In 2012 nearly every urban videographer or media company upgraded their Canons.
Unfortunately not many knew how to put their new toy to proper use. The scene which birthed and groomed the likes of Wretch 32, Chip, (formerly known as Chipmunk) Wiley and Tinie Tempah for the commercial music market, has continued to create visuals for new up-and-coming artists as well as working with established acts on mix tape projects, EPs and even some major label work.
However some of these visuals, including many with big budgets, have been less than impressive and lazy considering the caliber of the artists they're working with.
I've compiled my personal top 10 list of visuals from urban artists in 2012, (some signed, some unsigned) which I feel showed real vision and upped the levels for music videos regardless of the toys (and money) they had at their disposal. 10.
This is a good 'net' (used to be called hood) video on a budget. What sells it is the amateur special effects that work well in its moderation against the backdrop of Lady Leshurr's semi-automatic flow.
Clean editing, slow-mo and nice switches between Devlin and Wretch 32 as they go back to back on their no-time-for-a-chorus track. Gritty location makes for a gritty but well executed video.
Just for being a hard-spitting UK MC and then dressing up in an elephant suit in public, this video shows Mic Righteous has guts to clown around and not be afraid to be different.
The visuals only play out the strong social commentary in a very subtle way and lets D. Walker's performance, especially in the break, do the talking.
A good mimic of an already popular music video (Drake & Rihanna's Take Care), and use of a high speed cam gives for a visually stunning performance from Angel.
Apparently shot in one take, JME's video showed how with just one camera a harness and a banging tune, you can still get to No.41 in the national charts without a big budget behind you. Serious
The styling, colouring and music go perfectly hand in hand with this offering by Naughty Boy and Emeli Sande. An appealing outside-the-box visual.
Obviously a big budget production, yet the director, Colin Tilley, didn't make it a cheesy rock-type video, instead he strummed the right chord with his vision of a hectic, flashing and tight shot of Dappy as a true star.
Flipping a popular music video into your own is common (see number six) but doing so using four different music videos takes some doing. Director Carly Cussen gives a hat tip to Jay-Z, Drake, Lil Wayne and Kanye West videos for Dott Rotten's visually arresting single.
It would have been an injustice had the epic sweeping and rising crane shots for Leke's similarly epic single not been filmed in the souring cliff face of the English countryside. Sometimes to fully showcase your vision, you have to go outside your comfort and even travel zone! Well done to director Patrick Odur.