10 Best-Looking Hip-Hop Videos – Having a Concept Helps

Though the music video medium isn’t as prolific as it once was, that doesn’t mean that all rap artists have thrown in the towel. Just last week, Eminem and director Joseph Kahn staged a visceral domestic drama for “Love the Way You Lie,” while Kanye West attempted to reinvent the format with his 90-second “portrait” for “Power.” Beneath hip-hop’s surface, though, NYC underground veteran Ill Bill has taken videos to a much more visual place with “Ill Bill TV,” from his upcoming collaboration LP with producer DJ Muggs, Kill Devil Hills (Fat Beats Records, out August 24). In the clip, which features neither Bill or Muggs themselves, guns blaze and overly bright red, fake-looking splatters—it’s pretty hardcore, and completely worth your attention.

Ill Bill & DJ Muggs – “Ill Bill TV”

After watching “Ill Bill TV,” XXL is in that “darkly cinematic” zone. Here are 10 of rap’s most intense narrative-driven music videos. If we’ve overlooked one or more of your favorites, let us know in the comments section. Lights, camera, action.

Cool Breeze feat. OutKast and Goodie Mob “Watch for the Hook”

N.W.A.  “100 Miles and Runnin’”

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  • http://xxlmag.com Wyzard of Hip Hop 98

    What?? No Hypnotized? Hypnotize by Biggie is visual stimulating, beautiful, epic and historic! talk about going out with a BANG!! I mean get off of tupacs nuts guys! Hail Mary?? Oh pls If I was going to include Pac it would have been I aint mad at’cha for the ‘thug mansion’/heaven scene which was great and the actor/look alikes; Red Fox, Jimmy Hendrix ect looked really accurate and great. OR I would have included Scarface’s Smile which of course ‘featured’ 2pac (vocally anyway lol) but yeah Hypnotize can’t be beat!! Hollywood chase scenes, driving backwards, mermains in home aquariums; they orginated that, the speedboat/yacht scene, I mean come on!!

  • Caino

    Pharoahe Monch killed it!

    video, concept, lyrics, all on point. Classic

  • PeRs_1

    When I first saw 50′s Many Men(Wish Death) Video I was pretty blown away. The production of that clip was tight, shit well looked like a movie and it had an aight story line through out!

    Not a big fan of 50 or his clique but that video was pretty on point…

  • F-O

    Beastie Boys – Sabotage? the video was great and funny :P

  • katt

    Eminem “toy soldiers”

    Before Proof even passed away I found this hard to watch, was a little too real I kept saying to myself.. now.. it’s too much.

    RIP proof

  • Jon Dog


  • Static Flow

    were’s Stan. theres a concept, it tells a story, and it’s jus one of those songs thats awas in debates for top 25 classics

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    the video for common’s i used to love h.e.r. u dum dums fail to realize that it ain’t always about big budgets & lavish scenery. i’m quite sure it didn’t cost a shitload to prodcue, but the way they were able to weave the imagery to the lyrics made it to the point. a true “classic” if you ask me. i’m just sayin’…

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