Lil Skies' 'Lust' Continues a Tradition of Animated Hip-Hop Videos: Here Are 15 of the Best

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Lil Skies "Lust"

Lil Skies just released the official video for “Lust,” and it’s a doozy -- a frenetic mix of live-action and real life as Skies wanders through some seedy scenarios.

Importantly, it follows a grand tradition in hip-hop, where emcees have been unafraid to collaborate with animators for their videos to create something truly vibrant and larger-than-life.

In honor of Skies’ new video, here are 15 times rap and animation collided to imaginative ends.

Kanye West — “Good Morning”

This cel-shaded animated clip was directed by Takashi Murakami, who also oversaw the art direction of Graduation. It features Dropout Bear, Kanye’s anthropomorphic bear mascot.

Beastie Boys — “Shadrach”

Adam Yauch directed this gorgeous, psychedelic video himself under his pseudonym Nathaniel Hornblower, with each frame being separately hand-painted.

JAY-Z — “The Story of O.J.”

Using hair-raisingly racist cartoon imagery similar to the old Censored Eleven cartoons, the JAY-Z- and Mark Romanek-directed clip for “The Story of O.J.” draws a sobering parallel to the song’s comments on race, class and identity.

2Pac — “Do for Love”

This Bill Parker-directed visual is a great example of an animated video crossing into two or more formats. In this case, traditional animation meets claymation.

Gucci Mane — “All My Children”

Featuring some sexual imagery and a cartoon childbirth, this Gucci Mane clip definitely errs on the NSFW side of animated rap videos.

Rick & Morty x Run the Jewels — “Oh Mama”

If you’ve ever been looking for the unholy synthesis of Run the Jewels, Rick & Morty, sci-fi and Pulp Fiction, look no further. This one’s all nerdy, giddy fun.

Slick Rick — “Behind Bars”

The animated video for this 1994 hit was released while Rick was still in jail, and its stark, creepy anti-authoritarian vibe fits the message.

Eminem feat. Nate Dogg — “Shake That”

This lowbrow, Flash-looking visual about the pair of rappers’ night out at a club doesn’t exactly shoot for nuance.

Gorillaz — “Clint Eastwood”

This classic Jamie Hewlett- and Pete Candeland-directed clip is a torrent of TV and film references. If you were to bury one animated rap video in the time capsule, it may be this Gorillaz joint.

Biz Markie — “La Da Da”

Another great example of that cheap, early-2000s, Flash aesthetic in which Biz is on the hunt for that perfect break.

Lil Dicky feat. Snoop Dogg — “Professional Rapper”

This clip from Lil Dicky’s No. 1 single on the Comedy Digital Tracks list uses animation to the fullest. Mainly in nailing that photorealistic effect of how Snoop Dogg’s office must billow with smoke.

Killer Mike — “Reagan”

As conspiratorial roasts of “The Great Communicator” and his legacy go, you can do worse than this animated anti-police-brutality clip.

Travis Scott — “90210”

Hype Williams directed this stop-motion clip, which features an action-figure version of Scott wreaking destruction on a city.

J Dilla — “Nothing Like This”

As animated rap videos go, this one’s on the more ambient, introspective side, with two jellyfish-looking creatures developing a symbiotic relationship under the sea.

Ghostface Killah — “Daytona 500”

Animated rap videos can work even if they’re not “original” or made wholesale for the song. The video for Ghostface’s “Daytona 500,” solely made up of old Speed Racer clips, might be a tad different from a tour de force like “Clint Eastwood” -- but does the trick in a different, looser way.


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