Other Iconic Videos by 'Hotline Bling's' Director X
Yesterday was one of those rare days where the eyes of the world were focused on a single subject, a shining moment where the earth truly lived as one. The moment in question was, of course, Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling,’ a music video that was so sexy, meme-worthy, and visually stunning that it feels instantly iconic.
As integral to the clip’s success as the 6God was Director X, the man behind the camera who has one of the most impressive resumes in hip-hop, and music video, history. Because we can’t watch ‘Hotline Bling’ all day (well, technically we can, but we digress), here are a few of our favorite clips from the auteur with the most street cred in the game:
Yeah! — Usher ft. Lil Jon + Ludacris
You know this song, right? The one that is now played on the radio, in barbershops, and at wedding with equal discretion? The song that has been named as the best-selling single of the first decade of the 2000’s? Well if you religiously watched the video like this author did in middle school, you have Director X to thank. A standard night club becomes an electric blue glitch fest as Usher dances through more lasers than the French thief in Ocean’s 12. It’s dripping in crunk-filled sensuality, which not even Lil Jon’s grating voice could take away.
Pon de Replay — Rihanna
It was the song that birthed Rihanna unto the world, and by proxy, it was Director X who gave us the first visual of the High Priestess of Pop. Steeped in mid-2000’s rap club goodness, RiRi is presented as the bubblegum-princess of the dancefloor, a far cry from the current take no prisoners bitch betta have my money warlord of today. But despite the passage of time and the evolution of her persona, ‘Pon de Replay’ is a video that capture her first moment of mass appeal — like lightning in a bottle.
Fancy — Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX
Yes, the world has collectively decided to turn its backs on Iggy Azalea, but anyone that doesn’t enter a trance when this video is on is lying. Gloriously and meticulously sending up the definitive 90’s teen movie Clueless, Director X delivered a music video that hearkened back to a cultural landmark while still feeling fresh and oh-so clean. It made a bona fide star out of Iggy — despite her subsequent fall from grace — and it proved that Charli XCX might actually be the reincarnated Brittany Murphy. But the most important lesson? You already know.
The New Workout Plan — Kanye West
Kanye is no stranger to music videos that push their running times to epic proportions (read: the 34 minute cut of ‘Runaway‘). But his first true magnum opus was ‘The New Workout Plan,’ the funniest cut off of The College Dropout, and a clip that was a master-class in editing thanks to Director X. Combining footage of Kanye teaching in studio, rapid fire infomercials, and a cameo by Anna Nicole Smith, this video is more like a dozen videos stuffed into one. ‘The New Workout Plan’ is a bitingly tongue-in-cheek slice of hip-hop. It may be Kanye’s workout plan, but it’s one where the blueprints are backed entirely by Director X.
King Kunta — Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick’s hip-hop takeover is due in large part to his ability to craft incredibly intimate, homespun raps that still feel epic in scope. This ethos is exemplified in Director X’s clip for ‘King Kunta.’ The video highlights the wealth of content in the song’s lyrics with incredibly personal footage, shot on hand-held camera around Kendrick’s hometown, Compton. Viewers glide from riding backseat in Kendrick’s car to helping dislodge cars in a riot. It’s an exhilarating ride, but we’re on board from the very first drop of the beat.
Check out Director X’s website here.