As if the song itself wasn’t already glorious on its own, Miguel’s new black and white video for “Candles In The Sun” pulls at your heart-strings even more. Shifting a bit from the sensual topics he’s been known for, the recent Grammy winner uses imagery from superstorm Sandy’s aftermath to put forth an agenda of awareness in the clip, making us recall some of our favorite meaningful, cause-driven videos over the years. Who made the cut?
Economic crises, sexual abuse, environmental awareness and racial violence are just a few of the issues that we encounter on a day-to-day basis in this lifetime, and the following ten videos are some of the most impactful in recent memory. Look them over, and then let us know which you think should be on top by taking the poll afterwards!
10. John Mayer “Waiting On The World To Change”
Less intense than most of the other clips on this list, John Mayer chose to use messages from graffiti artists to foster hope in his NYC-scenic video. The point, however, remains palatable enough to make an impact.
9. Lupe Fiasco “Words I Never Said”
Not one to bite his tongue, Lupe uses the Skylar Grey-featured single as a soapbox to stand on while he opines on Gaza, domestic terrorism and socio-economic issues. 1-800-INTENSE.
8. Green Day “Wake Me When September Ends”
War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, according to Green Day in this sorrowful video from their American Idiot album in 2004.
7. Nas & Damian Marley’s “Patience”
Cultural criticism and truth seeking at its best, the Queens MC and Marley son came together to spout their conspiracy-theory-like observations on Distant Relatives a few years back.
6. John Legend & The Roots ft. Common and Melanie Fiona “Wake Up Everybody”
An optimistic call to action, this collaboration track asked listeners to actively create change by passing-on good values and not letting apathy overcome them.
5. Christina Aguilera “Beautiful”
Before Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” was Aguilera’s “Beautiful,” an ode to the human beings who are unfortunately labeled as outcasts, but whose gifts are no less important. Self love, y’all!
4. Justin Timberlake “Losing My Way”
Nodding at the erroding power of substance abuse and our country’s economic ails, JT used his FutureSexLoveSounds platform to speak out against an issue that affects so many of our friends and loved ones each year.
3. Foo Fighters “Best Of You”
Tackling the sensitive topic of sexual abuse, the Foos present powerful visuals that seek to give hope to victims of heinous acts.
2. Public Enemy “Fight The Power”
Filmed in Brooklyn by Spike Lee, group members Chuck D and Flavor Flav sought to combat racial violence, inequality, and law enforcement’s abuse of power.
1. Michael Jackson “Earth Song”
Taking a stand against environmental issues he held dear, MJ cooked up some powerful visuals for the HIStory era single. Considering all of the hits Mother Nature’s been doling out lately, he may have had a point.