There’s no denying the fact Kanye West is a controversial figure.
Whether he’s busy interrupting Taylor Swift’s VMAs acceptance speech, dissing Beck after he won Album of the Year at the 2015 Grammys, stirring up debate about gender selection or going off on paparazzi, the man certainly knows how to get people talking.
But love him or hate him, there’s also no denying West’s success and musical talent. MTV recognizes this and has chosen to honor West with the prestigious Video Vanguard Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s VMAs, according to CBS News.
To celebrate, we’re taking a look back at our top 10 Kanye videos. (Warning: Some of these are NSFW due to explicit language.)
10. “Bound 2”
OK, we had to sneak “Bound 2” onto the list, even if it might be filed under “awesomely bad.” The video may have been mocked and even parodied by a naked Seth Rogen and James Franco, but we won’t deny we totally watched it on repeat at least 10 times.
2011’s “Otis” pays tribute to the legendary Otis Redding and we love the chemistry between West and Jay Z in the video.
“Heartless” is such a great song and the innovative animation in the video is one of the reasons MTV listed for giving West the Vanguard Award.
7. “Only One”
We love this video because it lets the world view West in a light he is rarely seen. He’s adorable as he plays doting dad to little Nori and even flashes a smile. Plus, the video for “Only One” was directed by Spike Jonze, so he couldn’t really go wrong.
6. “All Falls Down”
This old-school Kanye video features a pre-Fox News Stacey Dash. It’s cleverly shot from West’s perspective and you can really feel his affection for his female lead. And did you catch the cameo from Common at the end?
5. “Diamonds from Sierra Leone”
This definitely isn’t a feel-good video, but it has an important message and it’s beautifully shot in black and white.
4. “All of the Lights”
Caution: This video has been flagged as a potential trigger for those with photosensitive epilepsy.
They weren’t messing around with the song title “All of the Lights,” because all of the lights are seriously in this video. If you can get past the first 30 seconds of strobes, the rest of the video, which features Kid Cudi and Rihanna, is awesome.
3. “Good Life”
We dare you to watch this video without bobbing your head and smiling.
2. “Jesus Walks” (Version 2)
“Jesus Walks” is another powerful and politically charged West video. MTV also pointed to the “Jesus Walks” video trilogy as an important part of West’s body of work and another reason to celebrate him as an artist with the Vanguard Award.
This futuristic video is colorful, fun and thought-provoking. West and Daft Punk are a match made in music heaven.