The Top 10 LGBT Music Videos of 2012
The gay rights achieved accomplishments this year like never before: Not only was Barack Obama, who now backs marriage equality, re-elected in November but also four states recognized same-sex marriage, which signaled that Americans are finally accepting the LGBT community.
So it is only fitting that the music world, which is generally ahead of the curve (think Lady Gaga), incorporate LGBT people into their music videos. From silly to moving, here are the 10 best LGBT music videos of the year.
10. MNDR - "Feed Me Diamonds"
With such an audacious title it’s no surprise that the New York City based electronic duo, MNDR, decided to have "RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race" runner-up Raven star in its latest music video. The clip features the fierce diva getting ready for her performance -- putting on makeup, stuffs and making sure every fake nail is in the right place - before hitting the stage, where she lip-syncs MNDR’s addictive indie pop track. Looking like Diana Ross dipped in gold, Raven is a commanding force and a perfect fit for a song called "Feed Me Diamonds."
09. Carly Rae Jepsen - "Call Me Maybe"
In Carly Rae Jepsen’s video for her powerhouse pop tune "Call Me Maybe," which pretty much took over the world this year, the Canadian pop star finds herself living out every gay guy’s dream - except it’s a nightmare for her. Throughout the video, Jepsen lusts over her hunky tattooed neighbor, who clearly hates wearing a shirt. After a few failed attempts to get the sexy young man’s attention, the 26-year-old finally gives him her phone number, but that fails too as it turns out the man of her dreams is more interested in her band’s male guitarist.
08. Bat For Lashes - "Laura"
Bat For Lashes’ incredible single "Laura," is a haunting ballad and the music video for the track features the project’s mastermind Natasha Khan belting out lovelorn lyrics about mystery girl Laura (who some speculated to be Laura Palmer, the murdered teen that shook the fictional town "Twin Peaks" in the early ’90s). It also features a performance by an aging drag queen - a type of drag we hardly ever see. He glides and twirls with Khan on stage to an empty audience. The video ends with the two sharing an embrace while standing under a single spotlight. Although his moment is subtle, it is undoubtedly visually striking.
07. Hot Chip - "Don’t Deny Your Heart"
The video for Hot Chip’s "Don’t Deny Your Heart" starts off with the British electro band playing a FIFA-like video game in their tour bus. But things get weird pretty quickly after the athletes in the game...start making out with each other. And it’s not light making out either; these pixilated players go for a hardcore kissing session by passionately laying on top of each other and eventually both teams end up in a huge make out orgy.
06. SoKo - "We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow"
In this self-directed NSFW video, out French singer SoKo bares her heart in a risky portrayal of her romantic relationship with her girlfriend. At its core, the video for "We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow" simply shows two people in love - the grainy footage finds the couple kissing in the morning, holding hands, playing around in the kitchen and, yes more kissing. The heartwarming clip is not only adorable but poignant for 2012 as it ends with the following quote on a tombstone: "Love is not determined in the distance of flesh, but the position of the heart. Mine will always be with you."
05. The Magnetic Fields - "Andrew in Drag"
What’s interesting about the Magnetic Fields’ video for "Andrew in Drag" is not only does it feature the transformation of a man into a woman but also a woman into a man. It shows the intimate moments of the man and woman dressing in and out of drag: the man shaves his chest, slips into nylons and "stuffs" himself, while the woman tapes her breasts down and puts on a fake mustache. The video may just be under three minutes but it doesn’t stop openly gay bandleader Stephin Merrit from singing the song’s catchy hooks in his signature bass voice.
04. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - "Same Love" featuring Marry Lambert
Although Macklemore (Ben Haggerty) rose to fame this year for his absurd song/video for "Thrift Shop," the Seattle rapper plucked at the heartstrings of listeners on his moving song "Same Love" - hailed by some as the anthem for marriage equality. The video tells the story of a young man coming to terms with his sexual orientation; it flashes back and foward to milestones in the handsome teen’s life: fights with his parents, his first boyfriend, getting married and growing old with his partner. It also shows the little moments in one’s life (listening to records with your significant other, walks on the beach), moments that bind all of us together that prove love, is love no matter what.
03. Perfume Genius - "Hood"
For Perfume Genius’ music video "Hood," the out Seattle singer-songwriter (Mike Hadreas) calls on burly-hunk and gay porn star, Arpad Miklos. The video shows the singer at his most venerable - at the start the actor is holding him like a baby, the then combs Hadreas’ hair and eventually, the musician allows Miklos to apply makeup to him while cooing over a soft piano riff and booming drums. The clip cuts to the pair wearing different costumes and at one point, Hadreas wears Freddy Kruger’s signature claw and a hoodie while Miklos is in a skin-tight Speedo. "The song’s about how if someone knew you 100%, they would go away," he told the indie music review website Pitchfork in an interview. "So, in the video, I didn’t acknowledge him until I was fully done-up in all my gear and my wig. That’s how I feel in general. That freaky shit underneath-- that’s kind of who I am, really."
02. Le1f - "Wut"
New York based rapper Le1f is one of the most interesting artists you will encounter this year. His flamboyant music video for the outstanding track "Wut" perfectly showcases the out musician’s captivating personality. Le1f’s flow and stage persona is undeniable as he drops it low, brushes his shoulder off, twirls his gum and dances around a Pikachu-masked buff man and raps, "Ukrainian cutie -- he really wanna cuddle / The fever in his eyes he wanna suckle on my muscle / He wanna burst my bubble / Let’s see what’s in my jungle / A Christopher Colombo fumble’s how that cookie crumbled." If that wasn’t enough, Le1f has a buff martial arts dude executing insane moves in a set that looks like it came from another dimension. It’s hard to look away from the visually astounding and bright video but when it’s coupled with Le1f’s ferocity, it makes for one of the best musical experiences of the year.
01. Spiritualized - "Hey Jane"
The English rock band Spiritualized, lead by Jason Pierce, has been around since 1990 and the group’s video for their outstanding single "Hey Jane" is pretty much a mini movie. The ten-minute clip finds the protagonist, a transgender woman, attempting to raise kids while working the street corner and stripping. Tyra Sanchez, who won season two of "RuPaul’s Drag Race," plays the sympathetic prostitute and happens to be a single father in real life.
The AG Rojas directed video uses intense filmmaking techniques to hammer in themes of gender, sexuality and violence. The gritty story tragically unfolds and has a shocking ending, which will not be ruined for you here. The video for "Hey Jane" surpasses typical music video making and becomes an epic tale of struggle. Her film isn’t inherently pro-torture, pro-Obama, anti-War, or anything else. That part is up to you.