Here are some of the best music videos ever filmed in the city of Detroit
On the Lodge wit it. In Woodbridge wit it. In Mexicantown wit it.
With all the chatter around Big Sean’s “Single Again" video, which takes us from the westside neighborhood he grew up in to downtown’s Spirit Plaza, we figured we’d take a look at some other videos filmed right here in the city.
It’s not a comprehensive list; we could go all day with videos made here. But here’s a healthy start.
Anita Baker, “Same Ole Love (365 Days a Year)”
In 1986, Antia Baker was at a critical and commercial high, but had spent the most of her early career away from home. For this single, she decided to bring it back to where it all started. Let’s count how many local landmarks you see here: The Fisher Building, the old General Motors Headquarters, the former Detroit News warehouse, Baker’s Keyboard Lounge.
Allstar Lee, “Fresh Prince of Brick Mile”
The whole city went up for the 6 Mile version of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” dropped in 2017, shot just a few blocks away from Rouge Park. Please note that we as the city government are not endorsing the activities simulated in this video, but that is an…interesting way of recycling those expensive Drought juice bottles.
Big Sean, “Guap”
Let’s not forget that Sean has done several videos here in the city, but visually speaking, this is near — if not at — the top. Beginning with an ode to old, pre-state park Belle Isle, Sean eventually makes his way downtown and shuts down the streets, just like he did for “Single Again.”
Deadbeat Beat, “See You All the Time”
It’s not often that the Woodbridge neighborhood gets the music video treatment — and come to think of it, this might be the first time ever. (Correct us if we’re wrong, of course.) In the video, Deadbeat’s lead singer is stalked relentlessly by blondes, fitting for the theme of the song.
Aretha Franklin, “Freeway of Love”
It’s almost like the Queen was writing her own destiny, considering one of the opening shots of this video is the old Goodyear production sign on the Lodge Freeway, which now will be partially renamed in Franklin’s honor. Her visual tribute to the Motor City, however, may not have aged as nicely as she thought — the dancers in mechanic’s jumpsuits may have been a bit much.
Gmac Cash, “We on the Lodge Wit It”
Because obviously after discussing “Freeway of Love,” this is a natural transition. It seems like a lifetime ago that the viral video had us all shaking our heads at traffic being held up, but fortunately us Detroiters know how to make lemonade out of lemons and make a lasting addition to our local slang.
DJ Good Boi, “#WeOnTheLodgeWitIt”
And a jit version, too? Yes, please.
Eminem, “Lose Yourself”
If “gritty Detroit” could be summed up in a video, it’d be this. Essentially an abbreviated version of “8 Mile,” Em walks us down his protagonist’s thoroughfare, including a ride on a (since-updated) DDOT bus.
Kash Doll, “Run Me My Money/Thang on Me”
While a certain population of Detroit argues over Lafayette or American, the rest of us know some of the best coneys are outside downtown. Kash pays tribute to her Dexter Ave upbringing by paying a visit to the iconic A. Eagle’s at the corner of Dexter and Joy Road.
DoughBoyz Cashout, “Good Ass Day”
Pour one out for the Joe Louis Arena, which is one of many places DBCO stopped by for this visual that has us all hollering “forecast hit the D with 84!” when it gets this hot — which is happening a lot more lately, because climate change.
Credit card security breaches? Pell grants to start businesses in the hood? And that’s just this week. It seems like the lyrics of “Millennials,” a somber take on the ongoing woes of young folks, is forever relevant despite Charity gifting this to us a year ago. With roots in the church, it makes sense that Charity would take us inside one for this visual, intercut with scenes on the streets.
Blade Icewood, “Boy Would You (Boss Up)”
Two words: Blade dance. See where it all began.
Chedda Boys, “I’m a Chedda Boy”
Continuing our foray into millenium-era eastside bangers. Because if you didn’t have a video on the eastside or Belle Isle with a bunch of foreign rides, were you really a Detroit rapper?
Stretch Money, “It Takes Money to Make Money”
Like we said earlier, retweets are not endorsements when it comes to the simulated activities in this video. But we’re including it because of the age-old Detroit dream of having your own speedboat to play in — regardless of how you might use it.
Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas, “Dead Brains”
Take a ride through Southwest Detroit with one of its own — though admittedly, much has changed in the six years since Jessica rode the streets in an old Lincoln. While there are still plenty of murals, the old train station is currently undergoing a makeover.
DeJ Loaf, “Try Me”
Let’s go from Southwest to Southeastern. The single that put the baby-voiced rapper on the map brought the whole eastside out.
Bonus track: Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, “Nowhere to Run”
Though technically filmed at a Ford plant in Dearborn, we can’t count it as a true Detroit video. But consider the following: It’s likely Motown’s first true music video. It has straight-up Detroit artists. It’s a forerunner to literally any Detroit video that features cars or factories. And the innovation of it all warrants a mention. Apparently the workers at the factory had no idea the Motown trio was going to be filming that day while the assembly line was in motion.