As music videos began to gain popularity, their primary platform was TV channels like MTV, VH1 and BET. As these channels continue to refocus their programming towards more viewer friendly options like “Jersey Shore” (a hint as to why I rarely, if ever, watch MTV) music videos have begun to find a new home and a new medium, the internet.
Gone are the days of bleeps, blurs and censored content. The internet has not only opened up a new forum for artists to express themselves through video, it has done so by also removing the sensors and limitations that broadcast television strapped on the music industry. Now, artists can express themselves in any way they feel necessary. Eryka Badu felt it necessary to strip down to nothing and roam the streets of downtown Dallas for her “Window Seat” music video. The video, which was filmed without permits or any warning to onlooking civilians, landed Badu in a legal bind. MIA also made headlines recently with the release of a uber-violent new mini movie for her third albums first single, Born Free. The video depicts a “Red” Holocaust and ends with a group of young men running through a field of land mines. Yes, the video shows everything and yes, it is extremely graphic and realistic. Jack Whites new “super-group” The Dead Weathers recently released the video for their new single “Treat Me Like Your Mother.” The video shows White and lead singer Alison Mosshart in a field essentially shooting each other with machine guns as they march towards each other. All the video does not appear to have a definitive meaning, the band recently confirmed that the video is only a small segment of a larger movie being produced based on their recent album.
In the MTV era videos pushed the broadcast limits of decency and sexuality. As videos move online to unregulated territory, new realms of possibility are being investigated. Artists like MIA have chosen to completely remove themselves from the visual aspect of their videos to use their music as a canvas for a truly authentic work of art.
Check out these awesomely graphic new videos: