, which is rich in gangster smack-rapping. This is hit-it-and-quit-it raging at its finest.
Why it’s nominated for a BET: Because Drake is king. No lie. (We have to give these boys props for using larger models than we’re accustomed to seeing in music videos.)
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A$AP Rock ft. 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar — “F***in’ Problems”
Drake and Kendrick Lamar remind us that rap is an art form (not so much the lyrics as the delivery). It’s all cribs, b*tches and sex (so what’s the “f***in’ problem?”). This video should answer any burning questions you have about these boys’ sex lives.
Why it’s nominated for a BET: The BET Awards website explains: “A$AP’s platinum-selling posse cut was accompanied by a deceptively simply video boasting a minimal set and maximum models.” Sounds good to us.
Drake — “Started from the Bottom”
What “Started from the Bottom” lacks in challenging lyrics, it makes up for with content. Drake’s drugstore start, including his crew’s pitiful attempts to hit up a pretty girl at the checkout and the Tony Montana ending are totes hilar.
Why it’s nominated for a BET: For its amusing storytelling. It also proves if you work hard and become a successful rapper, you can dance next to an expensive car, in an expensive jogging suit in a snowstorm like Drake.
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Drake ft. Lil Wayne — “HYFR”
If you’ve been searching the world over for a video that features a shirtless (surprise!) Lil Wayne in a panda mask, the search is over. Hell Yeah F***in’ Right. This bar mitzvah is off the chain! (Yeah, it’s possible I’ve been watching too many rap videos).
Why it’s nominated for a BET: Videos about bar mitzvahs were underrepresented in the BET community this year.
Kendrick Lamar ft. Drake — “Poetic Justice”
So is “Poetic Justice” poetic? With lyrics like “And you’re in the mood for empathy, there’s blood in my pen,” we’d say so. Is there justice in “Poetic Justice?” There is a reference to a girl cheating and by the end of the video, she’s not doing so well, so that’s a yes.
Why it’s nominated for a BET: It portrays another day in the life of gangsta paradise.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. WANZ — “Thrift Shop”
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis get us right where we live with this hilarious tale of bargain shopping. “I wear your granddad’s clothes, I look incredible.” Yep. Macklemore’s energy alone is award-worthy. You throw a hilarious song at all that game and you’re going to come out a winner.
Why it’s nominated for a BET: Because it’s original, funnier than hell and because 354 million people (the number of views this video has) can’t be wrong. Time to pop some tags.
Miguel — “Adorn”
Please join us for what appears to be a visit to one of Miguel’s adolescent dreams where he’s walking the halls of his high school and trying to hook up with some fishnet-faced girls in the bathroom.
Why it’s nominated: Because it’s the only video in this bunch to incorporate underwater singing.
Rihanna — “Diamonds”
Everything Rihanna touches turns to gold — or in this case, diamonds. This stylish adventure takes us from something reminiscent of a James Bond movie to a Western to a drug cartel movie, and loops it all together with an underlying theme: Rihanna.
Why it’s nominated for a BET: It’s interesting and it’s Rihanna.
Justin Timberlake ft. Jay Z — “Suit & Tie”
How does a clean-cut gent from a boy band end up in a category littered with gangsters? Because Justin Timberlake is s-m-o-o-t-h. For just a few moments “Suit & Tie” makes us think we’ve gone back in time and we’re watching Frank Sinatra onstage. Then we see the lingerie model writhing around on the floor and it snaps us back to reality. This is big band, R&B and rap as we’ve never seen it before.
Why it’s nominated for a BET: “Suit & Tie” is nominated for its soul and innovation
Kanye West ft. Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz — “Mercy”
Who doesn’t want to make truckloads of cash off something that doesn’t cost that much to manufacture? That seems to be what’s happening here. Kanye West, aka God, rounds up his posse for a thug-fest in what appears to be an auditorium/warehouse.
Why it’s nominated for a BET: Because Kanye, according to Kanye, is God and you wouldn’t want to suffer the wrath of God by not nominating him for a video of the year award.
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