You know those music videos that are devoid of plot and superficial lighting? The ones with real, sweaty footage from concerts and gritty backstage tours? These videos celebrate the unity and bliss of live music, and are shot while our favorite artists are performing on stage.
The concert-footage video isn't particularly rare in the world of music, but you'll find them less in the realm of hip-hop. Typically, you might expect a rap video to be filmed in a mansion or a club with models in abundance and drinks overflowing. But with the following hip-hop music videos, it's all about the show. Come with me as we explore some of the hottest hip-hop vids that take you on tour:
Nicki Minaj - “Did It On Em"
“Did It On Em” is a one-of-a-kind Niki Minaj fare, with its fierce, heavy beat and its non-melodic chorus. So a unique song called for a unique video. Instead of the big-budget, colorful visuals Minaj was putting out at the time, the song got a simple treatment (more of a slideshow) of footage from her opening gig at Lil Wayne’s I Am Still Music Tour. The footage has Minaj performing onstage with her tall blonde wig, along with guest spots from Birdman, Weezy, Drake, Travis Barker and Safaree Samuels.
Jay-Z & Kanye West - “Ni**as In Paris"
Kanye West directed the Watch the Throne performance of “N----s In Paris,” which was performed 11 times at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on tour. The video is unlike others with tour footage -- taking the the clips and mirroring them against each other to create a kaleidoscope effect. There’s a cameo from Hit-Boy, along with Will Ferrell, who’s featured in the bridge of the song during his “provocative” quote from Blades of Glory.
Rae Sremmurd - “Black Beatles” ft. Gucci Mane
Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi get on their Beatles game with the music video for “Black Beatles,” which has then performing on a rooftop, just like The Beatles last concert atop the Apple Corps headquarters. There’s also footage of Rae Sremmurd walking across a road in suits a la the Abbey Road album cover. In a way, the video reflects their confidence in their musical status, and mirrors Beatlemania as they show fans holding Stremmlife signs and screaming during a club concert.
Lil Wayne - “Grindin’” ft. Drake
Lil Wayne tapped his friend DJ Scoob Doo to direct the music video for “Grindin’,” which has the rapper boasting about his work ethic while footage of his shows are swatched on screen. The video was shot in a few locations, with Drake joining him on stage on a few occasions. There’s a lot of audience shots, along with Weezy’s signature smile and backstage shenanigans. Pair all that with the dramatic graphics the Scoob adds in and a menacing beat, and you’ve got something motivational and inspiring.