Musicians like Beyoncé and Kanye West leave the MTV Video Music Awards with straighfroward awards like “Best Female Video” and “Best Hip-Hop Video.” If they’re lucky, they’ll get something a little creative — like “Best Video With a Social Message” (oh, living in the “It Gets Better” age). But, once upon a time, artists could go home with a trophy for “Best Post-Modern Video” or “Monster Single of the Year,” which is infinitely more interesting.
In honor of Sunday’s VMAs, we’re reviving some of the categories from years past that have been put to rest and handing them out to worthy videos from 2013 — because “We Can’t Stop” deserves so much more than “Best Pop Video.”
MOST EXPERIMENTAL VIDEO (1984-1987)
This category was changed to “Breakthrough Video” before it was done away with entirely, but we think “experimental” is more descriptive. And we think this year it should go to Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” (or “BLKKK SKKKN HEAD”). While we don’t think his interactive video was entirely successful, it was undoubtedly innovative.
BEST CONCEPT VIDEO (1984-1988)
We’re guessing this category was nixed because it’s a bit vague and hard to define. With that in mind, we’re giving it to our girl Miley. “We Can’t Stop” is like a crazy, neon-infused ‘shroom trip — a concept we’re still trying to wrap our heads around.
BEST POST-MODERN VIDEO (1989-1990)
This category was only alive as this incarnation for a year — it became Best Alternative Video before dying a slow death. But if David Bowie’s gender-bending video for “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” — in which women play younger versions of Bowie, and Tilda Swinton co-stars — isn’t post-modern, then we don’t know what is.
BEST ARTIST WEBSITE (1999)
In 1999, the World Wide Web was so cool — as such, MTV of course had to honor it. Now that everyone and their grandma (who likes to sell knitted tea cozies on Etsy) has a website, the allure of such an award has waned. That being said, we would love to give a Moonman to Beyoncé’s perfectly curated website.
BEST VIDEO GAME SCORE (2006)
From 2004-2006 MTV honored the gaming world with nods to Best Video Game Soundtrack, and in 2006 they gave out a trophy for Best Video Game Score. In 2013, gamers were all about BioShock Infinite. Not only does the game have a great score, its musical palette includes classic pop songs, like a barbershop quartet version of The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” strategically used to evoke an otherworldly Americana that never was.
QUADRUPLE THREAT OF THE YEAR (2007)
Justin Timberlake bested Beyoncé, Bono, Jay Z, and Kanye West in this category the one time the award was given out, in 2007. And in 2013, we think he would do it again. Timberlake is already recieving the Video Vanguard award at this year’s ceremony — why not throw in one more?
MONSTER SINGLE OF THE YEAR (2007)
Now this is a category. Unfortunately, after Rihanna snagged it with “Umbrella” in 2007, it was put to rest. Sorry Mother Monster, but in 2013 we would have to give this one to Robin Thicke. Where did “Blurred Lines” even come from? It burst onto the scene and now we can’t escape it (nor do we want to).
MOST SHARE-WORTHY VIDEO (2012)
Last year, MTV gave a nod to social media by proclaiming One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” the Most Share-Worthy Video (presented by Bing). This year, we would give this award to Taylor Swift — and a certain bleating co-star.