Monday, July 17, 2006

Hide this post from mom

[UPDATE: Considering how fucked up YouTube is getting, I've removed all of the links to videos that I previously had here, since most have likely been removed by YouTube anyways. You could probably search YouTube and find most of 'em, though.]

I touched briefly on the cancellation of BET Uncut in an earlier post, but obviously, I couldn't just leave it at that. Most Fridays and Saturdays, and some Thursdays, of my 4 years of college were like a race against time to catch the hour-long show. A long night of drinking, smoking, hollering at females, and succumbing to the desire for nachos would usually conclude at around 2-2:30 a.m., around which time one's eyelids would feel heavier and one's bed would look like paradise. But if you could tough it out and fight off the Sandman 'til 3:00, the fine folks at Black Entertainment Television would make sure you were pleasantly rewarded.

You know the phrase "bad meaning good"? I think that phrase was created with BET Uncut in mind. Though you'd get the occasional famous rapper making a video specifically for the Uncut audience, as well as a few of the more risque videos that got play during the day (a la Petey Pablo "Freek-A-Leek", David Banner "Play", etc.), the most good part of a BET Uncut episode was the bad -- low-budget videos with grainy imagery and poor editing, low-talent rappers with little skill, flow or personality, and low-costing women willing to shake however, hump whatever and make out with whomever. You know how you can't help but look at a car accident when you drive past it? BET Uncut was like the Hawaiian Tropic bikini competition bus getting into an accident, and all the girls (in their bikinis, of course) having to stand off to the side of the road waiting for help... and out of anger they started tearing each other's bikinis off... in a nearby lake.

The final episode of BET Uncut offered a fitting tribute to itself (unfortunately introduced by Jermaine Dupri), but I pay my own tribute in the form of my top 10 personal favorite BET Uncut videos. Video clips, when available, are brought to you by YouTube, the closest thing to godliness the internet has to offer. Some may require confirmation because they're rather naughty, and that in turn may require creating an account, which you should already have done by now.

10. Mike Jones f/ Slim Thug & Paul Wall - "Still Tippin'"
You may have seen this video before, but you may not have seen this video... confused? The Uncut version doesn't differ much from the regular version, but the few differences add up to make a big difference. As Slim Thug is doing his verse while riding his Escalade, you see the top of female's head bopping up and down near Slim's "crotchal" region (and she seems to really be going at it), before popping up and smiling at the camera, revealing herself to be the same chick who's dancing in front of the turntables later on (and she seems to really be going at here as well). Mike Jones performs his verse in a strip club, and Paul Wall puts hands on 2 very nice asses. A lot of popular songs had alternate Uncut versions of their videos for late night airplay, but Mike Jones' "Still Tippin'" might be the 1st to have originally gotten noticed from being on Uncut before radio and daytime airplay, rather than vice versa.

9. Murs f/ Shock G & Humpty Hump - "Risky Business"
After 2 Live Crew, Digital Underground are 1 of the original hip hop acts to blend music with sex, be it through tongue-in-cheek album titles and covers like Sex Packets and The Body-Hat Syndrome, or more explicitly in songs like the classic "Freaks Of The Industry" (which apparently has an equally explicit video that I could unfortunately not find on the web). So it's only fair they get some recognition. The group's lead-man (Shock) and his more-famous alter-ego (Humpty) accompany Murs in this video where his folks are out of town and he's got the pad to himself. Murs is another artist who, in a way, went against the Uncut grain, as, unlike most who had videos on the show, he had already established an independent music career before making an Uncut video, and likely would be just as famous as he is today with or without "Risky Business". But when you have a rented mansion in the Hollywood Hills, Shock G with the Humpty nose-and-glasses, and a gang of porno chicks at your disposal, the risk factor is minimal.

8. U-God - "Bump"
It's a commonly-held opinion that out of all the members of the Wu-Tang Clan, U-God is the worst rapper. Everyone else brings their own style and personality to the table, but U-God just usually sounds like he's doing his best "Wu-Tang" impersation (except on his verse on "It's Yourz" from Wu-Tang Forever, he ripped that shit), and when he'd try his best to come with something original and different the results were typically subpar (a la his verse from "The Jump Off" off The W, which stood out like a sore thumb). But to his credit, U-God is probably the only Wu member could pull off a low-budget Uncut video like "Bump". Just watching his facial expressions as he stretches out the last word of each line of the hook, it almost feels like he's testing himself to make the worst video he possibly can. Clearly, he passed the test with flying colors. The Wu is set to embark on a nationwide tour later this year, and I bet U-God'll be getting teased non-stop about this.

7. 50 Cent - "Many Men"
Occasionally, a video would warrant Uncut-only airplay not because of T&A content, but because of violent content -- to all the critics would said BET Uncut was all about smut, I say "Take that!" This is such an example, though 50 can certainly hold his own in the T&A category (see "Disco Inferno"). Granted, it's not really all that violent per se, but considering the topic of the song, one could only imagine what an MTV-friendly version of it would sound like. In the video for 50's best song to date, his infamous (**cue Chris Rock voice**) I-GOT-SHOT-NINE-TIMES ordeal is reenacted at the beginning, and 50 spends the rest of the video in recovery until he is able to confront the man he held responsible, oddly enough played by Oakland-area rapper Saafir, former Digital Underground affliate and 1/3rd of Cali-supergroup "Golden State Warriors" with Xzibit and Ras Kass (who've been rumored to be making an album together for some 10 years now).

6. Black Jesus - "What That Thing Smell Like"
The up-tempo production and R&B crooning in the chorus gives this track a catchy, early '90s feel to it, until it hits you that the dude singing is singing about the scent of female genitalia. This video provides a perfect example of the poor editing that ran rampant through these videos -- the girl towards the middle of this video that gets zoomed in on looks extremely surprised and uncomfortable.

5. Joker The Bailbondsman f/ Bizzy Bone - "Uh Huh"
BET Uncut's unheralded All-Star, Alaska's finest (no, really) Joker The Bailbondsman presented a whopping SIX music videos to his late night audience over the years. For a more purely Uncut video, "Let Me See Your Ass Drop" or "Ladies Coming Over" would be better choices, but the appeal of this song and video are overwhelming. It's rare that an independent artist could attract a major label talent like Bizzy Bone of legendary group Bone Thugs N' Harmony for not only a song but a video as well (the rest of the group makes cameos in the video as well). And Bizzy doesn't slouch, insanely delivering his guest verse and killing the chorus as well, though Joker more than holds his own on the mic as well. The video is along the lines of Juvenile's "Ha", providing visual aids to the lyrics, from the scantily-clad women to the weed and Swisher boxes to the (you guessed it) "money in a Ziploc bag", as well as painting a picture of life in Alaska, which doesn't appear to be that far off from good ol' Isla Vista, with its liquor stores, low-key parties, plastic cups, and weed and Swisher boxes.

4. The Mighty Casey - "White Girls"
Likely the longest running video of Uncut's history, "White Girls" was getting steady airplay up until the show's final episodes, despite having debuted some time around '01 or '02. While the majority of Uncut's video library could be considered low-budget, Casey's offering came across more like a class project, aided by the fact that Casey looks to be no older than a high school senior, and I wouldn't be surprised to find out his supporting cast were all classmates, the cheerleaders being a no-brainer. Rapping to the melody of Grandmaster Flash's classic "White Lines", Casey's lyrical wit makes the song, considering that his flow is all over the place -- the way he delivers the last line of his 2nd and final verse literally made me cringe. But this video will best be remembered for introducing the (for lack of a better name) "simulated oral sex" camera technique, where a shot of a seated Casey from the waist up is held, and the top of a girl's head is seen bobbing in and out of the lower area of the camera's shot. This technique was used in 2 of the other videos I've listed thus far (Mike Jones and Murs), but none pulled it off quite as well as Casey, who aids his female assistant along by placing his hand on the back of her head. I would refer to this video as "no budget", but I sincerely hope that the blonde in the aformentioned shot got some money for her part, as well as the 2 who lie in bed with a shirtless Casey, rubbing his taco meat-like chest hair.

3. Wax-A-Million - "I Ain't Got No Panties On"
I would've made this #1 if I could've found video of it, but all YouTube has to offer is random jackasses reciting and/or dancing to it's catchy female-voiced chorus, and I wouldn't have linked to that to give you all false hopes -- that would've been too cruel. But this video was the epitomy of the bad/goodness of BET Uncut. The "club scenes" in this video were described by a friend of mine as looking like they had been shot in a Sizzler. When the female voice came in for the chorus, a close-up of a pair of lips (hopefully a woman's) came up, impressively matching up with the audio of "I ain't got no panties on/Ain't got no panties on/I ain't got no panties on/On the dance floor", which followed with the male response of "Pull them panties off!" A call-and-response chorus -- truely Wax-A-Million has love for the old school. Perhaps the best part of the video was the cheesy graphic that scrolled Wax-A-Million's name, as well as the name of his record label, Pinky Ring Records (which is likely filing for bankruptcy as we speak), which provided the backdrop for a bald chick (why do some men find that appealing?) to shake her ass throughout the song. We never do get to really see this woman's face, but that's probably for the best. While the more famous rappers popping up on Uncut faced media criticism for not fulfilling their "role model" quotient, unknowns like Wax-A-Million were making the Uncut anthems that would live on years.

2. Ludacris f/ Shawnna & Lil' Fate - "P' Poppin'"
Seeing a famous rapper on BET Uncut was liking waking up to the smell of cinnamon rolls in the morning (unless it was just BET filling time by airing some of the same videos they show during the day) -- you just know something good is about to happen. Luda only gets 1 verse on the song to account for his guests, but he makes the most of it, rhyming above a lying-down female, her special areas acting as his mic stand (how does Luda come up with this shit?). This video came out around the same time as Bill O'Reilly's brigade against Luda following him being hired by Pepsi as a spokesperson, and surely added fuel to the fire. O'Reilly questioned Luda's position as a role model when he's shooting videos in strip clubs, and once again, O'Reilly finds himself way out of touch with the hip hop community he so despises. It wasn't just shot at a strip club -- it was a Pussy Poppin' Contest! These girls weren't just dancing for small bills -- there was a grand prize on the line! Come on now, where would America be without competition?

1. Nelly - "Tip Drill"
Was there any doubt in your mind? The shots of the 3 girls standing next to each other in that ever-so-undersized hot tube could've won it alone. So many women, so little clothing, so many offended feminists. This video got Nelly into such hot water with protesters that they forced him to cancel... get this... a bone marrow drive! Dude's trying to do something positive and is denied the opportunity solely because of his love of fat asses, and the subsequent swiping of a credit card through such asses. For the way he stood tall throughout the backlash from his video, and for making the video itself, I hold a deep admiration for Nelly... I just can't stand his music.