A few more of my favorite Hip Hop videos from the days of yore for your listening and viewing pleasure.
We’ll kick things off with a little Busta Rhymes.
“Gimme Some More” by Busta Rhymes – I loved this song when it came it, but in recent years I’ve really been enamored of the audacity of it all. The damn thing samples the theme song from Hitchcock’s Psycho and is so fast that it’s nearly unintelligible. And yet it was the first single off of Busta’s Extinction Level Event and it was a moderate hit to boot (peaking at #29 on the Billboard Hip Hop/R&B Charts and #5 on the UK Singles Chart). And the video was crazy as hell. Is it weird to want 1998 back? Maybe just the musical climate?
“Neck Uv Da Woodz” by Mystikal ft. Outkast (or Outkast ft. Mystikal, it’s really a matter of perspective) – This one’s really more for a wildly under-appreciated song than the video itself (although it’s a pretty fun watch). Classic ‘Kast and Mystikal in one place. While Dre had been creeping up on the world for a while, this is one of the those revelatory moments where–in dress and in rapping–he solidified himself as a singular talent and personality. Of course, the listening community at large didn’t really start taking notice until Stankonia a year later (and didn’t truly catch on until “Hey Ya” devoured airwaves), but the public as usually late to the party.
“Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz” by the Lost Boyz – Classic, classic, classic mid-90s crew deep, I’m gonna rap into the camera video in front of all my homies video. I never get tired of these videos. And the Lost Boyz are that group that is often swept up in the storm of Duck Down clones from the mid-90s. But they’re great and should forever be remembered as so much more than Mr. Cheeks’ old group. Speaking of “crew deep”…
“Wu Tang Clan Ain’t Nuttin Ta Fuck Wit/Shame on a N*gga” by Wu-Tang Clan – Probably my favorite video of all time, for the simple fact that I’m not sure any video in Hip Hop has ever encapsulated an artist’s aesthetic, mindstate, or message so perfectly. The video is raw, frightening, amateurish, violent, occasionally goofy (the explosions), street, and absolutely bat-shit-insane. It even has ninjas. If I wanted to give someone the Wu in a 3 minute nutshell, I’d direct them straight to this video.
“It’s Supposed to Bubble” by UGK – Just so my East-Coast bias doesn’t completely dominate this post, here’s a second video from some Southern favorites (OK, I recognize that it’s very easy to just go “Oh, I need a southern video–let me grab one from UGK!” but “It’s Supposed to Bubble” really is a spectacular song–it’s not my favorite UGK song, that would be “Diamonds and Wood,” but it’ll do for now). So smooth. Enjoy a country rap tune from the kings.