Miley Cyrus, ‘Wrecking Ball’ vs. Kanye West, ‘Monster’ — 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!
The second single off Miley Cyrus' career-turning 2013 album Bangerz, this big, emotional ballad showed an entirely different side of the former Disney Channel star. Raw, emotional, and not without its fair share of controversy, the provocative Terry Richardson-directed video for the song polarized critics upon its September 9, 2013 premiere, shocking many with its sledgehammer-licking and nude-wrecking-ball-swinging scenes. With heart-wrenching lyrics like, "I came in like a wrecking ball / I never hit so hard in love / All I wanted was to break your walls / All you ever did was wreck me…" many inferred that its contents stemmed from emotional heartbreak Cyrus endured during the singer's highly-publicized breakup with her former flame, actor Liam Hemsworth. Since its release, the song—and video—have become somewhat iconic, spawning countless parodies on YouTube.
Almost shelved entirely after an unfinished version of the video leaked at the end of 2010, Kanye West's horror-themed "Monster" video has solidified itself as one of the more controversial clips this side of the millennium. Directed by Jake Nava and finally released on June 4, 2011, the video for the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy track references a number of frightening horror staples, including zombies, American Psycho references, and influences pulled from Michael Jackson's classic horror-pop opus, "Thriller." However, the video has been widely criticized for its misogynist undertones and violence towards women, insofar that is was even banned from airing on MTV—despite having Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, Bon Iver, and Rick Ross on the track.
The poll ends on December 3 at 5 PM ET.