Man, it’s a hot one. Every year at the VMAs, in fact, is a hot one — sometimes literally (because of the weather) but always metaphorically. That’s because the show is meant as a party, and people tend to celebrate accordingly. The 2017 VMAs are shaping up to be no different.
But a quick glance at the nominees for the night’s most coveted award, Video of the Year, reveal that they’re hot, too, because almost all the videos — Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.,” Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic,” Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful,” DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts” (featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller), and The Weeknd’s “Reminder” — include scenes of things on fire. In one of them, it’s a person; in another, it’s one of most iconic signs in the world. And then there’s Rihanna, simply dancing in front of a metal fan and lending another kind of heat to the clip.
This is all to say that if you had to boil down each of these videos to their hottest moments, and then turn those moments into GIFs, this is what that would look like. Enjoy.
Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.”
Simply one of the most remarkable images from one of the most remarkable visual statements this year. Kendrick’s “HUMBLE.,” directed by Dave Meyers and the Little Homies (Kendrick himself and Top Dawg Entertainment president Dave Free), is bursting with symbolism and, as he told MTV News recently, “contradiction” — and few things are as immediately jarring as a completely confident Kendrick standing with a head full of flames (amid a bunch of other dudes on fire, no less).
Bruno Mars – “24K Magic”
The “Uptown Funk” video was the absolute apex of cool group dance moves, for a while anyway. Most of Mars’ videos have a knack for effortlessly cool choreography, and “24K Magic” took all that — and took Mars’ amazing shirt game — to the next level courtesy of an unforgettable panorama of Las Vegas vistas. These moves are hot. It’s no more complicated than that.
Alessia Cara – “Scars to Your Beautiful”
“Scars to your beautiful is a reminder that beauty isn’t only one look, shape, size, or colour,” the message the end of this video reads. “It comes in an endless amount of forms and we need to recognize that.” It’s fitting, then, that Cara’s empowering anthem to owning your body and yourself just the way you are comes with a video that celebrates exactly that: people of all different types honoring what makes them unique. And when Cara sings, “No better you than the you that you are,” she proves that body positivity is absolutely lit.
DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts”
Let’s break this down for a second: You’re telling me that Rihanna spends a good chunk of this video having a fan blow on her full blast as she dances around, and also saunters down the street singing about how you want to see her “nakey nakey naked”? The heat is sweltering but the tunes are good — and, oh yeah, DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller are also there. That’s hot.
The Weeknd – “Reminder”
This cameo-packed, lavish clip is the perfect, well, reminder of who The Weeknd is and what he’s all about: namely, luxury and chasing a good feeling no matter the consequences. One could say he’s a dude who wants to watch the world burn; as such, the “Reminder” vid appropriately closes out with some notable California landmarks being set ablaze — and Abel dancing gleefully in the middle of it all. Sounds about right for 2017.
The 2017 VMAs touch down at the Forum in Inglewood, California, on Sunday, August 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. See the full list of nominees now!