Timeline of influential music videos: 1999-present


Slim Shady by Eminem came out in 1999. It is considered to be an influential music video because he had no boundaries and left few stones unturned, with gay marriage, bdsm and domestic abuse. It also heavily focused on mental health and the way they are treated.

Two years after, Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz made its appearance in 2001. This video from the album ‘Gorillaz’ was extremely influential because it changed the persona representation of music videos, the message was that ‘you don’t have to be who is in your music videos’, they achieved this by making characters for themselves, i.e. ‘2-D’, ‘Noodle’, ‘Murdoc’ and ‘Russel’. Changing the market for a long time.

Yet another two years pass and three influential videos come out. Seven Nation Army (2003) by The White Stripes was influential due to its repetitive yet ‘off the wall’ editing style, the video, when not focused on performance, it focused on imagery; the most obvious being the skeletal soldiers but also the elephant, this was used to promote the album ‘Elephant’. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by The Darkness was also released in 2003. There is no doubt that it was influential. The focus on the sci-fi genre was majoritively unheard at the time, the space ship, space crab and space squid were simple enough ideas, but had never been put into a music video. 2003 brought one more influential music video, Where Is The Love by The Black Eyed Peas was influential because it focused on protest, the image of the question mark portrayed a post modernist vibe.

What You Waiting For by Gwen Stefani arrived in 2004 and was considered influential because of the over arching intertextuality of Alice in Wonderland. The video itself has a narrative at the beginning relating loosely to Through the Looking Glass, but when the song does start, there’s a rabbit and everything.

Push the Button by Sugababes came out in 2005 and is considered influential because it brought sexuality into light. The entire video is based on the visualization of sex, because sex sells.

In 2007 one of the influential videos that came out was Crank That by Soulja Boy Tell’em. This video was influential because it brought the ‘rap dance’ into light, how Soulja Boy became famous. Because of this video the rap dance has taken the industry by storm, in its respective genre of course. The other video was Reckoner, by Radiohead. This video could be considered to be influential due to the concept based video. The animation of the trees showing the development of the modern world.

In 2009, Bad Romance by Lady Gaga arrived to screens everywhere. This is arguably the most influential music video of its decade due to its bizarre nature. The imagery and dance is unlike any other commercially successful music video.

And finally, the most popular video on YouTube to date, in 2012, the music video for PSY’s Gangnam Style took the internet by storm through its dance and annoyingly catchy synth. This particular video has over 2.5 billion views on YouTube. Making it the most watch video on the site.


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