2014 has been a outstanding year for music in St. Louis. Though it could be said that some of this year's best music has been a product of sad, gut-wrenching events that momentarily left our city lost, we are rebuilding. As Mvstermind of the hip-hop collective MME said, "The universal language of the arts will be what can close the gap of understanding." St. Louis has, and always will, embrace that ethos. And what goes better with a great song than some great visuals? So here it is, in no particular order, the ten best local music videos of 2014. Let's celebrate St. Louis a little more.
Mir, Con and Mvstermind of MME "Wave 2 (Westfall)"
After Michael Brown's death, Mir, Con and Mvstermind of MME released a song. The track's themes discuss discrimination, peace and revolution, which certainly have become keywords in the days following Brown's passing. In the video, the collective matches powerful words with even more powerful images; each rapper appears with his family, in his family home, attempting to bring reality and humanity to their music. Even more interestingly, the video for "Wave 2 (Westfall)" was filmed prior to Vonderrit Myers' death in October, but almost begins at the exact same location where Myers was shot. It all comes full circle.
Fister "Life is Short Life is Shit and Soon it Will be Over"
Fister's video for "Life is Short Life is Shit and Soon it Will be Over" begins with building instrumentals and visuals of the band members, but soon shifts to footage from protests in the Ukraine from earlier this year. At that moment, the guitar slowly builds. The images become even more potent (and increasingly violent) when the vocals chime in, which channel the anger and frustration in modern times for that which is happening both in the U.S. and worldwide.
Nato Caliph featuring Thelonius Kryptonite and Fallout "U-City Looped"
Nato Caliph also touches on the movement that has spawned from the death of Brown with "U-City Looped," featuring emcees Thelonius Kryptonite and Fallout. Of course, the video is shot in the heart of U-City, in the Delmar Loop. Parts of the video are "looped" as well -- i.e. the video essentially rewinds and then introduces another emcee's verse -- an effort at showing musical and visual continuity. Caliph is known for his conscious raps and his love for St. Louis; this video and song certainly displays both.