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The Best (and Worst) Martial Arts Themed Music Videos

Fightland Blog

By Fightland Staff

We love seeing martial arts in music videos, especially when it's done well. We found over 20 from major artists, so it happens more than you might think. Just the other week, our sister site Noisey shared pop punk band Joyce Manor's new video for "Catalina Fight Song," in which the band members get tossed around by jiu jitsu instructors. It was fun to watch and all, but it got us thinking about our favorite (and least favorite) martial arts themed music videos. Here are the the videos that stand out the most, for better or for worse.

Best
Cat Power - “King Rides By"

This entire video consists of Manny Pacquiao hitting a speed bag in slow-mo for seven minues straight, and it might be the most beautiful thing we’ve ever seen.

Best
Lee Fields - “Just Can’t Win”

In American soul artist Lee Fields' new video for "Just Can't Win," the smooth soul singer plays the coach of a young female boxer in New York City, while he reminds everyone how great James Brown was.

Best
R. Kelly - “The World’s Greatest”

You can't hate on the "Prince of Pillowtalk's" boxing debut in this video. He might not actually box anyone, but the American flag boxing gloves and the Muhammad Ali footage pushed this post-9/11 anthem over the top.

Best
Wu-Tang Clan - “Da Mystery of Chessboxin’”

No comment necessary.

Worst
MC Hammer - “Better Run Run”

It’s never been worse as MC Hammer poses with MMA fighters Brendan Schaub, Nate Marquardt, and Eliot Marshall, to seem tough for his religiously themed Jay-Z diss track. In the video, the devil chases down a Jay-Z look-a-like and eventually gets stopped by Hammer himself, who baptizes him in a river, and then hits pads with striking coach Trevor Whittman.

The WTF moment in the video is the opening scene, in which Hammer meets the fighters for a business meeting in Denver. Who are these guys supposed to be? They aren’t playing fighters... or are they? Are they tough guy business types? What is going on?

Worst
Mandy Moore - “I Could Break Your Heart Any Day of the Week”

Mandy Moore seductively watches some kind of bizarre Kung Fu class in a trench coat as she sings a very mediocre pop song. When Sensei Chuck Liddell shows up late to class, she pulls open her jacket and reveals herself (in what should probably be lingerie but a white dress is as scandalous as Mandy gets), then kicks him the balls.

 

 

Check out this related story:

The Karate Master: A Beginner's Guide to Elvis Presley's Martial Arts Obsession

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