The Best Music Video Directors Working Today

Annnd...cut: Meet the directors behind your favorite clips

Video directors are often anonymous. Most of us remember the lyrics to our favorite songs and the accompanying videos, but we rarely recognize the men and women behind the visuals. In fact, the average music fan is unlikely to point out some of these directors from a lineup of strangers. Yet, we have them to thank for the memories.

In honor of the unsung heroes of music, let's take a moment to acknowledge the best music directors working today and tip our hat to their best videos over the years. 

07
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Nabil Elderkin

J Cole Power Trip Video

Nabil is not the most familiar name on this list, but his work speaks volumes. His journey has been a steady one -- from his early days befriending a then-unknown Kanye West to getting to direct videos for household names like J. Cole ("Power Trip"), Nicki Minaj ("Looking Ass) and John Legend ("All of Me"). He's one of the great ones working today, and he will be doing important work for a long time.

06
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Director X

Formerly known as Little X, Director X has been curating visuals for artists in hip-hop and pop music since the 90s. The one phrase that best encapsulates X's style is "good energy." His videos tend to highlight fun, sexy environments. His career highlights include Usher's "Yeah," Sean Paul's "Get Busy" and most recently, Rihanna's "Work."

05
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Bryan Barber

You may recognize Bryan Barber as the lensman behind OutKast's Idlewild movie. He has been a powerful influence on hip-hop music videos for years. Barber met the ATL pair while studying at Clark University in Atlanta, GA. Aside from OutKast, Barber has also worked with Game, Future and Timbaland.

04
of 07

Joseph Khan

Remember Brandy and Monica's landmark collaboration, "The Boy Is Mine"? That was Joseph Khan behind the camera. On the hip-hop side of things, Khan is Eminem's go-to director. He worked with Slim Shady on "Without Me," Love the Way You Lie" and "Space Bound." Khan is no one-note producer; he moonlights as a commercial director and even scored a Clio for innovation and creativity in advertising, design and communication.

03
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Chris Robinson

 Set Chris Robinson's work on ATL aside for a second, and you're still looking at a very impressive resume. Indeed, Robinson has helmed hundreds of remarkable music videos, bagged some awards along the way and remains a go-to guy for great visuals today. His most memorable clips include: Tweet's "Call Me," T.I.'s "What You Know," Tyga's "Rack City" and Nicki Minaj's "Moment 4 Life" alongside Drake. 

02
of 07

Spike Jonez

Anyone who has seen The Work of Director Spike Jonez (that's the name of his video collection) needs no introduction to Jonez's style and genius. Jonez constantly delivers strong, irreverent material that tends to challenge the viewer's perspective. Despite his sparse filmography, his body of work in music is long and esteemed: The Pharcyde's "Drop," Notorious B.I.G.'s "Sky is the Limit," and Kanye West's "Flashing Lights," just to name a few.

01
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Hype Williams

Hype Williams is that rare video director who transcends the anonymity that typically accompanies the job description. Hype is an instantly recognizable name. He's been putting in work for almost three decades, having worked with Tupac Shakur in his lifetime. Oh yeah, and he also directed Kim Kardashian's famous Playboy shoot. You best believe the hype.