Christina Aguilera, ‘Dirrty’ vs. Justin Timberlake, ‘Cry Me A River’ — Greatest Pop Video of the Modern Era [First Round]
Last year, we ran a super-sized competition to determine the greatest pop song in modern history, from the ’80s to today. Now, we’re back — and this time, it’s all about honoring the best and boldest in music videos.
If Christina Aguilera was a genie in a bottle in 1999, 2002 signaled her cannon-ejected release, and her first, self-appointed wish was to piss off of a bunch conservative moms. The video for "Dirrty," which features Redman, seemed like an answer to Britney Spears' sexed-up "I'm a Slave 4 U" and included the formerly squeaky-clean star writhing around a soiled shower's floor and rubbing sweaty skin with strangers in an underground boxing arena. Beyond shocking the system visually, "Dirrty" ushered in a new sound that allowed Aguilera to test the expanse of her massive voice with a little less polish.
This year, pop's biggest Justin (Bieber) asked for forgiveness in "Sorry," but in 2002, pop's biggest Justin (Timberlake) sternly withheld it. The video, believed to be about ex-girlfriend Britney Spears, is almost scary for how coldly it depicts the unforgiving Timberlake, who's unmoved by the memory of his lost relationship. Instead of mourn, he stoically patrols the premises of his former love's house—completely unaware he's wet with rainfall—and, once inside, sneakily and menacingly plants a series of emotional time bombs. "Cry Me A River" is dark, vengeful and quickly did away with the notion that Timberlake was simply a pop-sap.
Both videos that changed the images of the artists in question—which will move on? You can vote once per hour until November 24 at 5 PM ET.
Plus, be sure to vote in these other video-battles!
Britney Spears, "...Baby One More Time" vs. Backstreet Boys, "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)"
Fiona Apple, "Criminal" vs. TLC, "Waterfalls"
Madonna, "Vogue" vs. Spice Girls, "Wannabe"
Michael & Janet Jackson, "Scream" vs. Missy Elliott, "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)"