25 best music video looks of the year (so far)

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“Chun-Li” – Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj has been quiet on the music front for most of the year. Now that her new album, Queen, is officially out, she’s ready to take back her spot on the top of the rap throne. And now that she’s back, she’s ready to pull off some looks and give Cardi B a run for her money!

The song “Chun-Li” is named after a video game character from the Street Fighter series. She’s a Chinese expert martial artist who is seeking revenge for the death of her father. Clearly, Nicki was inspired by this badass female and used the character to help create the video’s aesthetic.

The music video was directed by famed fashion photographer and video director Steven Klein. The video has a futuristic Asian aesthetic with superhero-inspired outfits. Nicki raps about being made out to be a villain, much like the character of Chun-Li. We all know Nicki isn’t afraid to speak her mind or defend her art, and she definitely knows how to take fashion risks.

Although some of her Asian style influences are mixed (geisha-inspired hairstyles with hair sticks are Japanese, and Chun-Li is Chinese), Nicki still looks like fire. She rocks a skin-tight studded leather body suit, showing off every curve of her body. She serves up a neon sign aesthetic with an outfit trimmed with tube lights, but that’s not even her brightest moment in the video.

The rap queen rocks a full crystal ensemble that left us gagging (in a good way). She has a mask over her eyes, jeweled hair sticks in her hair, a drool-worthy diamond necklace, and a bodysuit that sparkles in every shot.

Nicki may have been gone for a bit, but she is back with a vengeance. Like Chun-Li!