But taking a serious turn, MTV announced the new "Best Fight Against the System" award to celebrate videos "that inspire viewers to stand up and fight injustice".
For its Movie and TV Awards, which aired in May, MTV made a decision to combine the categories of best actor and actress, doing away with distinctions between genders and opting instead to award one film and one television actor.
The nominees for the evening's top prize, artist of the year, are Lamar, the Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and Lorde.
Lamar was also nominated in the newly created category of artist of the year, combining the previous categories of best female and best male video of the year.
The Video Music Awards have usually been more about the spectacle than the ultimate winners, with the network gladly offering a global platform to celebrities.
Other video of the year nominees includes Mars' 24K Magic, the Weeknd's Reminder, Alessia Cara's Scars to Your Beautiful and Wild Thoughts, the hit by DJ Khaled, Rihanna and Bryson Tiller released last month.
The MTV Video Music Awards, which will air live from Inglewood, California on August 27, has a reputation for irreverence, shock tactics and unpredictable moments. Both songs topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart this year.
Other acts who scored nominations include The Chainsmokers, Migos, Harry Styles, Selena Gomez, Fifth Harmony and Big Sean.