Eff A Rap Video
Friday October 29th 2010,
Filed under: Old Moufs,The Unkut Opinion,You Mad
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Music video was an inevitable development in rap and did wonders to establish it as a world-wide movement, but in reality there a very few hip-hop clips that actually add to the song. Unless you were Run-DMC, there’s a good chance that any 80’s rap vid featured a fake band miming playing your beat, a cheap set and a bunch of girls with dumb hair styles. The 90’s gave us bigger video budgets but 90% of clips were just everybody doing the East-Coast Stomp (c) LONS rocking Timbs and hoodies before the shiny suits and Hype Williams tunnel vision tunnel vision took over. Now that there’s no money again we’re back to home-made videos of dudes walking around rapping…

There was something about the impact of hearing a song for the first time on the radio or copping the single and blasting that shit twenty times in a row. I still remember hearing ‘If The Papes Come’ on the radio late at night and that shit blew my mind, or hearing the first four bars of Latee‘s ‘This Cuts Got Flavor’ on a Red Alert tape and playing it until the tape nearly popped. But whenever I see the video for a song that I either grew-up listening it’s a let-down. The power of the visual imagery of ‘Follow The Leader’ was light-years ahead of seeing Rakim dressed-up like Al Capone. Sure, I could get on some luddite shit and just ignore videos, but there are always some exceptions to the rule. Jeru‘s ‘Can’t Stop The Prophet’ was amazing, as was Organized Konfusion‘s ‘Stress’, but I’d be hard-pressed to even think of 25 rap vid’s I’d actually want to watch again. Blame Beavis, right?

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35 Comments so far
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I remember watching Wu-tang clan’s C.R.E.A.M. video and thinkin about how thugged the fuck out they were, so much was blurred out of the video, but that just added to the allure of the Wu. I can’t say I’ve watched many rap music videos if any lately. I think it was a 90’s Yo MTV raps thing. The best videos these days are by indie bands doing the rube goldberg thing or being clever with their shit to get youtube fame.

Comment by gstatty 10.29.10 @

your thoughts ring true, however, where i grew up (in the early to late 80’s), we didn’t have hip hop on the radio and yo! mtv raps was how we heard (and saw) new music. then we’d buy the tape and listen to it till it popped.

Comment by Chris 10.29.10 @

hype williams def made the best videos. pharcyde – drop, might be my #1 video. hype made them learn to lip sync backwards.

Comment by iLLa 10.29.10 @

^That was Spike Jonze, not Hype Williams.
“My Philosophy” and “Night of the Living Baseheads” are some immediate classic videos that come to mind.

Comment by keatso 10.29.10 @

“Microphone Fiend” and “Fight the Power” also come to mind, lemme go over to youtube and dig some more.

Comment by keatso 10.29.10 @

Onyx + Wu = The Worst, crazy ass video. one of my favorite.

Comment by cenzi 10.30.10 @

The Symphony video was dope ….. even tho’ Kane did’t dress the part.

Comment by Mec-One 10.30.10 @

sure u right.but i could easy name 25 clips that i still like to watch again.all that wu and bootcamp stuff.onyx had dope videos.keith’s poppa large.biggie’s warning.them jeru clips.there are a lot of nice visuals in my vhs collection.

Comment by swordfish 10.30.10 @

All them Das-EFX videos from the first album looked the same. In fact, ALL the Hit Squad’s vids from about that time are indistinguishable!

Comment by vollsticks 10.30.10 @

Kool G Rap “On The Run Remix”

Comment by DaGrimeyWay 10.30.10 @

The Del videos from No Need For Alarm had a great low budget quality to them.

Comment by Fishscale 10.30.10 @

“Buffalo Gals” and “Nuthin but a G thang” videos belong up there…

Comment by keatso 10.30.10 @

= Watch Roger Do His Thing (message & images)
= Just Hanging Out (histoy & reality)
= Looking At The Front Door (artistic imagery)

Enough said. The complete example of when a great artist makes great songs AND videos to match on zero budgets. Creativity of masterful music can be translated on screen.

Word to Keatso, “Mic. Fiend” & “Baseheads” are classic along with “In The Ghetto”, “Let The Rhythm Hit ’em”, “I Ain’t No Joke”, “Move The Crowd”, Biz “Vapors”, every Public Enemy video up to the incredible “Do You Wanna Go My Way?”, BDP “My Philosophy”, The Roots “What They Do” & “Next Movement”, Madlib/Quasimoto “Bullyshit”…in fact hell, if you make real Hip Hop you probably got good taste in a film video director.

Comment by Daoud 10.30.10 @

Boogiemonsters “Recognized Thresholds…”

Nas “Halftime”

Brand Nubian “All For One”

Mic Geronimo “Shit’s Real”

A Tribe Called Quest “Jazz”

were all 100% class, regardless of the budget

Comment by Thun 10.30.10 @

^Oh yeah that Jazz/Buggin Out video was ill, as was Scenario, although it hasnt aged well.
Can we get a separate post to start listing our favorite bad videos?
I got plenty of those on deck Robbie.

Comment by keatso 10.30.10 @

lmao @ Mic Geronimo’s inclusion. It’s exactly what Robbie was saying “rocking Timbs and hoodies”. The typical “giving a pound” shot, the crew shot, etc.

Comment by cenzi 10.31.10 @

Kool Keith in a straight jacket for “Poppa Large” was the shit…

Gangstarr’s “Mass Appeal” was real hip-hop as can be…

Love The Roots “What They Do” with the captions

Comment by maad 10.31.10 @

I almost never watch music videos anyway.

If I hear good things about a video I might look into it, and Gravel Pit stands as classic to me.

But my vision of a song > visions of the artist and their shitty budgets.

Comment by A.S. 10.31.10 @

All time favorite “just 2 get a rep” gangstarr;
“aint no 1/2 steppin” BDK; “girls I gottem locked”…

Worst, all videos from cool chip and chuck chillout, runnerup SHAQ…

Comment by Big Gist from brooklyn 10.31.10 @

Girls I got em locked might be the lowest budget video of all time

Comment by keatso 10.31.10 @

^lol, aint that the truth, but them brothers had a sick flow that made me cop their shit.

Comment by Big Gist from brooklyn 10.31.10 @

I almost forgot, the best low budget video of all time had to be Wu-Tangs protect ya neck, once I saw that I knew shit was about to change.

Comment by Big Gist from brooklyn 10.31.10 @

‘Night Of The Living Baseheads’-P.E.


‘The International Zone Coaster’-L.O.N.S.

The zestiest cheese of rap videos

Comment by sYk 10.31.10 @

Gang Starr You Know My Steez video, influenced by George Lucas THX 1138, is one of my favourites.

Comment by M.Turn 11.01.10 @

There’s plenty of rap videos I love, I even like some of the shitty ones.

Faves would include Mind Playin’ Tricks On Me, Some of Jeru’s vids, the early Wu vids, etc etc.

Compared to other forms of music, the videos for HipHop songs haven’t really been as interesting as they could be. During the late 90s and after, it seems the generic shouting at the camera with the crew in the background, video hos, or Hype Williams/lavish living fantasy type videos are the most prevalent.

Comment by silent minority 11.01.10 @

NWA’s 100 Miles & Runnin’ was pretty ill.

Comment by Apex 11.01.10 @

I liked Ice Cube “Who’s the Mack” too

Comment by keatso 11.01.10 @

PE – Can’t Truss It/Shut Em Down and BDP – Love’s Gonna Get’cha/You Must Learn. Video’s coming off that ‘Fear of a Black Planet’ were like HipHop events…Mikey Jack style.

Comment by bboycult 11.01.10 @

Shabazz The Disciple – Death Be The Penalty

Comment by TokyoSexwale 11.01.10 @

“Classic Material” by LONS was dope.
“Saturdays”,”Keeping the Faith”, “Buddy” by De La Soul were all dope too.

Comment by Daoud 11.01.10 @

^ I would add Ego Tripping pt 2, especially since it inspired the Roots “what they do” video.
Also, if the Beastie Boys are in the running for this, they win hands down btw.

Comment by keatso 11.02.10 @

Non Phixion – Rock Stars,

Devon the Dude – What I Be On

Comment by Jesse 11.03.10 @

comin from the uk vaults: foreign beggars featuring skinnyman “hold on”, low budget but effective…you tube it

Comment by loot 11.05.10 @

Word to Keatso again, Ego Trippin’ 2 was dope as hell and Beasties did take on the format as an extension of their art.

Comment by Daoud 11.07.10 @


Comment by blitz 11.08.10 @

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