Top 10 Best Music Videos of 2021



Top 10 Best Music Videos of 2021

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton
2021 was another great year for music videos. For this list, we'll be looking at the most unique, impactful and rewatchable visual shorts that accompanied songs throughout the year. Our countdown includes "STAY," "We're Good," "Best Friend," and more!

Top 10 Music Videos of 2021

Welcome to MsMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 music videos of 2021.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most unique, impactful and rewatchable visual shorts that accompanied songs throughout the year.

What was your favorite music video of 2021? Let us know in the comments below!

#10: "Don't Go Yet" (Extended Version)
Camila Cabello

After Camila Cabello’s car jumps between live action and stop motion, she arrives at a big family event. Before long, she and her relatives are moving, posing and dancing together. The video’s fun choreography matches the rhythm of “Don’t Go Yet” perfectly. All of the movement is supported by colorful visuals, dynamic camera movements and gorgeous shots. And Caballo made sure the narrative felt authentic by having a few of her family members star in the video. The fantastic combination of vibrant visuals and memorable moments will have you wanting to be invited to the singer’s next family reunion.

#9: "We're Good"
Dua Lipa

Although we tuned into this short to see Dua Lipa play a 20s singer on an upscale cruise, we ended up getting invested in a lobster’s story. Throughout the narrative, a crustacean watches its friends be taken to the kitchen one by one. But the lobster is spared at the last moment thanks to some good luck. All of a sudden, the ship is flooded. As the lobster swims to sweet freedom, it’s revealed that Dua Lipa and others just escaped from the Titanic. This twist was the perfect way to end the crustaceans’ story. While we didn’t think of this animal the first time we listened to “We’re Good”, splitting focus between Dua Lipa and a lobster was a surprisingly great choice.

#8: “Best Friend”
Saweetie feat. Doja Cat

Best friends everywhere got a new favorite video as soon as the year began. Saweettie and Doja Cat teamed up to bring us this fantastic visual companion to their great song in January 2021. The video features the two doing typical best friend things like meeting King Bach, throwing money and riding in shiny cars. No matter how over-the-top some of the visuals get, the duo’s friendship still feels grounded and relatable. We’d honestly love it if these two starred in a full length movie together after their great work here. While we wait for the best friends to team up again, we’ll keep busy by rewatching Doja Cat’s mesmerizing “Streets” video. (*xref)

#7: “Fallen Fruit”

When it came time to record the visuals for “Solar Power”, the production team chose to shoot on a stunning beach during the day. This choice made Lorde’s “Fallen Fruit” video stand out more. We watch the singer slowly walk over a beach as the narrative cuts abruptly between day and night. As she moves on, the somber lyrics hint at the serious environmental issues the world’s facing. The smart editing and stunning imagery make every one of Lorde’s words hit harder. This video proved that you didn’t need a complex narrative to make a strong point. Her simple yet powerful walk reminds us that we need to take care of our beautiful and troubled world.

#6: “Permission to Dance”

If you ever need a pick-me-up in the middle of the day, BTS has got you covered. Their video for “Permission to Dance” sees the group showing off their coordinated moves to an infectious tune. At the same time, a stray balloon BTS released inspires others to start moving too. We then see everyone from office workers to kids on the playground enjoying the song with friends. It’s practically impossible to watch this video without smiling. The positive vibes are just too sweet and heartwarming. The only regret we have when we see “Permission to Dance” is that we weren’t around when BTS was teaching a happy crowd all the choreography.

#5: “Up”
Cardi B

It’s easy to understand why Cardi B’s “Up” video was nominated for multiple awards. After bidding farewell to 2020, the artist appears in a stunning black outfit. Cardi B continues to serve looks as the high energy song continues. While we knew her choreography would be amazing, we were pleasantly surprised by the incredible set design. Every time Cardi B travels to a new location, it feels like we’ve stepped into a different world. It also helps that the video incorporates a few clever visual effects that play with size and perspective. While “Up” didn’t take home big awards this year, it’s definitely still a winner in our books.

#4: "good 4 u"
Olivia Rodrigo

We didn’t think Oliva Rodrigo would top the moody and memorable “Driver’s License” in 2021. And then we saw what she did for “Good 4 U”. After a mysterious opening, Rodrigo goes to a cheer team practice while singing her popular breakup anthem. As it continues, she struggles to contain her rage towards the former partner who hurt her in happy and mundane places. The tension builds until she’s standing in the middle of her ex’s burning and flooded room. Seeing Rodrigo let her rage out is incredibly cathartic. The video’s building stakes, striking imagery and strong song quickly turned it into a viral sensation that most of us can relate to.

#3: “Rumors”
Lizzo feat. Cardi B

All of Lizzo’s critics were put on notice on August 13, 2021. That was the day her empowering “Rumors” song was paired with a video with a divine concept. Lizzo took inspiration from the muses that appeared in Disney’s “Hercules” to transform herself and Cardi B into absolute goddesses. Both artists wear stunning attire while focusing messages about body positivity and individuality. They also appear in spectacular scenery that’s full of Easter Eggs and the occasional risqué image. Not only is “Rumors” a bold musical short, but it truly elevates the song it was made for. This Lizzo project inspires us all to embrace who we are and let the haters know their words don't matter.

#2: "STAY"
The Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber

The Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber showed everyone how to give a ridiculously catchy song an equally replayable video. As soon as it starts, we're hit with jaw dropping visuals of a heartbroken couple frozen in time in different locations. After we see the Kid Laroi move through the still world, we cut to Beiber singing on a roof. The singers eventually meet up to dance and sing while the world speeds up around them. The video’s excellent cinematography and impressive visual effects managed to make what could’ve been a simple break-up story feel like a sci-fi epic. Every time we see this video online, we have to stay still and watch it all again.

Before we dance along to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

"Leave Before You Love Me", Marshmello & the Jonas Brothers
We’d Definitely Go to the New York City Rooftop Concert Shown in the Video

"Bad Boy”, Juice WRLD f/ Young Thug
The Hypnotic & Surprising Imagery Instantly Pulled Us In

"Wild Side", Normani feat. Cardi B
Worth Rewatching Multiple Times For the Sheer Visual Variety

“Lumberjack”, Tyler, The Creator
This Short Video Leaves a Long-Lasting Impression

"Transparent Soul", Willow Smith feat. Travis Barker
A Somber Story That Takes A Really Unexpected Turn

#1: “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”
Lil Nas X

There’s no way you can talk about the best projects musicians made in 2021 without talking about Lil Nas X. He commanded the world’s attention when he released this bold and visually stunning video. Packed with fantastic costumes and biblical references, the narrative follows Lil Nas X’s character as he traverses through an ancient world. Although he faces persecution during his journey, he ends up taking back his agency in a surprising way. Lil Nas X’s video received praise for its LGBTQ+ themes and daring imagery. After following it up with the equally excellent “Industry Baby”, he cemented his place as one of the most creative and radical artists of 2021.