We're def pumped about the nominees for this year's Best Video With A Message category at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards -- they're so good some very worthy contenders didn't make the cut. So let's give some love to the activision of Rihanna, Katy Perry, Penguin Prison and M.I.A. for their crusading clips that totally could have battled it out in this category for a cause!
+ Rihanna "We Found Love"
Love hurts. Especially when a relationship is as toxic of a hot mess as substance abuse. In this raw and disturbing video, boundary-pushing pop star Ri-Ri gives us intimate access to the emotional and physical pain of out-of-control passion. Ultimately, the banged-up beauty finds the strength to say goodbye when she realizes they’re truly in a hopeless place. If you’re dealing with substance or dating abuse, check out Half of Us and Love is Respect to get help and make a change.
+ Katy Perry "Part Of Me"
Instead of crying over a cheating douchebag boyfriend, Katy cuts her girly locks, goes Gotye on some camo face paint and learns how to kick butt Marine-style in this empowerment anthem. Private Perry earns her stripes in this video ode to not only the badass women who serve in our armed forces, but also all the troops overseas and the veterans back home. Support those who sacrifice for our safety by hitting up our list of resources and orgs for vets.
+ Penguin Prison "Don’t F**k With My Money"
This unofficial dance anthem for the 99% was actually filmed on-site at Occupy Wall Street -- so if you need a musical outlet for your anger over our lopsided economy, scary unemployment and soaring student loans, this is the video for you. PP’s black-and-white montage of the protest movement features lipsyncing cops, bodega owners and bearded hipsters -- showing that just about everyone can agree that it sucks when citizens get corporate America’s sloppy seconds.
+ M.I.A. "Bad Girls"
As a Sri Lankan political refugee, M.I.A. has always been ready to give the finger to those that oppress. In this controversial video fueled by women’s rights, M.I.A. doesn’t just pull a drive-by on the Saudi government’s oppression of women, she launches an in-your-face drag race for equality. Highlighting the ban on lady drivers in the Arab country, the video stars burqa’d badasses pulling desert drift moves in luxury cars while manhandling machine guns. Ladies, rev your engines!
Rihanna, Katy and M.I.A. will be duking it out in the Best Video of the Year category though. And while they didn't make the Best Video With A Message race, you still have a tough decision on your hands picking between Lil Wayne, Kelly Clarkson, Gym Class Heroes, Demi Lovato, K'NAAN, and Rise Against. So make sure you vote for your fave -- the VMA polls close today at 6 pm ET. And DUH, tune in to the big show on Thursday, September 6 at 8/7c LIVE on MTV!