Remember music videos? We reached out to videographer Bob Scerbo to get a breakdown of his most favorite/memorable/influential music videos.
Click below for the videos and a little about each one from Bob himself.
#10 Metallica “one”
This is the first video and song I really remember liking. I am a product of the MTV generation, my brother was into Metal, so I already liked Metallica since “Kill Em All.” This video was wild on all levels, a lot of the stuff from this time did not age well but this did for sure. The production is still top notch, the samples are amazing and it is very dark for something to be considered mainstream. I watched it tonight and it still holds up as far as videos go. Watching these old metal videos as a kid sort of set me up for what was coming next, Rap videos.
#9 The Beatnuts “Reign of the Tec”
Oddly this song was my life changer, when I was asked to make this little list my first draft was all videos of this time that looked exactly like this. It was a style. Black and White videos, in winter gear with guns and coke being chopped up. As a kid I would see it on “Video Music Box” right after watching “Saved By the Bell.” This song and video completely changed my outlook on things, and sort of made me want to make videos. Video aside this track and album still remains one of my favorites ever, I love The Beatnuts.
#8 Action Bronson “The Symbol”
Seeing this video for the first time is the hardest I remember laughing at digital content…ever. It is sort of a parody of “Sabotage” but also a well done example of how funny Action Bronson is. Oddly at no point in his comedy do I ever forget of how great of an MC he is. He does not need gimmicks, he just chooses to be funny. That trait reminds me a lot of people I grew up with, the toughest dudes were always the silliest also.
#7 MC Breed “Gotta Get Mine”
I grew up on the East Coast but as a kid I actually was not partial to anything. I loved Hip Hop and I did not care where it was from. Back in 92 I used to chill with my man Matt, aka Willy D. We just liked Hip Hop and tried hanging out with girls usually with little success. So when tracks like this would drop we would really gravitate towards them. East Coast Hip Hop at the time was very serious and rugged, I really liked seeing the West Coast. They seemed to just chill, drink 40’s and chill with women. Most people think of “Nothin But A G Thing” when they think of this era but this was before and better. This is also my favorite Pac verse ever.
#6 Superchunk “Watery Hands”
I always knew this band was against videos, MTV, fame etc…. but they are great. So when it comes time to make a video why not take the piss out of videos. It’s absolute comedy. David Cross and Janeane Garofalo? Great premise and song. This video still makes me laugh.
#5 Jim Jones “Certified Gangstas”
Long story short I was travelling a lot at the time and did not really keep up with stuff. I ended up home in 2004 and really wanted to sit still for a bit. My parents were out of town for the summer and my brother was home, holding down the house and running a casino in the garage. We just chilled all summer and did nothing but watch MTV Jams. This video was the highlight 15 times a day. The fake Menace II Society opening, for some reason he is dressed as Eazy E half the time, the footage of Jim Jones eating cereal? It was a masterpiece start to finish. Excellent song as well, Dipset could do no wrong at this time.
#4 Snail Mail “Pristine”
I need Snail Mail in my life. It is the only thing that keeps me balanced. I was on a trip and realized I didn’t have a digital version of the record, I only have ever listened to my vinyl. I went on Youtube to find the record and came across this video, at first I though it was just a picture and the song would play. Things started to move and lyrics popped up and it gave me a new appreciation for for the art of making a video without making a video. The video is a vehicle for the song so I appreciate anytime no one tries to stimulate my other senses. Who knew I could find peace in a heartbroken lesbian from suburban Baltimore?
#3 A Tribe Called Quest “Scenario”
This song hit so hard, but it was half due to the video. It showed this weird computer interface that no one was familiar with. Everything Tribe did was revolutionary and it did not stop with videos. It was my unofficial introduction into the world of digital video editing. Watching it now is even crazier, I can not imagine the render time on that. Tribe hit home to everyone, it was the people’s music and their videos were a big part of that. I loved gangster rap but Tribe really taught me to appreciate all kinds of rap, and the fact they could out rap anyone did not hurt either.
#2 El-P ” Deep Space 9MM”
I hate nothing more than when things get conscious, I always prefer ignorant music. With that said we are often blessed with people who have something to say and a message. El P has always been a master of this. The premise of this video is wild and open to interpretation, like most of his music. I was a fan of this song long before I ever saw the video. Anything video wise he has ever done is amazing as well.
#1 Redman ” Tonight’s Da Night”
This could be the beginning of a novel, everything about this is my favorite. I grew up in North Jersey, not far from where this is filmed. Newark was ranked the most dangerous city in America at the time. My family identified with Hudson County much more than Essex County. I spent my childhood in Bayonne and playing ball in JC and never really identified with Newark, even though it was closer. When riding came in I went to Manhattan and still neglected Newark for some reason, but this has always been my favorite song ever. I never really took an interest in Newark until 1998 riding wise , makes sense when you live in the shadows of NYC. I used to tune into a UHF station called “The Box” as kid, it was a weird stream and ended up being sold to MTV and became MTV 2. The premise was you could use your phone and type in a code and pay to see music, but the catch was we all got see it as well. It got charged to your phone bill like making a 1-900 call back in the day. I would sit up all night in my Champion Basketball shorts and wait for this video to come on. Since I was catching a Newark stream of the box it played constantly. The video itself is amazing, it follows a lot of the of what I liked about old videos but sort of did it better. Redman as a rapper will always be the greatest so you know he could do no wrong. When I die I want this to play at my service, if Redman is still alive please have him do it live.