#InternetKilledtheRadioStar: Lose Control

This video felt like an event.

Missy was at the top of her game coming into her sixth album The Cookbook. Ciara was coming off an impressive debut season with her album Goodies. Fatman Scoop was still yelling over records from here to London.

Brings a tear to my eye how fast time passes.

This is when they still invested a ton of money into music videos. The production design, the concept, the dance sequence. I don’t know if we deserved Missy’s entire je ne sais quoi. She was a visionary. I feel kinship with Missy. She gets it.

#InternetKilledtheVideoStar: Bitch Please

Let me preface this for a certain segment of the population: I got a lot of internalized misogyny to work on.

You do too, even if you don’t admit it, so don’t try to be high and mighty above me.

With that being said, let’s get into some straight up West Coast gangta shit.

All I wanna be was a G, ha!
My whole life, nigga please, ha!

Breaking off these motherfuckin keys, ha!
Let’s get these motherfuckin G’s, ha!
Nigga you don’t wanna fuck with this

I don’t care to explain why this song makes me do like Pam did in that episode of Martin when Biggie Smalls appeared on there, which by the way, is a Top 3 episode of Martin to me, fight me later.

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But it does, and I was reminded the other day on the way home from my place of employment.

You have West Coasts legends being straight up Gs. Xzhibit was still rocking the cornrolls (I saw him on Bong Apetit and he was bald. Bald. My youth y’all).  Snoop was still trying to be a pimp. Nate Dogg was being one of the best vocal talents to be put on wax (fight me). This song and the corresponding video makes me want to put on a fresh pair of Chucks (canvas, none of that leather shit), iron my khakis until they’re stiff as a jizz filled sock and wear my oversized white-T and button up shirt combo with pride. The ’64 Impala in my head sits on the shiniest of chrome with the most advance hydraulics system ever so I can ride three wheels up and down Crenshaw in style.

Man, white folks is moving in, ain’t nobody riding in low riders up and down Crenshaw anymore.

This was No Limit era Snoop too. WATTBA.

Bask in the opulence, decadence, Black excellence* of “Bitch Please.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*This really depends on who you ask. 

#InternetKilledtheVideoStar: Wannbe

Yo, I tell you what I want.

I want to celebrate this shit.

Quite honestly, while impressive, this isn’t one of my favorite videos. It was done in one take in the Midland Grand Hotel in St. Pancras, London. Sporty Spice did a back handspring (which earned her my devotion). They ran around and fucking up rich people’s stuffy shit. Ginger Spice had red hair. It’s definitely a memorable video, but not one of my favorites. Nevertheless, the Spice Girls invaded America in January 1997 and “Wannabe” is now considered one of the most memorable songs of the last 60 years.

It also brings me back to simpler times.

#InternetKilledtheVideoStar Vol. 4- California Love Part 1

Let me preface this by saying that after almost 22 years of this song, I cannot stand it anymore.

I’m from California, I live here. I can do without hearing this song ever again in my life.

Even on the rare occasions that I do decide to be amongst the peons, if it comes on, I’ll groan but dance. But in my personal time (which is all of my time, quite honestly), fuck no, I will turn the radio off, change the channel if they play a snippet, if the video happens to play on those rare occasions someone plays videos, I will turn. I cannot willingly do it.

Even when pulling up the video for this song, I put it on mute. I didn’t listen to it. I refused.

With that being said, the video is dope as fuck.

What was dope about it?

The Mad Max post-apocalyptic aesthetic full of Black people having one massive fight in the Thunderdome, yes, the actual Thunderdome from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Because people don’t ever think we’ll make it to the future. Our ancestors were the first, we just might be the last. Also, because Hype Williams had the juice.

Hype Williams. Hype Williams had an amazing run. He’s still doing the damn thing, but that initial run, my God.

That Jada Pinkett Smith gave them the idea.

That this video has a “To Be Continued…” at the end of it, and the shit was actually continued.

You know how many videos there are with a “To Be Continued…” at the end and they don’t get continued? I really think motherfuckers were putting that at the end of their videos thinking they were doing big things and they weren’t doing anything but annoying the fuck out of people who expected a continuation of some sort.

The casting: Chris Tucker when he was still funny. Tony Cox, George Clinton, because funk will survive the apocalypse and Roger Troutman on the talk box.

All in all, I cannot stand the song anymore, but this video deserves props if only for the visual.

 

#InternetKilledtheVideoStar Vol. 3: Human Nature

Sorry, this ain’t about the song written by the Honorable St. Michael Joseph, of the Gary, Indiana Jacksons, First of His Name, Last of His Kind, Walker of the Moon, Ruler of the Neverland Realm.

Instead, we are visiting another song with the same name by the Honorable Madonna of House Mononym, Appropriatress of Vogue, Master of Disguise, Queen of Titillation, Mother of Gaga. Let’s look at “Human Nature.”

This video stuck with me as a child. You got pale ass Madonna rocking black cornrows akin to an extra in Hellraiser, wearing black leather getting groped and felt on and giving us soft BDSM vibes. As a child too ahead of the curve, I liked it.

Then I got older and listened to the lyrics and they were Madonna’s “Fuck you!” to everyone who criticized her brand of sexual display from the SEX book and her previous album Erotica. I felt those lyrics because I understood where she was coming from, and I still do. As a society, we are too hung up on a biological urge and how it’s done and who it’s done with.

And then I got even older and realized that Madonna was given a lot of leeway in the early 1990s, while Janet couldn’t even show her face in public for a while after her titty came out at the Super Bowl in 2004 and I got a bit angry.

But I think that justice usually comes slow, because Janet is out here having babies at 50 and still looking like she’s 35, and Madonna is angular.

I know, misogyny and ageism isn’t cute.

Point is, this video was dope for it’s time. It’s showing it’s age now, or maybe I just know more. The Bedtime Stories album did produce two of my lower end of the spectrum favorite songs in “Take a Bow” and “Secret.” While the song itself is nothing too remarkable, this video, again, struck a cord with my pre-perverted mind and it has a place in my mental Rolodex of why I got into the arts.

 

#InternetKilledtheVideoStar Vol. 2: Virtual Insanity

This is the song that predicted all of this shit. Tell me, I challenge you, that we are not living in a world of virtual insanity.

Granted, Jay Kay, the lead singer of the funk/acid Jazz band Jamiroquai wasn’t really getting into cell phones and computers and all of the goodness that we enjoy today, but the song invokes feelings of a changing world, a changing atmosphere.

And the video was mind blowing.

This video had people so confused, asking so many questions, wondering about the very fabric of space time, that the director Jonathan Glazer released a video explain the techniques he used to make things that were moving look like they weren’t. This is one of the videos that I will site as sparking an interest in visual arts when I was a kid.

The video is the perfect compliment to invoke the feelings of, “Something’s not right,” that the song discusses in its lyrics. Bask in this 21-year old visual.