The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards are fast approaching, and this year's Best Video With A Message nominees are truly inspiring. But what about the equally as amazing music videos that didn't make the cut? Introducing the stellar Best Video With A Message Runners Up:
To the drunken listener, Kendrick Lamar's "Swimming Pools (Drank)" may sound like an ode to his hard-partying lifestyle, but listen sober, and you'll realize it's actually a cautionary tale about the perils of drinking too much. The music video gives a nod to both old-school hip-hop and new-age artistry, as Kendrick navigates both literal and figurative pools of liquor. He is finally saved by his conscience. "I'm in your conscience, if you do not hear me," it says. "Then you will be history, Kendrick." If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, visit Half Of Us for help and resources.
+ Watch P!nk, “Try”
P!nk left the meaning behind her stunning "Try" video up to interpretation, but it looks to us like a colorful demonstration of the ups and downs of a difficult, and maybe even abusive at times, relationship. In the video, she and the hottest man I've ever seen use bright paints and intense interpretive dance to express love, hope, pain and fear. Learn more about healthy relationships, and how to spot an unhealthy one, with Love Is Respect.
+ Watch Justin Timberlake, "Mirrors"
The beautiful, lifelong relationship, portrayed in Justin Timberlake's “Mirrors” brought me to tears the first time I saw it. None of my relationships have even hit the two-year mark! This visually stunning vid reminds us of the importance of loving and valuing our elders -- a faction of society that too often gets swept under the rug. Show your love for your grandparents, or any of the older folks in your community, by engaging in conversation, showing appreciation and teaching them how to use social media through DoSomething.org's Grandparents Gone Wired campaign.
+ Watch Imagine Dragons, "Radioactive"
Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" pits puppet against puppet in a new-age betting and fighting arena. Some major puppet bullying goes down, but love ultimately prevails, and both the band and our fluffy friends are set free by a heroic pink teddy bear with laser beam eyes. Yeah, I know it's a lot to take in, but whether they meant to or not, Imagine Dragons' video sends a powerful message to the public about kindness and respect. Join the Love is Louder movement if you're all about love over bullying.
+ Watch Sara Bareilles, “Brave”
Sara Bareilles wrote "Brave" with fun.’s Jack Antonoff in honor of “a close friend of who struggled with coming out.” In the video, she and a group of friends dance all around the town -- the gym, the library, the bus stop, you name it! The group's carefree attitudes inspire others to break out of their shells and dance. There is “so much honor and integrity and beauty in being able to be who you are,” Sara said in a behind the scenes look at the "Brave" vid. If you're having trouble figuring out how to express who you really are, check out the Trevor Project's coming out guidebook.