Rapper Macklemore's 2012 music video "Same Love" traces the life of its main character from birth to death. As he struggles with his sexual identity in his youth, bombarded by stereotypes, assumptions and labels, he eventually finds love with another man. The story then follows their marraige and long lasting relationship, with the final credits rolling over a variety of different gay and lesbian couples. The video soared to the top of the charts, scored an MTV VMA award for "Best Video with a Social Message," and was celebrated by many Americans as a powerful expression of support for the LGBT movement and same sex marriage.
This 11-minute uncut version of Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” music video was released six months after the March 1991 Rodney King beating by four Los Angeles police officers, and offers a complicated commentary on contemporary race relations. The video was most often exhibited without the last 4 1/2 minutes on MTV and other television outlets, which resulted in many viewers only seeing the optimistic, poppy, racial and global harmony parts of the video and not being aware of the portion that pointedly juxtaposed scenes of prevalent racist, war-torn, and blighted city streets. In contrast to images of Jackson dancing with people from around the world, black and white babies sitting together on a globe, and diverse, smiling faces morphing into one another as they joyfully sing the pop song, in the latter section, Jackson performs his signature dance moves, but they are deliberately laced with anger, even violence, as he destroys the racism and prejudice emblazoned on graffiti-marred public property, and through his dance, takes ownership of the public space of the street.
Teen star Miley Cyrus came to fame as a family-friendly Disney character in “Hannah Montana”. As time progressed, she began to cultivate a more adult and sexualized image, like famous pop stars Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera before, as well as Selena Gomez and many more after. The release of this video in 2010 was the biggest signal that Cyrus was ready to break from her “good girl” Disney image. Sporting teased hair and dark bird wings, she calls herself the “rarest creature on earth, in captivity for the first time”, before she breaks free from the cage in a skimpy leotard, singing, “I can’t be tamed/I can’t be blamed/I can’t be changed.”
Public Enemy's “Fight the Power” was a single off of their 1989 album “Fear of a Black Planet”, and also featured prominently in Spike Lee's 1989 film Do the Right Thing. It is the type of politically conscious and confrontational song that made Public Enemy one of the most influential and controversial hip hop groups of all time.
This is a video for the single “I Don’t Need a Man”, which was released by the pop group the Pussycat Dolls in 2006. The Pussycat Dolls are an American all-girl group that have sold over 50 million records worldwide. They were originally founded as a burlesque troupe in 1995. The lyrics of this song emphasise the independence and self-empowerment of the women, as they claim to be “fine” and “brand new” and “feel good” without a man. They also resist being sexualised and owned by men, as they don’t want “a ring” or “bling” or “a hand/If it only wants to grab one thing”. In the video, the six female members of the group dance around in revealing outfits, while performing rituals of feminine beauty such as painting their nails and shaving their legs.