Lady Gaga featuring Beyoncé, "Telephone"
Two years past the demise of TRL, you'd think that today's kids would be tugging their parents' apron strings at the sight of this category, asking, "What's a 'video'?" Except, that is, for this thing called the "Internet," which is currently rewriting the rules of the form, encouraging boundary pushing in a much more exciting way than MTV ever did. Gaga's collaboration with Swedish professional oddball Jonas Åkerlund is a match made in video-weirdness heaven: nearly nine minutes of iconic images that introduce the proverbial Peoria newb to the world of Matthew Barney–lite. Whether it's a pair of sunglasses made from lit cigarettes or a revved-up Beyoncé visually stuttering along with the song's glitches in a homicidal rage, the video pushes arty buttons that people didn't know they had.
2. Bat for Lashes, "Daniel"
3. Girls, "Lust for Life"
4. Raekwon, "House of Flying Daggers"