The Year in NSFW Music Videos

A couple of years back, we started what’s become something of a December tradition on Flavorpill — looking at the year’s most attention-grabbing music videos. As we noted the first time we did this, the decline of MTV and the rise of the internet has liberated directors to make videos that would have been unthinkable even a decade ago, and those same factors have also made it harder than ever for any given band’s video to get noticed. The result is a seemingly endless stream of clips that play the NSFW card for all they’re worth, and it’s always interesting to see the ways in which the creative envelope has been pushed over the last 12 months. Here are 15 videos that have done exactly that — some are good, some are horrible, but all of them are noteworthy in one way or the other.

Frank Ocean — Pyramids”

This certainly isn’t the first hip hop/R&B video to be set in a strip club, but it’s probably the best. “Pyramids” is shot through with the same sort of empty, coke-fueled alienation that pervades so much of Channel Orange (and Ocean’s work in general), and its depiction of the eponymous Pyramid does a fine job of evoking that sense of despair you feel when the stash is starting to deplete and the “fun” suddenly doesn’t seem that fun anymore.