Anaconda’s Not Alone: 15 of the Most Controversial Music Videos
Is it just us or are music videos getting more controvesial all the time? And as artists turn the volume up on video’s they’re getting into a lot of hot water. Should these artists be allowed to do what they do? Or are the censors right about things getting out of hand?
DJ Snake & Lil Jon, Turn Down For What
DJ Snake and Lil Jon clearly asked “Turn Down For What?” when they were coming up with the concept behind this over-the-top video. But critics say they took things too far when they zoomed in on twerking genitalia for most of the video.
The Weeknd, Kiss Land
Critics say they found R&B star The Weeknd’s video hard to watch. And not just because of the flashing Japanese animation, but because of it’s leaked-sextape vibe and one too many pixelated nipples in the background.
Justin Timberlake, Tunnel Vision
Justin Timberlake dipped into the controversy pool when he shot Tunnel Vision starring a bunch of topless women — including his wife Jessica Biel — with his face projected onto them.
YouTube banned the video within hours of it’s debut, but eventually decided that JT‘s nudes were art and gave the video a pass.
Kanye West, Bound 2
Kanye’s video starring his SO wasn’t banned, but it did get a lot of heat from the stans including a remake by Seth Rogan and James Franco. Have we decided whether we love or hate this video yet?
Madonna, Give Me All Your Luvin’
This video featured Nicki Minaj, M.I.A. and a group of football players that are murdered by a machine gun.
In light of the school shootings that have rocked the United States, critics called it “heartless” and “unnecesarily violent.”
Lily Allen, Hard Out Here
Lily Allen’s Hard Out Here video poked fun at misogyny in hip hop. But bloggers like #BlackinAsia said that her use of all-black video girls was racist:
“…it just reduces itself down to elevating Lily Allen’s white female body and objectifying and utterly denigrating those of the black female dancers she deliberately surrounds herself with from start to finish.”
But Lily says her choice in dancers was strictly about talent:
“If I could dance like the ladies can, it would have been my arse on your screens.”
Miley Cyrus, Wrecking Ball
Miley caught a lot of heat for choosing to strip naked and straddle a wrecking ball in this video. But Miley says the critics misunderstood what she was trying to do:
“I think the video is much more, if people get past the point that I’m naked and you actually look at me. You can tell that I actually look more broken than even the song sounds.”
But from the number of parodies of this video, we’re guessing that a lot of people missed the point.
Miley Cyrus, We Can’t Stop
Miley also found herself in hot water after We Can’t Stop aired and featured Miley twerking, singing about Molly and previewing the out-there behavior that landed her in Robin Thicke’s lap at the 2013 VMAs a few months later.
Erykah Badu, Window Seat
Erykay Badu prooved that she wasn’t done being avant garde when she stripped down on the streets of Dallas in her DIY video for Window Seat.
But Dallas officials didn’t see it as a political statement. They were so scandalized by her public nudity and “death” at the spot where Kennedy was assassinated that they charged her with disorderly conduct.
Nicki Minaj, Anaconda
The tabloids are having trouble figuring out whether they love or hate Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda video. What do you think? Is Nicki reclaiming big butts for women everywhere? Or were all of those posteriors taking it too far?
Jennifer Lopez, Booty
Nicki wasn’t the only artist to be accused of showing too much cheek for one music video.
J-Lo and Iggy Azalea tried to steal some of the booty spotlight with their video Booty. But critics said their moves took it a little too far making the clip look more like soft core porn than a music video.
Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines
Robin Thicke and the Blurred Lines crew got themselves into a little bit of hot water when they released this video for their hit single.
Even though the video features topless models and lyrics like “you know you want it,” Robin Thick says he T.I. and Pharrell didn’t mean any harm. They were just imitating “old men on a porch hollering at girls like, ‘Hey, where you going, girl? Come over here!’ That’s why, in the video, we’re doing all these old-men dances.”
And if you haven’t seen the unrated version, you can find it on Vevo (NSFW, obviously).
Rihanna, Pour It Up
When Pour It Up was snatched off of YouTube moments after it aired, Rihanna famously Tweeted: IN TEN PHUCKING MINUTES BRO?
The video for Rihanna’s stripper anthem may have been heavy on the deep-twerk stripper moves, but we’re still trying to figure out why it deserved to be taken down.
Rihanna, Man Down
Rihanna’s certainly no stranger to video controversy. Remember when she shot a man in the head in the opening scene of Man Down?
A former exec at BET quipped, “‘Man Down’ is an inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song.”
But one Twitter fan pointed out that if you watch the whole video, it’s about revenge for sexual assault:
“it’s really ironic how women r always exploited n videos … we watch women be raped & murdered. Now a woman flips the coin & look!”