Who's The Amateur?

I've never worked inside the music industry (sadly, not even a second-hand record store) so I can't imagine all the factors and compromises made along the way to making a music video. Still, I know what I like, and I like this:

Naturally, this isn't the official, label-endorsed video for M.O.P's "Ante Up". I'm guessing that would be this one:

(Wow, I just finished writing this post and went over to YouTube to grab the embed code for this video to find out that embedding was disabled by request. Who's doing the web strategy for these guys, my dad?)

Which one do you prefer? I think the first one is brilliant -- watch it again and check out the great work done on syncing up the puppets' mouths to the lyrics. I don't know how long that took, but definitely well worth every minute.

The second one is your typical "let's get some extras in a warehouse and make them go CRAZY for this song" approach, and the results show. The first video is creeping up on 3 million views and the other is not even half that.

The "amateur" video was made by a 23-year-old. Most likely, at home, on a laptop, for no money. And he even provided links to Amazon where you can (1) buy an MP3 of the song and (2) buy Sesame Street DVDs that this footage came from. If anyone's lawyer contacts this kid with anything other than a juicy "thank you", they're completely out of their mind.

I found this video on a blog a few months ago, loved it, sent it to a bunch of people, and a few minutes later, gladly gave iTunes my 99 cents for the non-clean version (cleaned-up hip hop is like decaf, no?). Now I'm blogging about it with the video embedded, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. How long before musicians put out their music for free and people like stianhafstad get a cut of every concert ticket sold? Then again, what the hell do I know, I still own a few Wham! CDs.