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Have you ever listened to a new song and you could envision your own music video in your head? It happens to me all the time. Then the artist releases the official music video and it isn't quite what you imagined.
Not only is it so far from your mind's direction, but they're just straight up strange music videos. Many videos, new and old, have fallen to this fate.
"I Love It" by Kanye West & Lil Pump
Let's start with the latest video to make myself, among its other quarter billion viewers, say those magic three words: What the fork. In what was one of the weirdest music videos of 2018, Kanye West and Lil Pump are featured on bodies better fit for Minecraft or Roblox characters, and it is simply appalling.
It should come to no surprise based on Kanye West's 2018 media frenzy— and yet, there I was a little over one month ago, utterly baffled. It's simply strange, even with Kanye's standards.
Please. Don't even get me started on his subsequent Perrier bottle outfit Saturday Night Live appearance. I do not love it.
"Come To Daddy" by Aphex Twin
Featuring that title on my list of weird music videos should come with even less surprise, but the music video took a step far beyond strange with Aphex Twin's "Come To Daddy" video companion. It's disturbing to be short—and yes, the song's title would warrant such an unpleasant visual embodiment, but I was still alarmed.
I can't wait to have nightmares about this one tonight.
"Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler
Little did I know before beginning this list that a true 80s classic like Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" would find its way amongst the strangest of music videos. It's simply so far from the music video I had always imagined, but honestly, this is one the best music videos of the 80s, in my opinion.
I would say more, but I genuinely do not want to spoil this one. I can only urge you to watch for yourself.
"Dog Days Are Over" by Florence + The Machine
I've seen Florence + The Machine on several occasions, and I write this in the highest of compliments: Florence Welch is weird. Welch herself could land a few videos on this list, but "Dog Days Are Over" is enough justice.
It's strange. It's fun and free-spirited. It's everything that Welch stands for, and unlike the Kanye West and Lil Pump song, I love it!
"Lazarus" by David Bowie
If Florence Welch were crowned queen of weird then David Bowie would be king (no pun intended, and no offense to another late great weirdo—long live Mac Miller, King of the Weirdos). Bowie had a few strange music videos across his long career, but rather than pick only one of his classics over another, a new song off of his last album Blackstar fits the definition of strange for a different reason.
"Lazarus"—rightfully named after the Biblical figure of Bethany who raised from the dead — features Bowie in a hospital bed, blindfolded, singing about his death, shortly before it came. It's chilling. May he rest in peace among the stars that which brought him to this pale blue dot in darkness.
"Kids" by MGMT
A music video so strange, even the failed Beavis and Butt-Head reboot had to comment on it, MGMT's "Kids" was how these two random, remarkably talented dudes from Connecticut first made their mark on mainstream music. The song actually fits the video quite well, in respects to its lyrics, but that doesn't disqualify "Kids" from the definition of strange. "Kids" is up there among the all-time weird music videos.
Honorable Mention: "Little Dark Age" by MGMT
"Sweatpants" by Childish Gambino
"This Is America" may have made an entire country say WTF, but with over 400 million views in five months, it's safe to assume most online citizens have seen it by now (if not, you can educate yourself here), so "Sweatpants" by Childish Gambino made my list instead. It's arguably Donald Glover's best cinematic work next to Atlanta, but not nearly as strange as season two's sixth episode ("Teddy Perkins") where Glover sported whiteface to play an old white man.
"Somebody Else" by The 1975
If you're a fan of The 1975 and you've never seen this music video then where were you on July 7, 2016? Because this has to be one of the most highly anticipated music videos I can remember. And it is nowhere near what I imagined it would be.
Starring The 1975's frontman Matty Healy, "Somebody Else" can be described as many things: Creepy, depressing, disturbing, sad, self-loathing, and ultimately, strange. It's a masterpiece.
Bonus points for The 1975 fans: Play "UGH!" for the first three minutes.
"Yonkers" by Tyler, the Creator
Before his most recent album Flower Boy, Tyler, the Creator walked a fine line between strange and disturbing. "Yonkers" not only crossed that line, but "Yonkers" also murdered it because one's world would never quite be the same after watching this video. (Seriously. I have friends who refuse to watch this video again after we all watched it together back in high school. It was a shared traumatic experience.)
Honorable Mention: "Who Dat Boy" by Tyler, the Creator
"I Fink U Freeky" by Die Antwoord
Well, nine down and one to go. This is it. I have no more words. This is it. "I Fink U Freeky" by Die Antwoord has to be the strangest of the strange—one weird music video to rule them all (a fitting Lord of the Rings ref for Yolandi Visser's unintentional Gollum impersonation). Die Antwoord will always reign as the champion among strange music videos.