A History of Music Videos

Nowadays, more modern music videos are made primarily as a marketing device which is intended to promote the sale of the song. So much so that sometimes music videos actually launch the song or become bigger and more popular than the song itself. A few examples of this are Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus, Anaconda by Nicki Minaj and Telephone by Lady Gaga. In these cases the music videos created a lot of buzz primarily because they featured nudity and/or a sexual nature. A lot of music videos are now made with a sex-angle about them purely because sex sells and can be controversial which makes people talk.

One video that made headlines over the past few years was Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, however this was no good publicity. The music video was highly controversial due to its use of full frontal nudity of young women and use of lyrics from interviews with convicted rapists. Being derogatory towards women is an incredibly controversial topic but yet is featured in a lot of music videos, one common pattern is in rap or hip-hop videos which often feature an array of scandily clad women usually dancing in seemingly provocative or suggestive ways.

Controversy and sex aren’t new aspects to be featured in music videos and since music videos have been made so has the controversy surrounding them. For example some of the most controversial music videos ever made are; Madonna’s Like a Prayer and The Prodigy Smack My Bitch Up. However music videos can  be controversial for a variety of reasons; drug, alcohol and sex aren’t the only things that draw attention to videos and lyrics of songs. For example, Beyoncé’s performance of her single ‘Formation’ at the American Super Bowl voicing the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign.

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