While Bad Boy will always be associated with New York, Puff Daddy was a savvy enough entrepreneur to recognize that hip-hop was bigger than two rival coasts. With the signing of Memphis veterans 8Ball and MJG he created Bad Boy South, and this raucous video was a fired-up introduction to the group's innovative, minimal crunk music. Like any good Bad Boy video, it feels like a party teetering on the edge of total chaos.
With its Warriors-referencing, bottle-clinking opening, stark black-and-white photography, and raw performances from stars like Busta Rhymes and LL Cool J, this Hype Williams video remains an unassailable slice of East Coast cool. While future Bad Boy videos had bigger budgets and more extensive hair-and-makeup departments, none had the same effortless swagger as this one. (Years later, Brooklyn rapper Mister Muthafuckin' eXquire would pay tribute to the original video with his remix of "," featuring Das Racist, Despot, El-P, and Danny Brown, a worthy follow-up to the original's gonzo energy.)
Dressed in a turtleneck, suede jacket, and Kangol, Biggie looks as cool as ever in this clip, but he's probably a little sweaty in that outfit, right? While a lot of the best Bad Boy videos take you on speedboat rides through coastal vistas, "Big Poppa" is all pink-lighted nightclub interiors, tableside chats, and shots of Puff in the bathtub. And, yes: it's way better than that .
A feast for the eyes – and not just because of drummer Andy Hurley’s button-bursting bulge – This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race is a reaction to Fall Out Boy’s ascension. It chronicles the time they recorded One And Only with Timbaland – Patrick does his best Joe Cocker here – and, amidst Playboy-style shenanigans and a funeral full of familiar faces from Fall Out Boy videos past, live footage of the band in some sort of dive bar/college gives you the most refreshing kick in the sternum. Yes, the video kind of contradicts itself, seemingly attacking the cult of celebrity while having Seth Green in the video. Yes, they were on a major label. And yes, they probably had enough money to build a boat with and sail to a desert island and create their own sovereign state. But even with all this at their feet, Fall Out Boy were still a savagely fun proposition live and in the studio.
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