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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The Daily Wildcat picks: The VMAs

    Parkwood Entertainment / Columbia Records

    With its openly free-spirited host, extremely talented nominees and killer performance lineup, this year’s MTV Video Music Awards are sure to satisfy and exceed the entertainment needs of audiences everywhere.

    Miley Cyrus makes her debut as a host, but this isn’t her first go-about at the VMAs. In 2013, she incited a social media riot with her controversial twerking upon a married Robin Thicke during their performance of “Blurred Lines.” Cyrus, regardless of the vicious internet stabs she received regarding her dancing, is nonetheless back and ready to run the show—all twerking aside.

    According to, “The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Pharrell, Demi Lovato, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Tori Kelly, A$AP Rocky, Twenty One Pilots, Nick Jonas and Walk the Moon,” will perform, along with rumored performances from Kanye West and possibly Cyrus herself.

    This year, as expected, chart-topping artists including Minaj, Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd, will battle it out for gilded moonman trophies from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

    With all the great talent—and parallel lack of it—reflected through the nominees, the Daily Wildcat has decided to take a jab and choose our winning picks from a few categories. Tune in to MTV on Sunday, Aug. 30 at 9 p.m. to see how accurate we are.

    Video of the Year

    Beyoncé — 7/11

    Ed Sheeran — “Thinking Out Loud”

    Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars — “Uptown Funk”

    Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar — “Bad Blood”

    Kendrick Lamar — “Alright”

    With over 250 million YouTube views, the obvious and debatably cliché Video of the Year pick is undoubtedly Beyoncé’s “7/11”. Queen Bey and a few of her dancer pals filmed “7/11” on their own cameras and phones.

    This silly, carefree video features Beyoncé’s immaculate dancing skills, American Apparel, a blow dryer, Blue Ivy Carter and an infectious energetic vibe that pervades into the viewer’s soul regardless of whether they want it. It inspires ladies and gents everywhere to let their hair down and really enjoy life’s lighter side.

    Artist to Watch

    Fetty Wap — “Trap Queen”

    Vance Joy — “Riptide”

    George Ezra — “Budapest”

    James Bay — “Hold Back the River”

    FKA twigs — “Pendulum”

    2015 was quite a year for new artists to break into the mainstream music scene. Trap, alternative and indie folk have all seen talented gains to their repertoires, but art pop took the cake this year with FKA twigs, or Tahliah Debrett Barnett’s “Pendulum” video.

    Though she remains a more clandestine musician than fellow nominees Vance Joy and Fetty Wap, her unique beats, hypnotizing synths and passionate lyrics lure the attention of listeners everywhere. Close-ups of Barnett’s face and body, suspended by and intertwined in her own box braids, make “Pendulum” appear more of an experimental art piece than a music video.

    Her face then morphs into a dark blue puddle resembling mercury, and she ends the video dancing on similarly colored tiles. Barnett definitely pulled off her risky artistic vision and rightfully deserves to take away a moonman for doing so.

    Video with a Social Message

    Jennifer Hudson — “I Still Love You”

    Colbie Caillat — “Try”

    Big Sean ft. Kanye West and John Legend — “One Man Can Change the World”

    Rihanna — “American Oxygen”

    Wale — “The White Shoes”

    This generation’s young adults hold topics pertaining to inequality and social justice near to their hearts. In 2015, musicians kept this in mind when creating their own songs and videos. Artists realized their fame possesses the capacity to spread awareness regarding important social issues which plague the U.S.

    The most effective video with a social message of the year has to be Rihanna’s “American Oxygen.”

    Rihanna sheds much-needed light on a few of America’s largest social issues, such as illegal immigration, police brutality, poverty and racism. The video flashes scenes from the Ferguson and Baltimore protests, clips of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speeches, sights of undocumented immigrants protesting, examples of police brutality and more.

    Rihanna occasionally makes a cameo, singing with a sorrowful expression on her face and wearing a parachute. She struggles to crawl with the parachute holding her back, suggesting that America is holding itself back by neglecting social inequalities that inhibit it from truly being the “Land of the Free.” The video is shocking and definitely powerful, making it deserving of a win at the VMAs.

    Follow Brenna Bailey on Twitter.

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