For The Culture: Futurism and Fantasy in Hip Hop and R&B


It’s evident that The Culture has always fueled what’s popular in movies, music,literature and art. Amidst the recent release of Marvel’s Black Panther and Ava Duvernay’s film adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time there has come a resurgence of interest in how tech, fantasy and futurism have always been important parts of Black storytelling. The images in these movies are reminiscent of a time in Hip Hop & R&B when cinematographers like Mark Romanek and Hype Williams helped bring to life the avant-garde, sci-fi visual productions that ruled the airwaves in the 90’s and the early 2000’s.


Understandably ahead of their time, alot of the visuals from this era are still fresh and have inspired artists like Janelle Monae and others to think outside of the box in terms of visual story telling. Check out some of the sleekest and most fantastical displays in Hip Hop and R&B videos from then and now:

Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson- Scream

Blaque- Bring It All To Me

Outkast- Prototype

Missy Elliott, Da Brat- Sock it to Me

Janelle Monae, Miguel- Primetime

Travis Scott- 90210 

TLC- Unpretty

Busta Rhymes, Janet Jackson – What’s It Gonna Be 

Kanye West- Power 

Twenty88- Out of Love