22 Animated Hip-Hop Videos You Need to Watch
Since the onset of Norwegian pop group A-Ha's 1985 hit record, "Take On Me," the first animated music video to ever be shown on MTV, there's been an undeniable fascination and admiration for the innovative use of animation as a medium to bring a song to life. There is likely a few reasons for this. One is the creative freedom it presents; while music videos are bound to reality -- although challenged by artists like Missy Elliott -- animation allows for absurdities and outlandish possibility. It also makes for a unique experience dependent on the artist engaged to animate the visual. It's a device that speaks to the child in all of us, because whether we'd admit it or not, everyone loves cartoons. That's a major reason why shows like The Boondocks, The Simpsons and Family Guy have been so successful.
Over the years, there's been an abundance of ingenious uses of animation as a tool for developing hip-hop music videos. The posthumous release of 2Pac's "Do For Love" is a great example. Directed by Bill Parker, who interestingly also directed the short-lived Kid 'n Play cartoon in 1990, 'Pac's video was an amalgamation of animation techniques, from claymation to animé, paying homage to the numerous looks the rapper embraced throughout the years.
Then there's the mind-melting acid trip "Zodiac Shit," by the enigmatic Flying Lotus, which was directed by Skrillex collaborator lilfuchs for Adult Swim. And we can't forget Immortal Technique's disturbing and amazing animated mini-movie for the lyrically vivid "Dance With the Devil," which was hand animated by a German film student named Viola Baier. Most recently, Travi$ Scott dropped the stop motion visual for "90210," off his Rodeo album. The clip finds the rapper in doll form, smoking, having sex and rapping alongside a more rebellious version of himself.
XXL scoured the archives and put together a solid collection of amazing animated hip-hop videos. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below.