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MTV VMA Nominations 2012

By Tom Breihan
Stereogum

©Island Def Jam
Frank Ocean (©Island Def Jam)

MTV has announced its nominations for the 2012 VMAs, and the list is just as random as ever. For one thing, the channel has continued its recent-years trend of nominating some smaller critics'-favorite types for some of the bigger awards. Frank Ocean's "Swim Good," for one, is up for three different awards, including Best New Artist, where it'll have the honor of losing to "Call Me Maybe." M.I.A.'s "Bad Girls," our pick for 2012's best video thus far, is up for another three, including Video of the Year. And plenty of names especially familiar to Stereogum readers fill out the different categories: Multiple Kanye and Drake nominations, the Black Keys' "Lonely Boy" and Jack White's "Sixteen Saltines" dueling in the Best Rock Video category, a couple of nominations for Duck Sauce's raunchily amazing "Big Bad Wolf," technical-category noms for Lana Del Rey and A$AP Rocky.

And MTV also puzzlingly went for some of the lame, more boring videos from artists who did great work in the past year. The deathly-static video for Drake's Rihanna collab "Take Care," for instance, has three nominations, while the way more fun "HYFR" video only has one. Kanye West and Jay-Z's "Ni**as In Paris," comprised entirely of chopped-up live footage, is up for two awards, whereas the awesomely iconic "Otis" video is only up for one. And for some impossible reason, Beyoncé's relatively staid "Love On Top" video has the Best Female Video nomination, while her absolutely wonderful "Countdown" video must be content with relatively low-profile Best Choreography and Best Editing nods. What were you thinking, MTV?

See the complete list of nominees below, and maybe put some money on "Call Me Maybe" to win a bunch of these.

Full List of 2012 MTV Video Music Awards Nominees:

Video of the Year
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used To Know"
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"

Best New Artist
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
The Wanted, "Glad You Came"

Best Hip-Hop Video
Childish Gambino, "Heartbeat"
Drake feat. Lil Wayne, "HYFR"
Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean & 2 Chainz, "Mercy"
Watch the Throne, "Paris"
Nicki Minaj feat. 2 Chainz, "Beez in the Trap"

Best Male Video
Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
Usher, "Climax"

Best Female Video
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Katy Perry, "Part of Me"
Beyoncé, "Love on Top"
Nicki Minaj, "Starships"
Selena Gomez & The Scene, "Love You Like a Love Song"

Best Pop Video
One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa, "Payphone"

Best Rock Video
Coldplay, "Paradise"
The Black Keys, "Lonely Boy"
Linkin Park, "BURN IT DOWN"
Jack White, "Sixteen Saltines"
Imagine Dragons, "It's Time"

Best Electronic Dance Music Video
Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
Calvin Harris, "Feel So Close"
Skrillex, "First of the Year (Equinox)"
Martin Solveig, "The Night Out"
Avicii, "Le7els"

Best Video With a Message
Demi Lovato, "Skyscraper"
Rise Against, "Ballad of Hollis Brown"
Kelly Clarkson, "Dark Side"
Gym Class Heroes, "The Fighter"
K'Naan feat. Nelly Furtado, "Is Anybody Out There?"
Lil Wayne, "How to Love"

Best Art Direction
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"
Regina Spektor, "All the Rowboats"
Of Monsters & Men, "Little Talks"

Best Choreography
Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"
Beyoncé, "Countdown"
Avicii, "Le7els"
Jennifer Lopez f/Pitbull, "Dance Again"

Best Cinematography
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
Adele, "Someone Like You"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China"
Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"

Best Direction
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
Watch the Throne, "Otis"

Best Editing
Beyoncé, "Countdown"
A$AP Rocky, "Goldie"
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used to Know"
Watch the Throne, "Paris"
Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean and 2 Chainz, "Mercy"

Best Visual Effects
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"
David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, "Turn Me On"
Linkin Park, "BURN IT DOWN"

Also on Stereogum:
Music's 10 Most Scandalous Live-TV Moments
Bon Iver Dumps on MTV
Robyn Unplugged on German TV

Copyright 2012 Buzz Media

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aty Perry, "Wide Awake"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"
Regina Spektor, "All the Rowboats"
Of Monsters & Men, "Little
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