On Monday, in a roundtable debate, the first-ever O Music Award will be handed out: Most Innovative Music Video.
For weeks, fans have been voting for their favorite boundary-pushing, genre-expanding clip over at the O Music Awards site, and come Monday (at 4 p.m. ET on OMusicAwards.com and MTV.com), they can watch as a winner is crowned — after some spirited debate from producer/ Global14.com creator Jermaine Dupri, acclaimed video director Wayne Isham, Mashable's Brenna Ehrlich and MTV News' James Montgomery.
We'll also be hearing from a host of acts who know a thing or two about innovation — including the Black Eyed Peas, who have melded hip-hop, pop and dance music into a sound that is uniquely theirs and have pushed the boundaries of music videos at the same time. So we decided to ask them to describe what innovation means to them. And, not surprisingly, they went all the way back to the early days of MTV — during the first reign of the King of Pop.
"There would be no MTV if it wasn't for Michael Jackson," will.i.am said. "If you think about it, 'Billie Jean' and 'Thriller' — all those songs — it was right around the time the video, it boomed. It was the first Internet, right? The idea of a visual, coupled with audio, and it was the first time you would see your favorite artist who was played all over the radio that told you to go see the concert.
"So the video amplified concerts, it amplified the song on the radio, it created a business to where we were given MTV songs to play our video," he continued. "It was a great business. 'Check this out: I'm going to play the stuff you pay to make.' ... That is the best thing in the world."
And from Michael Jackson to today, the Peas see a clear line of inspiration — one that pushes the medium of the music video forward, through nothing more than sheer innovation alone.
"It makes you really inspired to see people like Missy Elliott. She always had amazing videos. Ludacris, Busta Rhymes ... Marilyn Manson is one of my favorite video stars; I'm always stuck like glue to the screen when he presents a video, because it's just interesting, and it's creative, and it's really showing a peephole into his world," Fergie said. "And I think that's what it is with a video: You're getting a peephole into a moment of an artist's life, to present the visual with what you do sonically."
The O Music Awards debate for the Most Innovative Music Video, presented by FUZE®, will stream live on OMusicAwards.com and MTV.com at 4 p.m. ET on Monday.
The inaugural O Music Awards will stream live from Las Vegas at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on OMusicAwards.com. Tune in to see who will reign supreme in categories like Most Viral Dance, Funniest Music Short and NSFW Music Video!