Kanye West is no stranger to this category. He has been nominated seven times for Best Hip-Hop Video but has yet to win. This year he is a double nominee: “Mercy” with Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz and “Paris,” his collaborative effort with Jay-Z (they bill themselves as The Throne.) “Paris” is the more popular of the two tunes and likely to win.
Add to that the fact that West has appeared in two promos for the awardscast. Being featured in these ads boded well for Britney Spears who won three VMAs in 2009 as well as Taylor Swift who won Best Female Video in 2010 much to West's dismay.
However, Nicki Minaj could play spoiler. She won this category last year for “Super Bass.” This year she contends for her collaboration with 2 Chainz on “Beez in the Trap” but that song does not have the same impact as last year's which was a huge hit. However, the VMAs love back-to-back wins; Eminem took this award in 2009 for “We Made You” and in 2010 for “Not Afraid.”
Childish Gambino is a newcomer and not likely to upset with "Heartbeat" in this category. After all, he failed to receive a nomination for Best New Artist.