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As the summer shifts to its final leg and the August heat rolls in, the entertainment industry starts to get both excited and strategic as it prepares itself to usher in a new round of award shows and victories. With many looking ahead to the Golden Globes and the Oscars in January, or the Grammys in February, many forget award season starts much earlier than that with one particular extravaganza that has been a point of pop culture mayhem for years. The MTV Video Music Awards. Where Britney kissed Madonna, where Miley twerked on Robin Thicke, and where Kanye infamously took the mic right out of Taylor Swifts hand – it has been a point of music history for as long as it has been around. And with a new set of most talked about moments popping up every year, one cannot forget to look towards the nominees and wonder which ones will be taking home the moon man, and which ones will be taking home a new reputation. As always, 2016 is no different.

Earlier this week the 2016 nominations for the VMA’s came out, much to any music fans delight. Though there are of course some stand out favorites – with Beyoncé racking in the most nominations of the list – the show does a good job of including as many categories as possible. Most likely in the hopes of getting as many big names onto the list as possible. Sadly, there are very few categories that go out of the pop lane. Almost all of the categories are dominated by pop present artists like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and other mainstream names. Though it is nice to see the appreciation the award show has for other genre’s, such as that of hip-hop and rap, with a lot of artists like Drake and Kanye finding themselves placed among prominent contenders. Though many of these artists are generally ones that go along better with mainstream interests. The ranks of categories hold the staple features from Best Male and Female videos – the latter of which caused the most infamous moments between Kanye and Swift which will most definitely be looked back upon during this award show – Video of the Year, Best Pop Video, Best Collaboration, and many others. Then there are others which really stray away from the mainstream bunch, like Best Hip Hop Video and Best Rock Video, which remind people that MTV does still recognize music genres besides pop; though sadly not by much.

One category in particular that stands out to me is a new category this year, the Best Long Form Video award, which to me, personally, really shows a very diverse category in its nominees. The nominees are those whose videos created a long form, or an arc, and therefore is a more daunting feat accomplished by the nominees. Those nominated in this category include, of course, Beyoncé whose HBO special for her album Lemonade prompted her to be nominated for almost every category, but also included lessor known artists, such as one of my personal favorites, Troye Sivan. This is Sivans first nomination, in which he is nominated for his Blue Neighborhood video arc in which three of his music videos came together to tell the story of a relationship between two young men, which is at one point torn apart due to one of the guys father being both abusive and not accepting of the son. It is a personal favorite of mine, as is Sivan, who I think clearly deserved the recognition for the beautiful story he was able to tell. Likewise I think the category really shows that the award shows want its nominees to be as creative and adventurous as possible and to not limit the work that the do visually out of fear that they won’t receive a nomination. Overall the pool of videos and nominees culminated for this year’s award show, though repetitive at times, is nonetheless competitive, and will definitely lead to some soon-to-be talked about moments.

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