Let’s be real–the music video is not what it used to be. But it is still a musical artist’s best chance to make a visual statement to accompany their music. The most creative videos can come from artists at the top of the pyramid–with the budgets that buy high production values and top-notch directors, and the deep pockets to experiment–or the bottom, who make something out of nothing. In 2013 the most innovative videos came not from those who spent money to make something halway comparable to the heyday of MTV, but rather from those who were willing to push the artform out of it’s traditional shape entirely; Pharrell went Warhol and produced the first 24-hour video, Jay Z created a gallery happening, Beyoncé released an entire visual album and Bob Dylan made his 60s classic “Like A Rolling Stone” into an interactive choose your own adventure (we chose Danny Brown). A$AP Rocky went to the Dominican Republic (in flower print) and Nabil Elderkin went to war in South India for Just Blaze x Baauer‘s “High.” Tyler, The Creator went to the dollhouse while Lorde went beyond Thunderdome. Erykah Badu and Janelle Monáe fell back on pure bold, black & white bad-assery (looking like the White Stripes meets The Mack) while Run The Jewels ”Christmas Miracle” works not just because of the hilarious visual conceits, but also because (as usual) the dastardly duo look like they’re having so much fun fucking shit up in their roles as Ebenezer Scrooge & Bob Cratchit. Without further preamble, here are the Best 13 Videos of 2013–each one is worth way more than a thousand words.