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Desire Thompson

Lights, Camera, Action: 50 Most Memorable Celebrity Cameos In Music Videos

These stars make us miss creative music videos. 

The rollout of music has evolved over the years, but nothing beats a dope visual. After emotional and mind bending formats gave way to music videos in the 80s (thank you Michael Jackson), artists are almost challenged to match a stunning story to their tunes.

Take Kendrick Lamar’s recent video, “DNA.” Directed by Nabil Elderkin and The Little Homies, we meet Kung Fu Kenny, the rapper’s resilient persona directly inspired by Don Cheadle’s character in Rush Hour. The acclaimed actor also had a starring role in the video, with the two going round for round lyrically before he meets his demise. There’s a lot to process, but Cheadle’s presence adds star power and continues the blueprint for celebs stepping outside of their comfort zones.

There are plenty of acts that own the celeb-cameo schtick, like Jay Z, Kanye West and of course the late Michael Jackson, the creator of what many call “mini-movies.” Take a trip down memory lane with these standout cameos by our favorite actors, models and personalities that shined in front of the camera and over the baseline.

Let us know your favorite celeb cameos in the comment section below.

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50. Rihanna, “Paranoid” by Kanye West (2010)

A baby faced Rih dreams of revenge in this underrated avant-garde video.

49. Christopher Walken, "Weapon of Choice" by Fatboy Slim (2001)

Most importantly, the Grammy-winning track features vocals from the legendary Bootsy Collins.

48. Eddie Murphy, Iman, Magic Johnson & Tiny Luster, “Remember The Time” by Michael Jackson (1992)

The song is also reportedly dedicated to the most glamorous celebrity of them all–Diana Ross.

47. Teyana Taylor, “Fade” by Kanye West (2016)

The video that launched a million revenge body goals.

46. Robin Williams, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin (1998)

The late comedian appeared in the video to the only a cappella song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

45. Rupert Grint, “Lego House” by Ed Sheeran (2011)

This was cute, in a single, white male kind of way.

44. Kim Kardashian, “Bound 2” by Kanye West (2013)

The visual proclamation to his wife spawned the hilarious parody by James Franco and Seth Rogen.

43. Nia Long, Tracee Ellis Ross and Pamela Anderson, “Touch The Sky” by Kanye West & Lupe Fiasco (2006)

Thanks to this cameo, “Nia Looooooong” might be the only way to say the actress' name these days.

42. Taraji P. Henson, Wood Harris, Bill Duke & Steve Harris, “Testify” by Common (2005)

Henson's performance left us wanting a full blown film from G.O.O.D. Music.

41. Kerry Washington, “Bad Habits” by Maxwell (2009)

Lust has never looked so good.

40. Jennifer Lopez in Janet Jackson’s “That’s The Way Love Goes” (1993) and Puff Daddy’s “Been Around The World” ft. Mase (1997)

Back then, Jenny from the block was an ambitious dancer stealing scenes left and right.

39. Stacey Dash, “All Falls Down” by Kanye West (2003)

The political pundit was just one of many memorable cameos in Kanye’s video vault.

38. Zoe Kravitz, “I Know” by Jay Z (2008)

The actress takes on three different lost souls on the Pharrell-produced jam.

37. Shaq, “Vanilla Twilight” by Owl City (2010)

Yea, pretty random.

36.  LeBron James, “Death of Autotune” by Jay Z (2009) 

Directed by Anthony Mandler, the visual featured cameos from James and Harvey Keitel.

35. Tracy Morgan, “Notorious B.I.G.” by Notorious B.I.G. (1999)

Morgan provides the laughs in this classic video.

34. Kylie Jenner, “Come And See Me” by PARTYNEXTDOOR (2016)

Long story short, Party decided to see Kylie for once.

33 Kevin Hart, “Lean Back” by Fat Joe & Remy Ma (2004)

Hart helps remake the line from Biggie’s “One More Chance” video, which happens to have plenty of memorable music cameos.

32. Blac Chyna, “Rich $ex” by Future (2015)

This random cameo only boosted convos about Angela Kardashian.

31. Djimon Hounsou, “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” by Janet Jackson (1990)

The then model was the apple of Janet’s eye in this black and white video.

29. Ben Affleck, “Jenny From The Block (Track Masters Remix)” by Jennifer Lopez (2002)

Then-husband Ben had no qualms about being the topic of her This Is Me...Then album or this super 2000s video.

28. John Legend, Anna Nicole Smith, Tracee Ellis Ross, Vida Guerra, GLC & Fonzworth Bentley, “The New Workout Plan” by Kanye West (2004)

Next to MJ, Kanye really enjoyed celeb cameos.

27. Danica Patrick & Dale Earnhardt, Jr., “Show Me What You Got” by Jay Z (2006)

Shot by director F. Gary Gray, the rapper paid homage to the James Bond films, GoldenEye, The World Is Not Enough and You Only Live Twice.

26. Scarlett Johansson, “What Goes Around...Comes Around” by Justin Timberlake (2006)

Ironically, the song was actually about a celebrity that Justin’s friend was dating.

25. Chanel Iman, Joan Smalls & Jourdan Dunn, “Yonce” by Beyonce (2014)

The new girls of fashion proved they can hang with King Bey in this two-minute clip.

24. Lauren London, “Frontin” by Pharrell feat. Jay Z (2003)

Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’s Mimi Faust also makes a cameo alongside never-aging model Lanisha Cole.

23. Beyonce, “Happily Ever After” by Case (1999)

Bey was just 17-years-old when she played Case’s love interest in this 90s classic.  

22. Kid Cudi, “T.O.N.Y.” by Solange Knowles (2008)

Cudder got quite the surprise in this lovely jam.

21. Solange, “Ice Box” by Omarion (2009)

The same year, Solo played the love interest in Omari’s breakout hit.

20. Usher, “Naughty Girl” by Beyonce (2004)

In an alternate universe, these two would reign as King & Queen.

19. Lala Anthony, Missy Elliott, Toni Braxton, DMX, Lil Kim, Rosario Dawson, Tank, plus many more, “I Miss You” by Aaliyah (2002)

Baby girl’s closest friends and peers came together to honor the singer on her posthumous single.

18. Ciara, Kim Kardashian & Chrissy Teigen,  “MILF$” by Fergie (2016)

Fergie’s comeback game was heightened with a few of her famous friends.

17. Carmelo Anthony, “And I” by Ciara (2004)

Carmelo Anthony played the singer’s love interest from this Goodies cut.

16. Mekhi Phifer, “The Boy Is Mine” by Brandy & Monica (1998)

The ultimate lover's quarrel featured the young actor.

15. Amber Rose, “Massive Attack” by Nicki Minaj (2009)

This outrageous video had a little bit of everything, including a fresh faced Amber Rose.

14. Claudia Jordan, “I Wanna Know” by Joe (1999)

Another 90s jam with the reality star.

13. Bruce Willis, “Stylo” by Gorillaz (2015)

The action legend takes on the band in this suspense-filled video.

12 Kelly Rowland, “Baby By Me” by 50 Cent (2009)

Kelly was the girl of 50’s dreams.

11. Rita Ora, “Over” by Drake (2009) 

The singer was new to the Roc Nation family at the time this video dropped.

10. Trey Songz, “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)” by Chris Brown (2004) 

VA boys gotta stick together.

9. Karrueche, “Paradise” by Cassie & Wiz Khalifa (2013)

Welp, who knew?

8. Mos Def in “You Don’t Know My Name” (2003), Method Man in “If I Ain’t Got You” (2003), Derek Luke in “Teenage Love Affair” and Chad Michael Murray in “Unthinkable (I’m Ready)" (2010) by Alicia Keys

Can your fave match the eye candy Alicia Keys had in her 2000s music videos? We think not.

7. Michael Jordan, “Slam” by Michael Jackson (1991)

Legend meets another legend.

6. Quincy and Kidada Jones, “Triumph” by Wu Tang Clan (1997)

The father and daughter make a cute cameo in the group's apocalyptic world.

5. Eva Longoria & Lisa Raye in “Unpredictable” (2006), Ron Howard, Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker & Samuel L. Jackson in "Blame It" ft. T. Pain (2009) by Jamie Foxx

Jamie brought out the heavy hitters for his music videos.

4. Shia LaBeouf, “Elastic Heart” by Sia (2013)

The actor pulled off an emotional performance in Sia's monster hit video.

3. T-Pain, Three 6 Mafia, DeRay Davis & Big Gipp, “International Player’s Anthem” by UGK feat. Outkast (2007) 

The memorable video was the last one Pimp C shot before his death in 2007.

2. Drake, “Epiphany” by Chrisette Michele (2009)

Odd, but fitting.

1. Serena Williams, Amandla Stenberg, Zendaya, Winnie Harlow, Queen of Creole Leah Chase, Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton; Eric Garner's mother, Gwen Carr; and Michael Brown's mother, Lezley McSpadden, Ballerina Michaela DePrince, Quvenzhané Wallis, Blue Ivy, Jay Z, Chloe and Halle Bailey, twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz of Ibeyi, Mama Tina, Richard Lawson, Jay Z’s grandmother Hattie White and Ava Clark, “Lemonade: The Visual Album” by Beyonce (2016)

The amount of black girl magic seen throughout the singer’s modern masterpiece truly gives us life.

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J.Cole, Teyana Taylor And Other Snubs Of The 2019 Grammy Nominations

It's that time of year again when inner circles and strangers on the Internet debate who's up for a gramophone.

On Friday (Dec. 7), the nominees for 2019's Grammy Awards (Feb. 10) were announced to a span of hot takes, early but informed predictions, and a wall of confusion as to why certain artists were overlooked. While some entertainers excitedly received the good news (Cardi B discovered her nods while leaving a courthouse), others were left scratching their heads.

Here's a look at why those who were snubbed by the Recording Academy deserved to be nominated.

READ MORE: Drake, Kendrick Lamar, And Cardi B Lead 2019 Grammys Nominations

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5 Stories From Meek Mill's #CRWN Conversation That Flew Under The Radar

Meek Mill made his return to Elliot Wilson's #CRWN conversation on Sunday (Dec. 2) for an in-depth discussion of Championships, his behind-bars experience and prison reform.

Live from New York City’s Playstation Theatre, the stage was set with two throne-like chairs as Mill and Wilson's fans began to swarm through the packed house. Loaded with fans from Philly, Jersey and NYC alike, the crowd was buzzing in anticipation for Meek’s grand arrival. Introduced by Wilson, the veteran journalist briefed in-house and live-streamed listeners with his relationship with the Philly rapper, discussing the many times the two have linked “from the MMG days to now.”

“It’s just amazing to see how he’s continued to fight this adversity and continued to deliver great music,” says Wilson, engaging in a back and forth conversation with the crowd. “When you put out a title and say you’re going to name your album Championships, you better deliver,” Wilson continues. “And he delivered.”

Appearing on stage sporting a mid-length fur coat and glistening jewels, Meek and Wilson exchange a quick embrace as the live audience jumps to its feet to welcome their champion. Taking his experience to lean into activism, Meek engaged in a 90-minute conversation with the journalist, answers fan-questions and candidly tell his story as he sees fit.

But as tabloid fate would have it, one of the sole stories to come out of the meaningful conversation was his awkward date with then-girlfriend Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z and Beyonce. The memories Meek decided to share like adorable moments with his son, his newfound position in the battle for criminal justice reform and recording Championships fell to the wayside.

But don't fret. Here are some other memorable moments from the interview.

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1. Meek's Best Day in Jail Included a Visit From Kevin Hart

Meek's final day in jail was similar to the others. He woke up, successfully avoided jail food by making his morning oatmeal and knew his day was heading in a good direction when he won five consecutive ping pong games against his daily opponent– who want the smoke?

After heading back to his cell, Meek's day got a whole lot better when Kevin Hart and 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin had pulled up on him by surprise. "They come on the block and I was like, 'Man come in my cell and see how this sh*t look,'" Meek starts. "So Kevin Hart and Mike, they come in the cell and they like 'It's not that bad,' they tryna make me feel good, I'm like 'The hell you mean it's not that bad? I got my boxers hanging up on the f**king string'" the rapper jokingly recalls. After the much-needed hour-long visit, Meek returned to his daily jailhouse activities when he learned that he would be released from jail within hours. What a day.

2. Friends and Family Would Send Him IG Post Printouts Through Mail

When Meek packed his cell to go home, he had over 10,000 photos to sift through since his tribe brought the world of Instagram to him through the mail. "I used to tell everybody like, 'Yo, just send me everything that's going on on Instagram, I wanna see everything that's  going on in life.'"

The rapper separated his photos by importance, keeping the photos of his family in a separate pile with his other pile (filled with pictures of all the IG models and famous ladies) holding a different level of importance to those who stood behind bars with him. "It was valuable cause some guys in there they got 25 years in this s**t, they ain't never see the fake a**es yet and the girls with the new bodies, so you know, they all in my cell like, 'What's up with these pictures?'"

3. He Purposely Steered Away From Lending Tekashi 6ix9ine Advice

While breaking down Championships cut "Respect the Game," Meek spoke on hip-hop's freshman class including Tekashi 6ix9ine, Lil Durk and YoungBoy NBA. "[Tekashi] used to be poppin' so much sh*t on Instagram, I be like 'I don't even wanna say nothing to this young boy, this young boy start sayin' all this crazy sh*t to me on the internet," he joked.

On a more serious note, Meek speaks on the real issue he had with 6ix9ine, sharing his concern for the 22-year-old's habits in starting drama with some of hip-hop's most dangerous faces. "With my music, I wanted to reach all of 'em," he said, explaining how when the music speaks for itself, you don't need to ensue controversy to sell records.

4. His 7-Year-Old Son Already Has a Rapper Name

Give it 10 years and we might see Meek Mill's son on the Billboard charts. Answering a fan question about "Lil Drip," Meek clarifies that Lil Drip is actually his son Papi's, rapper name. "Sometimes I be in the studio I be like 'Yo, I give you $500 if you go in the booth and rap right now and he just go in the booth and lay it.'" Sampling a few adorable bars, Meek reveals that his son consistently shocks him with his material, bringing up some of the most trivial experiences he's shared with Meek.

"He be like, 'Private jet/ Who I met/ Ben Simmons/ That's a bet,'" spits Meek, referring to a previous birthday trip he's taken with Papi.

5. Jay-Z's Verse on "What's Free" Was a Pivotal Moment in Meek's Career

A Jay and Meek collaboration has been a long time coming. In Meek's promotional single "Stay Woke" featuring Miguel, the rapper spits, "When I talked to Em and Hov, they said, "I'm proud of you/ You stood tall back when everyone doubted you"/ My reply is, "I did what I gotta do/ And I need that verse 'fore you retire too."

During the conversation, Meek speaks on "What's Free" with Rick Ross and Jay-Z, remembering the first time he heard Jay's 44 bar verse. "When I got it back I was in the bathroom, I was just standing in the mirror listening to it," he says while bopping his head, fully immersing himself in the moment.

"I represent the path that HOV created," Meek tells Wilson. "I always wanted that Jay-Z feature and he came through this time, shout out to HOV."

Stream the entire conversation here.

READ MORE: Meek Mill Recalls Awkward Double Date With Jay-Z, Beyonce, And Nicki Minaj

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Meek Mill, Ari Lennox, More Included On VIBE Picks 12/6

With a busy year of music coming to an end, there are still some artists who want to make their mark: Meek Mill dropped his hotly-anticipated fourth LP Championships, Ski Mask the Slump God released his long-awaited debut STOKELY, and Dreamville brought heat to the star-studded Creed II soundtrack – and that's just scratching the surface. Check below to see the songs that the VIBE staff is bumping this week.

“The Man Who Has Everything,” Chance The Rapper Christmas music is usually unimpressive to me – the topics come across as contrived and corny, and I’m not inclined to listen to a song for only one month of the year. But Chance The Rapper may change my tune with “The Man Who Has Everything,” one of his two November drops. Over a leisurely soundbed, Chano has things that he’s grateful for, like his family, a home, and material perks like cars, but he isn’t fronting like it’s a worry-free holiday. The song also portrays hopes to eradicate racism with imagery of shredded confederate flags, and gets personal with revelations about missing Noname (who he addresses by her birth name, Fatima) and feeling awkward about arranging a prenuptial agreement with his future wife. “The Man Who Has Everything” captures gratitude and seasonal depression in one swoop, making a song that captures the Christmas spirit honestly. In his recent interview with the Joe Budden Podcast, Chance said that his Christmas album with Jeremih was slept on; I may have to give it a shot. – William E. Ketchum III

“Trauma,” Meek Mill | Championships Meek Mill’s new album Championships has two of the biggest songs of the year, with “What’s Free” going viral because of Jay-Z’s verse and “Going Bad” getting attention because of Meek’s reunion with Drake. But don’t let the star power distract from “Trauma,” one of the most memorable songs from the record. Just like on the similarly-titled “Traumatized” from his 2012 debut Dreams and Nightmares, Meek poignantly recounts the violence and drug addiction that he witnessed in his childhood. But this time, with his new position as the face of prison reform, he illustrates how his Philly streets and his recent legal troubles are tied into a scheme of systemic racism. “In the 13th amendment, it don't say that we kings. They say that we legally slaves if we go to the bing,” he proclaims. Adding a social justice edge to the harrowing street narratives that he has already built a reputation gives Meek Mill a chance to make music that will stand the test of time.  – William E. Ketchum III

“Shea Butter Baby,” Ari Lennox and J. Cole |  Creed II: The Movie Dreamville brought quiet storm vibes to the Creed II soundtrack. The label’s sole songbird Ari Lennox commands the mind with soothing vocals over the Elite and Mike Will Made It-produced track. Her confident narration of black love does wonders for the film’s b-side love story (Adonis and Bianca) while Cole blissfully submits to his own Shea Butter Baby. – Desire Thompson

“Nuketown” Ski Mask the Slump God feat. Juice WRLD | STOKLEY If you ever wondered what screamo rap sounds like in 2018, peep what Ski Mask the Slump God and Juice WRLD pulled off on “Nuketown.” The song is just as explosive as its title thanks to the guys parting the waves of shiny rap to make room for ripping mostpits. But the Florida MC also showcases a quick and edible flow on his debut album while Juice WRLD adds more fuel to the fire. – Desire Thompson

"Good Girl" - Tiffany Gouche feat. Masego Tiffany Gouche's voice is the best kind of blanket. Well-worn with holes and loose threads here and there, it's the fuzzy sort that, without fail, will warm you to the core each time you swaddle in it. Time and time again, Gouche steps to the microphone with proof of all that is right with R&B in 2018. Her seductive new lust song "Good Girl," released to the world just as East Coast temperatures started to dip, does not stray from the sonic track record she has established for herself. After enlisting her for "Queen Tings" on his Lady, Lady debut album, trap-jazz savant Masego has returned the favor by complementing Gouche's cocoa rich vocals with satin soft coos of his own. Trust us, you'll want to slow down for a minute to savor these sounds. – Stacy-Ann Ellis

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