Rap-Up’s 10 Best Music Videos of 2011

Kanye West and Jay-Z

Although most music videos are viewed online these days, that hasn’t killed the creativity behind the camera. 2011 was full of visual marvels—from the silly (Chromeo and Solange’s “When the Night Falls”) to the scary (Kanye West’s “Monster”) to the star-studded (Beastie Boys’ “Make Some Noise”).

Dr. Dre came back to life in “I Need a Doctor,” Lil Wayne showed us a softer side with “How to Love,” Nicki Minaj and Drake made fairytales come true in “Moment 4 Life,” and Jay-Z and Kanye West chopped up a Maybach in “Otis.” And who can forget about Odd Future leader Tyler, the Creator’s chilling, self-directed video for “Yonkers,” which landed him an MTV Video Music Award.

Starting this week, we’re sharing our favorite music videos, songs, and albums of 2011. Find out which 10 videos of the past year won a special place in our hearts and share your faves.

10. Chromeo feat. Solange – “When the Night Falls”

9. Nicki Minaj feat. Drake – “Moment 4 Life”

8. Dr. Dre feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey – “I Need a Doctor”

7. Lil Wayne – “How to Love”

6. Beastie Boys – “Make Some Noise”

5. Tyler, the Creator – “Yonkers”

4. Beyoncé – “Run the World (Girls)”

3. Kanye West f/ Rick Ross, Jay-Z, & Nicki Minaj – “Monster”

2. Jay-Z & Kanye West – “Otis”

1. Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris – “We Found Love”

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109 Comments

  1. Yeah

    ha

    [Reply]

    Paris Finest Reply:

    @Yeah, GAME – MARTIANS VS GOBLINS!!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    andrew Reply:

    Yonkers is better than M4L? Sike.

    [Reply]

    LO Reply:

    @Yeah, i only agree with the last 5 the rest except 10 shouldnt be in it…i need a doctor was hella boring and a moment for life just ok…lets not even start with how to love…the story was nice but thats it…and i agree videos dont have to be always expensive but child… THEY DONT MAKE THAT MANY GOOD VIDEOS ANYMORE LIKE THEY USED TO

    [Reply]

    AmbeRussell Reply:

    @LO, i hae to agree. moment for life was nothing special, just her in a large ball room, other than that…nothing else. n how to love was only good bc it was a weezy video. bc it was something different for him. but for any other artist, we seen stuff like that b4.
    amberussell on youtube

    [Reply]

  2. ChrisBrownLOUD

    I love rih but how is she number one?

    [Reply]

    Cranberry Reply:

    @ChrisBrownLOUD, seriously? It’s an amazing video. Easily the best of the year by any artist from any genre.

    [Reply]

    :o Reply:

    @Cranberry, Amazing? Its a joke right. I love the song but the video.. its like watching porn

    [Reply]

    Jay Reply:

    @ChrisBrownLOUD, Because she da one ahah

    [Reply]

  3. Justin

    “Motivation” by Kelly Rowland deserves a honorable mention.

    [Reply]

  4. Puma Kamarullah

    Drake’s headlines?

    [Reply]

    kk Reply:

    @Puma Kamarullah, yup

    [Reply]

  5. YESSS! BEYONCE! COUNTDOWN IS ALSO GOOD ;)

    my name is oo

    [Reply]

    my name is oo Reply:

    @YESSS! BEYONCE! COUNTDOWN IS ALSO GOOD ;), Beyonce is the best of all time..!

    [Reply]

    :o Reply:

    @my name is oo, Duh :)

    [Reply]

    yesh Reply:

    @YESSS! BEYONCE! COUNTDOWN IS ALSO GOOD ;), LOL where’s kanye??

    [Reply]

  6. mumi

    FUCK YEAAAAHHH!! RIHANNA YOU DID IT! <3

    [Reply]

  7. Ray

    I agree We Found Love was the best video of the year and it took 10 1/2 months just to get a good video like that #propstorihanna

    [Reply]

    :o Reply:

    @Ray, Good video? Lmfaoo

    [Reply]

    Fan Of A Fan Reply:

    @:o, are you mad bro?

    [Reply]

    :o Reply:

    @Fan Of A Fan, Why would i be?

    [Reply]

  8. wil

    where is Chris Brown – Look At Me Now??? WTF?

    [Reply]

    aight Reply:

    @wil, I like Look At Me Now but the clip is not that good IMO

    [Reply]

    zania Reply:

    @aight, But the experts think Look at me now is real good. The video got nominated for every award
    show this year and including MTV VIDEOS. Most of the videos rap up selected wasn’t even nominated. Plus CB video has the most youtube views this year out of all the rappers video. So I have nothing else to say.

    [Reply]

    :o Reply:

    @wil, Ikr. Where is he?

    [Reply]

    AmbeRussell Reply:

    @wil, to me, the song was bigger than the video

    [Reply]

  9. sosonam

    wow. top 4 goes to rocnation.

    [Reply]

  10. trippen67

    This is done under the favourite videos act only how can rihanna be number 1 because shes one the most popular female artists, no reconigtion from less popular artists, shocking!

    [Reply]

    minto Reply:

    @trippen67, how bout the fact that chromeo who is a much lesser act is on the list, dont start makin shit up when facts trump your opinions

    We found love was by far the best

    [Reply]

  11. roman

    Um Super Bass? When was the last time a female rapper gave you face, body, hair and life?

    Not Kim ass who’s on face #11.

    [Reply]

    kk Reply:

    @roman, why is u mad she got 2 songs up there thats good

    [Reply]

    :l Reply:

    @roman,i really think you are a kim fan that jump from nicki to kim post to start sh-t,wt-f dos this post are list have to do with kim..it,s people like you who always drag real nicki fans in to sh-t,that they are not involved in,but people like you live for drama and conflict.

    [Reply]

  12. Lauryn

    Oh please. I’m done with Rap-Up after this!

    [Reply]

    RAP-UP Reply:

    @Lauryn, yeah right. you’ll be back tomorrow posting your irrelevant comments/

    [Reply]

  13. CBE

    Get outta of here with this shit!

    Where is Look at me Now!!!

    RAP UP…SMH

    [Reply]

  14. john

    where is tyga and drake
    bet you guys didnt listen to most better music videos

    [Reply]

  15. B.S

    We found Love! Really?

    I feel like laughing but…

    Some Rihanna ass kissers for sure

    [Reply]

    rozay Reply:

    @B.S, get outta here you chris brown stan. don’t be mad cause his video didn’t make the list (and didn’t deserve to either).

    [Reply]

    B.S Reply:

    @rozay, LOL!didnt deserve too?that was one of the best videos of 2011 praised by critics alike,WFl is some bullshit video(about chris brown)so shut the fuck up!

    [Reply]

    Cranberry Reply:

    @B.S, We Found Love got more praise than any of the trash Chris has put out. Stop it.

    [Reply]

    B.S Reply:

    @rozay,You just a punk,who said I am a chris brown stan? ontop of that yes WFL sucks balls!

    [Reply]

    rozay Reply:

    @B.S, “sucks balls” … you sound really intelligent.

    [Reply]

    damit! Reply:

    @rozay, I’m a huge CB fan and I’m not mad at all, not shocked either! Notorized dubed Look At Me Now as the no. 1 videao, each has their own opinion, I am shocked that We Found Love is no. 1 it hasn’t been out long at all, mad no, Chris Brown had an amazing year and cause his video didn’t make the list doesn’t change the fact what so ever!

    [Reply]

    Fan Of A Fan Reply:

    @B.S, Mad?

    [Reply]

  16. Aza

    SUPER BASS ISN’T THERE, SMH

    [Reply]

  17. Songtress

    This top 10 sucks personally, Jay-Z, Kanye, Beyonce, and Rihanna can maintain their spots but what about the other videos this year from Nicki and some other artists that were bigger ?!
    *shrugs*
    Come on Rap-Up !

    [Reply]

    nene Reply:

    @Songtress, so if they’re “bigger” artists, they deserve to make the list? dumb.

    [Reply]

    kk Reply:

    @nene, no there were bigger videos ~___~

    [Reply]

  18. saiko

    Kelly Rowland – Lay it on me?

    [Reply]

    ____ Reply:

    @saiko, naw…..the director jacked Kelly up for that video by using the same ideas she directed for another video (Livvi Franc – Now I’m That B*tch)

    [Reply]

  19. Replay

    Look At Me Now? Super Bass? And We Found Love #1 are u kidding me :D?

    [Reply]

  20. Replay

    David Guetta & Usher – Without You too…

    [Reply]

    LISA Reply:

    @Replay, you have horrible taste.

    [Reply]

    Replay Reply:

    @LISA, horrible taste? Aha bye. Lil Kim

    [Reply]

  21. DIONFATALEI

    We Found Love should DEF be number 1, she raised the bar with that video yet again. The video even topped Indie/Alternative type best list being the only dance/pop record on the list.

    [Reply]

    debbie Reply:

    @DIONFATALEI, agreed…it was SOOOOOOO different than anything out so its kind of obvious that its number one

    [Reply]

  22. Natalia

    ??? Nicki Minaj “Super bass”

    [Reply]

    aight Reply:

    @Natalia, They chose Moment 4 Life instead
    I think if they put 2 Nicki’s clips, people were gonna talk.

    [Reply]

  23. brandon

    i absolutely agree with the list. All these videos were either on the epic, classic, or unique scale which is EXACTLY why they got the spots they deserve.

    Personally the reason why moment 4 life got up there and not superbase because for one moment 4 life is a much better song where she is actually saying something (it was nominated for a grammy over super bass) and plus as visually appealing as the video was, super bass was kind of just an ordinary pop video

    and for all the manic stanned chris brown fans sorry to burst your bubble but Look at me Now didnt deserve be up there hence why its not. There was nothing special about (name one if you want) visually appealing yes, but what exactly separated it from other videos to deserve to be on this list????? I like him, his music, and his videos just not how his fans think he is the king of the world…

    that is all

    [Reply]

    New years Rezzo Reply:

    @brandon, Seriously from a minaj fan?lol

    What did superbass or moment for life stand for?

    Atleast chris is entertainment

    Look at this top 10 and seriously tell me Look at me now(ft busta and wayne I should add) didnt deserve a spot.
    If u hate,I can also be a hater

    [Reply]

    :l Reply:

    @New years Rezzo, i won’t agree with brandon and say who don’t belong up there because as i see it everyone on that list deserved there spot,and if you don’t know what moment4life stand for you are ignorant,but as i can see you just fighting fire with fire because of what brandon said…and brandon you talkign about breezy fans thinks he is the king of the work…that is normal fans are bias just like me when it come to nicki,you artist is like a spoiled kid that you keep spoiling it,s natural.

    [Reply]

  24. Pupusa Peluda

    the motto by drake. wtf. why is it not here

    [Reply]

  25. Stre3t Danc@

    Um… WHAT? This list sucks big time!! Where tf is Look at me now?!?! And.. Rihanna #1? Really? -__________-

    [Reply]

    Fan Of A Fan Reply:

    @Stre3t Danc@, mad?

    [Reply]

  26. chase

    YES RIHANNA IS the QUEEN

    [Reply]

    :o Reply:

    @chase, Queen of what? Porn?

    [Reply]

    Whatcha_Sayin Reply:

    @:o, Good one. Did it take you all of 2011 to come up with that?

    [Reply]

    #teambreezykiki Reply:

    @:o, lol that was good cuz that is all she does

    [Reply]

  27. ILL

    Rihanna Queen

    [Reply]

  28. care

    wow wow Rihanna runs this bitch!!!

    [Reply]

  29. Window Pain

    all i can say is that kelly should of took that hoe beyonce spot she is wack and ps: Rihanna is on top = new Queen!!

    [Reply]

  30. bb

    Rihanna is the best forget about the rest

    [Reply]

  31. STACE FACE

    I TOTALLY AGREE WITH THE #1 VIDEO~

    [Reply]

  32. :o

    Beyonce on 4th place? Seriously? Where tf is chris? Rihanna on 1st place? Really now?

    [Reply]

    Fan Of A Fan Reply:

    @:o, madT?

    [Reply]

    :o Reply:

    @Fan Of A Fan, Once again.. Why would be? And btw you need a new line..

    [Reply]

  33. I Love Barry

    Where is Martians VS Goblins ??!

    [Reply]

  34. arob

    We found love was a nice video, but it looks like cee lo’s

    [Reply]

  35. kk

    good shit

    [Reply]

  36. :l

    yonkers,monster and moment4life all the way.

    [Reply]

  37. Real Issh

    Love RTW , & Yonkers .

    [Reply]

  38. LaPorscha

    I feel Chris Brown Look At Me Now should of been on the list…

    [Reply]

  39. AMX

    ohhhh THANK GOD because justin bieber is not one of them :D

    [Reply]

  40. :)

    @RIHANNA #1! :)

    [Reply]

  41. tamar

    look at me now was wack you guys.

    but i do agree with this list.

    [Reply]

  42. Giamma

    Muah!

    WFL deserved!

    [Reply]

    :) Reply:

    @Giamma, Yes!

    [Reply]

  43. Byzinha

    ACCURATE.

    [Reply]

  44. brainfood.com

    Tyler the Creator looks like Roscoe from “Martin.”

    [Reply]

  45. hell yea

    these videos suck

    [Reply]

  46. Jayrican18

    I love all those songs! Especially We Found Love!

    [Reply]

  47. A Realist

    I can’t stand Rihtard, but I agree she did have the best video of 2011.

    [Reply]

  48. coolio

    This is a horrible list. Where is GaGa?

    [Reply]

    ATT Reply:

    @coolio, This is a URBAN list.

    [Reply]

    coolio Reply:

    @ATT, What!?!?! Gaga is as urban as it gets!

    [Reply]

    DenimJunkieKidd Reply:

    @coolio, gaga didn’t put out any good VIDEOS this year, just music

    [Reply]

  49. Blanco

    Forget that where is black friday!!!

    [Reply]

    tamar Reply:

    @Blanco, in 2011

    [Reply]

  50. Billy

    YES! Rap-Up CONSISTENTLY picks an amazing crop of videos for their 10 best, and I couldn’t agree more (at least with the top 5 or 6). Amazing.
    It was a great year for videos, even if the overall quality of music in 2011 was lacking.

    [Reply]

  51. Hugh

    N****s in Paris would have made my list if THEY ACTUALLY MADE A VIDEO!

    I’m On One was ok. So was Lighters. This is a pretty good list.

    [Reply]

  52. name

    J. COLE – LOST ONES!!!!!

    [Reply]

  53. Fan Of A Fan

    That Rihanna reign just won’t let up. *shrugs*

    #RihannaNavy

    [Reply]

  54. Rachel

    No Countdown?
    Automatically makes this a Major Fail!!!

    [Reply]

  55. nicegirl

    This list is really good. The videos on the list are well thought-out, whether humorous, meaningful or just plain enetertaining. I think either Lost Ones by J. Cole or Far Away by Marsha Ambrosius should have been on the list too. They are very meaningful videos too. Maybe if there was a top 20 list.

    [Reply]

  56. Audrey Hepburn

    RIHANNA = #1, Sounds about right to me! :D

    [Reply]

  57. truth b told

    Not a fan of either Rihanna or Chris Brown, but I would agree Look At Me Now should have been on the list. We Found Love being No.1, uh, I wonder why…the video is about DV, has a Chris Brown look-a-like, come on now. And as far as her reign not letting up, if it wasn’t for Chris Brown, she wouldn’t have a reign, take it how you want RiRi stans, truth b told & hell no, I’m not mad! I do think Kelly Rowland should have made the list…Motivation was one hot video!

    [Reply]

  58. aba

    Run The World >>>>>>>> the crap you have at #1

    [Reply]

  59. Damn !

    Brotha please i’m mad as f*ck right now ! Run The World beat all the shit that came out this year , i mean have you the the video ? Even the alternative shitty one is still beating WFL ass ! I don’t know what happened with this era but i but my ass that if her father was still managing her she would have sold a lot of a lot album and would’ve had the true success she deserves !

    [Reply]

  60. Laurent

    man this list is wack, where the hell is Fast Lane from bad meets evil …?

    [Reply]

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