It’s that time of year again – time for the most outrageous awards show of them all! Of course, what other show could I be talking about besides the MTV Video Music Awards, which take place Sunday, August 28? From the very first show in 1984 with Madonna writhing around on stage in a wedding gown up to last year’s epic Miley Cyrus/Nicki Minaj feud, and of course, all of the pop star makeouts, twerking, “Imma let you finish…” and python snakes in between, the VMAs never fail to deliver on outrageous, watercooler moments. Oh, they also hand out some awards for music videos as well. This year’s five Video of the Year nominees are surprisingly solid. To acquaint or reacquaint yourself with them, check them out below coupled with a pair of headphones to watch and listen to them with – all of which are available to rent on a trial basis from Lumoid.
Video – “Hello” by Adele:
It should come as no surprise that the music video to break the Vevo record for most views in 24 hours (27.7 million) and hit 100 million views in record time is up for a whopping seven nominations, including Video of the Year. Adele’s stunning, soaring power ballad is made more gut wrenching with a sepia-hued video of the British songstress singing her heart out in what has got to be the most windy forest imaginable. With only one previous Video of the Year nomination under her belt (for 2011’s “Rolling in the Deep”), this may very well be Adele’s year to take home the top Moonman prize.
Headphone – Master & Dynamic MH40:
Designed to be the modern thinking cap, the MH40 headphone is a tool to inspire, help focus and ultimately transport your mind. Built with only the finest materials, they will last for decades of use and are tuned to provide a rich, warm sound. These make an elegant addition to your home, desk or studio, and are the perfect pair of headphones to channel all of Adele’s melancholy catharsis.
Video – “Formation” by Beyoncé:
Beyoncé is no stranger to the Video of the Year category – with four prior nominations in this category, Beyoncé returns once again this year after being nominated last year for her DIY iPhone shot video for “7/11.” And as the only artist who’s ever won the category (for 2009’s “Single Ladies”) among this year’s crop of nominees, Beyoncé has history on her side. Not that she needs it – the visual for “Formation” is easily Beyoncé’s most daring video yet, combining political activism and epic choreography for a video that celebrates the power and pride of being a Black woman in America. Where “Single Ladies” was lauded for its simplicity, “Formation” throws everything but the kitchen sink in to create another truly memorable video.
Headphone – Sol Republic Tracks Ultra:
The Tracks Ultra by Sol Republic feature the pristine V12 sound engine, delivering the true clarity of instruments and vocals so you can feel the power of music. With design in mind, they deliver high quality for the sophisticated music lover that appreciates a wide soundstage. The inline mic and remote make this a pair of headphones that can be used anywhere, which is essential because “Formation” will have you jumping out of your chair to try and master Beyoncé’s moves.
Video – “Sorry” by Justin Bieber:
What’s interesting about “Sorry” is that Justin Bieber is completely absent from the music video. Rather, a colorful and extremely talented group of female dancers pop, lock and drop it to the song’s trancey beat for three minutes of unadultered fun and excitement. By putting out a vibrant visual that makes you want to party all night, Justin Bieber not only managed to score his very first nomination for Video of the Year, but “Sorry” is currently the most watched video of all the nominees on YouTube with more than 1.6 billion views.
Headphone – Harman Kardon Soho Wireless:
Known for merging style and quality, the Soho Wireless headphones are Harman Kardon’s stylish, on-the-go package. Combining NFC and Bluetooth technology, the Soho Wireless headphones deliver amazing sound without frustrating cords or wires. Ear cup mounted, touch sensitive controls provide a convenient way to keep you in charge of your music. Put these puppies on and join the epic dance party of the “Sorry” video.
Video – “Hotline Bling” by Drake:
The video that launched a thousand memes and GIFs, Drake’s “Hotline Bling” is the rapper’s second Video of the Year nomination. With his album “Views” still sitting atop the charts, Drake mania has reached a fever pitch in 2016, no doubt aided by this massive song and video which finds Drake embarrassingly dancing like your Dad chaperoning your junior prom. Turns out, incredibly cheesy dance moves and turtle necks very much worked in Drake’s favor, who undoubtedly had the most viral visual of the year.
Headphone – Audeze EL-8:
The EL-8 has a lightweight, portable and flexible design loaded with new technology for extreme performance. These headphones are built with superb craftsmanship, wood veneer accents and enormous attention to detail. Planar Magnetic Technology allows for internal damping of transducers, and the headphone components effectively eliminate unwanted resonances for much clearer sound – great for channeling the island house grooves of “Hotline Bling.”
Video – “Famous” by Kanye West:
If controversy was the deciding factor of which video wins Video of the Year, Kanye West’s “Famous” would win by a landslide. Yeezy’s epic 10-minute mini movie may not have the enormous number of views that his competitors have, but culturally, the video has made quite the impact since being released merely a month ago. By fanning the fire of the relationship with his frenemy (now full-blown enemy?) Taylor Swift, and delivering that iconic shot of him in bed with a bunch of celebrity lookalikes including Swift and Donald Trump, West isn’t pulling any punches with this one. His gambit worked out, too – this is West’s fourth Video of the Year nomination, and first since 2009.
Headphone – Beats Solo 2:
Add emotion to your music with the Beats Solo 2. With a wider range, more dynamic and clearer sound, these bring you as close as possible to what the artist’s intentions with the music were. Combining cutting edge technology with their signature Beats style, these headphones tote a tailored fit and features like touch free phone calls. Basically, there’s no other headphone out there that can live up to the artistic integrity and massive ego of a Kanye West production.