Welcome to FACT’s weekly video round-up.
As we note at the end of every year, music videos have never been better. But too often, music videos — along with documentaries, live sets and interview clips — get lost in the shuffle of news and new music.
With that in mind, FACT is doing what it does for mixes, mixtapes, vinyl and more: rounding up the internet’s best videos on a weekly basis. And to remove our bias, we won’t be including our own content — you’ll have to stay tuned to FACT TV for all your Against The Clock, FACT Freestyles and Confessions needs.
Read more: The 20 best music videos of 2015
Dir: Melina Matsoukas
On the eve of another Super Bowl performance, Beyoncé surprise-released ‘Formation’, a video that doubles-down on the song’s strikingly pro-black, pro-woman lyrics: Beyoncé is flawless in formation, a child dancer stands up to police, and — in the video’s most memorable scene — Bey is baptized as a New Orleans police cruiser drowns. The Katrina references set the tone for a video that is unapologetically Southern, from the high couture in gothic mansions to the wig shops, crawfish and Mardi Gras parades. The video is a five minute reminder to never underestimate or mischaracterize Beyoncé.
‘Down In The DM’
Dir: Gil Green
Yo Gotti’s ‘Down in the DM’ is the social media anthem we deserve, and the video brings back the humor that’s gone missing from rap videos. Gotti is best man to a groom under siege from DMs and must enlist DJ Khaled and CeeLo Green to get him to go through with the wedding.
Lana Del Rey
Dir: Yours Truly
‘Freak’ touches on a few Lana Del Rey tropes, as California lovin’ Lolitas drop acid with Father John Misty in warm, Instagram-ready light. After the video’s smoky midpoint, the Moirai become mermaids in an underwater adventure scored by Debussy’s ‘Clair de Lune’.
Brenmar feat. BeatKing, ManMan Savage, Jeff Chery
‘She Already Know It’
Dir: Ben Tabas
Brenmar, BeatKing, ManMan Savage and Jeff Chery bring ‘She Already Know It’ to life in a video comprised of faux Instagram videos. Fool’s Gold family from Atlanta, New York and beyond make cameos as late night texts and emojis float by.
Dir: Fredo Tovar and Scott Fleishman
Flatbush Zombies return with a grimy, nonlinear misadventure that brings together a coke-snorting strip club patron, a cigarette-smoking bum fighter and a dirty cop on the prowl for a violent, Pulp Fiction meets GTA video.
Dir: Ramona Gonzalez
A midnight cowboy searches for his cowgirl (Holter) in a video directed by and featuring Ramona “Nite Jewel” Gonzalez, who looks like Lydia Deetz as she helps guide these star-crossed lovers.
Tyler, the Creator feat. Kali Uchis & Austin Feinstein
Dir: Wolf Haley
One of Tyler’s most understated videos, the pastel ‘PERFECT’ finds the erstwhile Odd Future mouthpiece adorned by butterflies as he duets with a sunflowered Kali Uchis; Slow Hollows singer Austin Feinstein strums his way into frame and makes it into a threesome.
Dir: Jonas Lindstroem
Fashion photographer Jonas Lindstroem illustrates a relationship in all its forms and moods, from playful and romantic to violent and hateful, capturing quiet, personal moments alongside Planet Earth expanses and industrial monoliths.
In a ‘Distant Future’, a woman eats the “flesh” of a creature of which we never see the entirety — just its white, tauntaun-ish fur and scaly paws. A man emerges from the fur just as the video cuts to black — another image that provides more questions than answers.
The video for ‘AS CRUST’ is a loop of a robotic dog being kicked by a man under the color-distorting eye of a thermal scanner, and it’s as bewildering and hypnotic as the song itself.