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MTV Video Music Awards: Links and Predictions

This Sunday marks the return of an event that usually gets everyone talking and will probably be the reason for a few “trending topics.” The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be taking place from Los Angeles and is sure to bring some new memories with a guest list that is used to making headlines.

Scheduled to perform are Beyonce, Pitbull & Jessie J, Adele, Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne and Young the Giant. Also scheduled to appear include names such as Nicki Minaj, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Will Ferrell.

But if Kanye West proved anything when he interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech a few years ago, the night is all about who has the best video (or, in his mind when thinking about Beyonce, the “best video of all time). With that in mind, here are the nominees for a few categories along with some thoughts and predictions.

Best New Artist:

Big Sean f/ Chris Brown - “My Last”

Foster the People - “Pumped Up Kicks”

Kreayshawn - “Gucci Gucci”

Tyler, The Creator - Yonkers

Wiz Khalifa - “Black and Yellow”

While a big argument I will make concerning this particular award show is that it should be about the video and not the song or the artist, I think the “Best New Artist” category is one which can be excused. It is usually a debut so they don’t have much to work with like other established acts. With that said, I would personally vote for Foster the People (my favorite new band of 2011) but I feel the award will go to either Tyler, The Creator or Kreayshawn.

Best Rock Video:

Cage the Elephant - “Shake Me Down”

Foo Fighters - “Walk”

Foster the People - “Pumped Up Kicks”

Mumford and Sons - The Cave

The Black Keys - “Howlin’ For You”

All of these songs are excellent and have been my favorites throughout 2010 and 2011. But if you look strictly at the video, you have to take Foster the People and Mumford and Sons out of contention as their visuals don’t really add anything to the song. Cage the Elephant has a strong showing, but I personally think their video for “Around My Head” was much more unique and if that would have been nominated I would have felt more compelled to go with them. That leaves Foo Fighters and The Black Keys, two videos that I would be happy with winning. Though I will predict the “Falling Down”-inspired “Walk” takes home the moon man, I really feel “Howlin’ For You” should have been nominated for video of the year with it’s movie-trailer style.

Best Hip-Hop Video:

Chris Brown f/ Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes - “Look at Me Now”

Kanye West f/ Rihanna and Kid Cudi - “All of the Lights”

Lil Wayne - “6 foot, 7 foot”

Lupe Fiasco - The Show Goes On

Nicki Minaj - Super Bass

Hip-Hop videos always take a bad rap for being uncreative and usually featuring a group of people with expensive things and attractive women. So I have to give credit to this crop of videos for pushing the mold and trying something different. I honestly don’t know why “All of the Lights” wasn’t nominated for Video of the Year, but I can see Mr. West taking home the trophy here. A close runner-up would have to go to Lil Wayne for his “Inception”-inspired video, which very cleverly brings to life some of his rhymes.

Video of the Year:

Adele - “Rolling in the Deep”

Beastie Boys - Make Some Noise

Bruno Mars - Grenade

Katy Perry - “Firework”

Tyler, The Creator - Yonkers

If this was a nomination for song of the year, “Rolling in the Deep” should win hands down. I know plenty of people who have enjoyed it and it is sure to be a karaoke classic in the future. But as far as video goes, there was more deserving talent out there. Honestly, I feel the previously mentioned “All of the Lights” by Kanye West and “Howlin’ For You” by The Black Keys should have replaced Bruno Mars and Tyler, The Creator in this category. I would want to drop Katy Perry as well but at least her video had some meaning behind it, though it was in her “unique” way (again, I think another video of hers, “E.T.” was much more “of the year” worthy). Although, I kind of lost respect for the message contained in “Firework” when there were fireworks coming out of the singers chest.

So that leaves one video to stand tall and that is “Make Some Noise” by the Beastie Boys. I will honestly be shocked if this one doesn’t win. It features cameos by so many comedians and celebrities that I lost count. The video was done in an engaging way where for a second I almost thought Seth Rogen, Danny McBride and Elijah Wood actually were the rapping trio. However, if this really is a voter-based awards show, I expect nothing less than to have Katy Perry walk away with the win.

These were just some of the categories available for Sunday’s show. Head on over to MTV.com to read more about the event and look at other categories such as Best Male and Female Video, Best Pop Video and Best Collaboration.

— Matt Okarmus