Lately I’ve been loving looking back on hip hop music videos from my childhood (the 90s and early 00s). When I was younger I’d stay up late in the summertime and watch all the raunchy videos on MTV and BET–yes, this was back when they actually played music videos–and so many songs and music videos have stuck with me since then. I’m pretty sure my parents had no idea that I was watching women shaking their butts at 1 AM but whatever, I turned out okay. Well, sorta okay.
Anyway, one night I realized just how many hip hop videos of that era took place on beautiful beaches. I mean, this was back when record labels actually had the money to plop their artists on a South American beach and use a ton of helicopters and speed boats without including a really blatant product places. You know, back in the good ol’ days.
So here’s a roundup of our favorite beach themed hip hop videos from the 90s and early 00s.
Angie Martinez, Lil Kim, Left Eye, Da Brat & Missy Elliott – Ladies Night
Okay, this is seriously one of the best female hip hop collaborations in the history of collaborations. Flawless.
Jagged Edge featuring Nelly – Where The Party At
I remember watching this music video so much in the summer of 2001 that I wanted to throw my television out the window. But 12 years later, I’ve found it in my heart to appreciate its cheesiness. And you gotta love the early 00s fashion (by love I mean “yikes!”)
Sisqo – Thong Song
Classic. Enough said.
The Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize
One question: Can you imagine a music video like this today? With high speed chases and a ton of helicopters? If so, can you imagine it without a giant Pepsi advertisement in every frame? Didn’t think so.
JAY-Z – Big Pimpin’
Mr. Beyonce Knowles before he was Mr. Beyonce Knowles.
Ja Rule ft. Christina Milian – Between Me & You
But where’s Ja Rule now? That’s what I want to know. Where’s Ja?
Wreckx-n-Effect – Rumpshaker
I don’t know about you, but I make sure that I bring a saxaphone and a massive camcorder whenever I hit the beach.
Nelly ft. P. Diddy & Murphy Lee – Shake Ya Tailfeather
Remember when songs from an upcoming blockbuster would have clips from the movie in the music video? I mean, I don’t miss those days but they, you know, happened. This video is a great example of that awkward era.
Snoop Dogg Ft. Pharrell – Beautiful
Let me just note that this video was made 10 years ago. Pharrell looks exactly the same today. The man just refuses to age.
Salt-N-Pepa – Shoop
I saved the best for last. Look, this may not be set in the sandy beaches of Brazil or Florida (try Coney Island), but it’s got some down-to-earth charm about it. And I have a lot of love in my heart for videos that turn the male gaze on its head so that the men are the objectified, scantily clad ones for once. Call it a double standard all you want, but while you do that I’m going to replay this video over and over again.
Which of these songs has you dancing in your seat? Which beach-centric hip hop videos did we miss? Tell us in the comments!