These are the political and social music videos nominated for Video With a Message at the VMAs

The MTV Video Music Awards are Monday in New York City at Radio City Music Hall. Cardi B leads the nominatio...

Posted: Aug 20, 2018 5:05 PM
Updated: Aug 20, 2018 5:05 PM

The MTV Video Music Awards are Monday in New York City at Radio City Music Hall. Cardi B leads the nominations with 10 nods, Jennifer Lopez will be honored with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, and one video will walk away with the Moonman for Video With a Message.

The category is relatively new and has been won by videos including Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" in 2011, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' "Same Love" featuring Mary Lambert in 2013, and Beyoncé's "Pretty Hurts" in 2014. Last year, days after the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Susan Bro, the mother of counter-protester Heather Heyer who was killed at the rally, presented the category, then called "Best Fight Against The System."

Arts and entertainment

Awards and prizes

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Celebrities

Donald Glover

Drake

Entertainment and arts awards

Internet and WWW

Janelle Monáe

Media industry

Music

Music and dance

Music awards

Music industry

Social media

Technology

Director Andy Hines, a past winner who's up for the award again this year, called Video With a Message, "the only VMA that's worth, in my opinion, being nominated for." Here's a preview of the videos up the award in 2018:

"This Is America" - Childish Gambino

"This Is America" was an immediate sensation, racking up more than 80 million YouTube views in a week, rocketing to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, and inspiring articles, Twitter threads, and conversations about its meaning. The video was directed by Hiro Murai, who's worked with Donald Glover on other projects including the FX series "Atlanta." Murai told Vanity Fair that Glover pitched him on a video that showed him shooting a man and a church choir, and it grew from there. "Those were the two things he pitched me, and from that, and from the way he was kind of miming the dance moves, we abstractly started bouncing the ball back and forth," Murai said. Glover said Murai handled the "tricky" concept well. "Hiro's really good about restraint," he said.

"Liberated" - DeJ Loaf and Leon Bridges

On "Liberated," DeJ Loaf and Leon Bridges sing about living free and not worrying what other people think, and for the music video, directed by Calmatic, they asked other people what being liberated means to them. "Freedom," "owning my voice," and "being you" were some of the answers, and the video focuses on people of color and members of the LGBT community ("I won't judge who you love, or your brown skin," DeJ sings near the top of the track). For DeJ, liberation "is about freeing yourself from negativity, doubt or anything that shackles you. Its about feeling confidant, proud and alive," she said in a statement from Columbia.

"God's Plan" - Drake

"God's Plan" was a massive hit (11 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100) on a massive album full of them (Drake's Scorpion set a new streaming record and includes three No. 1 hits), and its music video had a massive $996,639.90 budget that was all given away, according to the video's opening credits ("Don't tell the label," it said). Drake presented checks to a Miami high school, gave a biology student at the University of Miami a $50K scholarship, and paid for all groceries for a store full of shoppers. When Fader asked five religious leaders what they thought of the video, Mona Haydar, from the Islamic Center at NYU, said it had her "in tears" and "made me wish that we would talk seriously about things like reparations in America for indigenous and Black peoples." "I love that Drake is using his influence to serve love, beauty and dignity- with honor and grace," she said. Drake called the video, "the most important thing I have ever done in my career."

"PYNK" - Janelle Monae feat. Grimes

The 48-minute short film released with Janelle Monáe's Dirty Computer album was set in a dystopian world where people who look different or don't fall in line are deemed "dirty," and the video for "PYNK" serves as a flashback for before the bad guys took over. "I was listening to the lyrics a lot and came up with some ideas and sent them off to Janelle's team," director Emma Westenberg told COVER/LINE. "We created this world that became the music video." The world they created is very pink and very female, with allusions to female sexuality and the female body. The message is feminist, but it's also one of equality. As Monáe sings, "Deep inside, we're all just pink." Westenberg said she considers Monáe an activist ("She doesn't like to call herself that, but I think she is") and said she wanted to make a video that "captured her spirit." "It was really a joy to learn from her and collaborate with her," she said.

"Gatekeeper" - Jessie Reyez

The music video for Jessie Reyez's "Gatekeeper," about an aspiring singer being pressured into having sex to advance her carrer by a producer, is based on a true story. Around 2012, a "big producer" propositioned and threatened Reyez, she told Billboard. "I was this close to selling my soul that night; I was this close to breaking." The song is written from the perspective of the producer with lines like "We are the gatekeepers / Spread your legs, open up," sung with dark, twisted vocal effects. The three-and-a-half minute video, showing Reyez riding in a vehicle with the producer, is cut from a longer extended film about the night. "Everything that's in there happened," she said.

"1-800-273-8255" - Logic feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid

Named for the phone number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, "1-800" was the first top ten hit by Gaithersburg, Maryland's own Logic. Director Andy Hines told COVER/LINE Logic reached out about making a video about "a young black male who is confused or figuring himself out about his sexuality in high school" and from there, he wrote the story. In it, the high schooler gets caught with a boy, is bullied for being gay, and contemplates suicide. Hines called the shoot "taxing," because his wife had just given birth three days earlier. "It was a very interesting experience for me just in terms of empathy and my general point of view," he said. "It was an emotionally charged experience, for sure." Hines hopes people will get something out of the video regardless of their background. "It's for the kids in the story, it's for the bully. There's a lot of different perspective, people can watch that video a lot of different ways," he said.

Huntsville
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 74°
Florence
Few Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 70°
Fayetteville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 70°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 54768

Reported Deaths: 1096
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6746170
Mobile4904140
Montgomery4547112
Tuscaloosa269053
Madison22689
Marshall198011
Shelby169125
Lee159637
Morgan13385
Baldwin127711
Walker107532
Elmore106721
Etowah101114
Dallas10029
DeKalb9677
Franklin93816
Autauga69815
Russell6860
Unassigned67928
Chambers67730
Butler65229
Limestone6393
Tallapoosa63069
Cullman6156
Houston6077
Lauderdale5776
St. Clair5443
Calhoun5155
Colbert5096
Escambia4888
Lowndes48422
Pike4795
Jackson4352
Coffee4284
Covington41612
Talladega4017
Barbour3992
Dale3951
Bullock37810
Hale35423
Marengo35411
Chilton3312
Blount3201
Clarke3176
Wilcox3038
Winston2995
Sumter29213
Marion29014
Pickens2746
Randolph2639
Monroe2603
Perry2502
Conecuh2318
Bibb2241
Macon2199
Choctaw21712
Greene1989
Henry1553
Washington1488
Lawrence1360
Crenshaw1323
Cherokee1247
Geneva980
Lamar891
Clay852
Fayette851
Coosa661
Cleburne451
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 61960

Reported Deaths: 741
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby13594224
Davidson13309143
Rutherford360239
Hamilton336438
Sumner194556
Williamson176316
Knox16209
Trousdale15105
Out of TN141610
Wilson118717
Putnam10197
Bradley9724
Robertson94813
Sevier9123
Unassigned8902
Montgomery7787
Tipton6987
Lake6960
Bledsoe6291
Bedford6249
Macon6037
Hamblen4744
Maury4623
Hardeman4184
Fayette3705
Madison3632
Rhea3430
Blount3393
Loudon3282
Dyer2923
McMinn28419
Cheatham2753
Dickson2750
Washington2620
Lawrence2396
Cumberland2214
Sullivan2214
Anderson2002
Jefferson1871
Lauderdale1824
Gibson1811
Smith1602
Monroe1556
Greene1512
Coffee1430
Cocke1380
Hardin1287
Warren1270
Obion1243
Haywood1213
Marshall1182
Franklin1163
Wayne1160
McNairy1071
Carter1052
Giles1051
Hickman1050
Marion954
Hawkins912
Lincoln870
White863
DeKalb850
Roane850
Henderson740
Weakley741
Overton731
Campbell701
Chester690
Claiborne680
Grundy652
Unicoi580
Grainger560
Polk550
Crockett543
Henry530
Carroll521
Cannon500
Sequatchie490
Humphreys472
Jackson470
Johnson460
Meigs380
Perry380
Morgan321
Decatur290
Scott280
Fentress270
Stewart260
Union240
Moore210
Clay200
Houston200
Benton151
Hancock120
Lewis110
Van Buren90
Pickett70

 

 

Community Events