As a child, nothing gave me more pleasure than sitting down, crossing my chubby legs, grabbing a bag of Doritos and positioning myself in front of the television—to watch hours of music videos. Channels like BET, MTV and The Box (am I dating myself yet?) were always on rotation in my home, creating a vibrant visual getaway, while providing one ill playlist in the process. Music videos were a part of our natural routine growing up. How many afternoons and evenings were devoted to a new episode of Making the Video or Access Granted? How many memories can you tie to a music video that had a direct impact on your life? Lord knows I have several.

The 10 creatives below not only defined my childhood, but with their work, they each defined an era. They made three to four minute music videos that accompanied the hits of the time. These were all-out experiences that permanently etched their space into directorial history.

Here's my list of the top 10 music video directors who gave us visual glory then, now and forever.

1. Hype Williams

Photo credit: GIPHY

When it comes to music videos, this man is a god, with a resumé of classics that would make Spielberg want to throw the white flag. 

Stomping Grounds: Queens, NY

Highlight Reel: Missy Elliott's "The Rain;" Dr. Dre and Tupac's "California Love;" Q-Tip's "Vivrant Thing;" Slim Thug's "I Ain't Heard of That;" Busta Rhymes' "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See"

Our Fave Deep Cut: DMX's "What These Bitches Want"

2. Melina Matsoukas

Photo credit: GIPHY

Fresh, effervescent and expressive, Matsoukas is a visual storyteller for some of this generation's  most memorable videos.

Stomping Grounds: New York, NY

Highlight Reel: Beyonce's "Formation;" Rihanna's "Rude Boy;" Snoop Dogg's "Sensual Seduction;" Ne-Yo's "Closer"

Our Fave Deep Cut: Electrik Red's "So Good"

3. Director X

Photo credit: GIPHY

An industry heavy-hitter, X is gonna give it to you with the heat his lens captures.

Stomping Grounds: Toronto, ON

Highlight Reel: Usher's "You Don't Have to Call;" Kanye West's "New Workout Plan;" Donell Jones' "Where I Wanna Be;" Sean Paul's "Get Busy"

Our Fave Deep Cut: Redman's "I'll Bee Dat"

4. Billy Woodruff

Photo credit: GIPHY

If you wanted a quintessential R&B video during the genre's golden age, Woodruff was the man with the plan to take it there.

Stomping Grounds: Denver, CO

Highlight Reel: Toni Braxton's "You're Makin' Me High" and "Un-Break My Heart;" Next's "Too Close;" Ray J's "Wait a Minute"

Our Fave Deep Cut: Joe's "I Wanna Know"

5. Dave Meyers

Photo credit: GIPHY

Meyers is a visual madman with an imagination that can't be contained, even if you paid him to.

Stomping Grounds: Berkeley, CA

Highlight Reel: Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On;" Juvenile's "Back That Azz Up;" OutKast's "B.O.B.;" Kendrick Lamar's "HUMBLE."

Our Fave Deep Cut: Eve's "Love is Blind"

6. Chris Robinson

Photo credit: WiffleGifs

Robinson, Atlanta's very own visionary, injected fun and high energy into every video he crafted. 

Stomping Grounds: Atlanta, GA

Highlight Reel: Jay-Z's "Change Clothes;" Shyne and Barrington Levy's "Bonnie and Shyne;" Snoop Dogg and Pharrell's "Beautiful;" Monica's "So Gone"

Our Fave Deep Cut: Erykah Badu's "Honey"

7. Diane Martel

Photo credit: GifHop

Equal parts feminine and gritty, Martel manifested the feel of every song she's had the pleasure of directing.

Stomping Grounds: New York, NY

Highlight Reel: Ciara's "Promise;" Method Man and Mary J. Blige's "You're All I Need to Get By"; Alicia Keys' "Like You'll Never See Me Again"; Omarion's "Touch"

Our Fave Deep Cut: Khia's "My Neck, My Back"

8. David LaChapelle

Photo credit: GIPHY

LaChapelle's a lover of the abstract and unconventional; and that's why we love him.

Stomping Grounds: Hartford, CT

Highlight Reel: Mariah Carey's "Loverboy;" Kelis' "Good Stuff;" Amy Winehouse's "Tears Dry On Their Own"

Our Fave Deep Cut: His colorful film, "Rize"

9. F. Gary Gray

Photo credit: GIPHY

Gray created an industry fave with game-changing shots that easily makes him your favorite director's favorite director.

Stomping Grounds: New York, NY

Highlight Reel: TLC's "Waterfalls;" OutKast's "Ms. Jackson;" Ice Cube's "It Was a Good Day;" Babyface's "How Come, How Long"

Our Fave Deep Cut: Dr. Dre's "Keep Their Heads Ringing"

10. Benny Boom

Photo credit: wavybandz

The Philadelphian artist who brings a new, more profound meaning to the phrase, "for the culture."

Stomping Grounds: West Philadelphia, PA

Highlight Reel: Amerie's "Why Don't We Fall in Love?;" Nelly's "Dilemma;" YoungBloodz's "Damn!;" Keyshia Cole's "I Should've Cheated"

Our Fave Deep Cut: G-Dep's "Special Delivery (Remix)"

11. Paul Hunter

Photo credit: Tumblr

Hunter combines realism with a touch of fantasy in his videos that are essentially mini-movies.

Stomping Grounds: Los Angeles, CA

Highlight Reel: Pharrell's "Frontin;" Michael Jackson's "You Rock My World;" Mariah Carey's "Honey;"  Mya, Pink, Christina Aguilera and Lil' Kim's "Lady Marmalade"

Our Fave Deep Cut: Mya’s "My Love Is Like…Wo"

What directors have given you life with their powerful imagery? Share below!