REVIEWS -- FEBRUARY 3, 1999
 
 
                               
 
Busta Rhymes Ė Gimme Some Moí 
     (***1/2) This video is all it took to make me fall in love with Busta Rhymes all over again. His "Woo-Hah" in 1996 was a great marriage of the comedic, the hardcore and the fucked-up. "Gimme Some Moí " is his first effort since thatís duplicated that, sampling the Psycho theme and showing Busta romping around some misproportioned, cartoonish sets. His personas in the video include a motorcycle cop, a drag queen, Yosemite Sam and a few others that would give any strict Freudian a lot to write about. All the while, Busta gets to wave wads of money and flaunt his gorgeous cars and women, the only things that are still safe to exploit in the world of rap. And, best of all, this video starts and ends within two minutes, the perfect amount of time for our sauteed attention spans. --Andrew Hicks 
     (***1/2)  Busta Rhymes is completely and totally insane. Isnít it great? I love Busta Rhymes, because he apparently turned a serious neurological disorder into a successful career. I think we should all try to follow his example. The treats of this video include one of the most imaginative samples in several years (The Psycho theme endlesslly looped. Itís freaky.) and a cartoon montage look that makes it obvious that Busta is much more comfortable in that world than the one we inhabit. All I can say is, gimme some moí! --James Wallace 

Cher -- Believe 
Cher -- Believe
     (*1/2)  I donít. I donít believe. How could a God in heaven allow Cher to have a new video air on MTV in 1999? I guess since Sonny died, karma allowed her one last shot at recapturing the disco fag audience that only a 50+ diva can hope for (Diana Ross, Gloria Gaynor). Well, here she is, more plastic surgery marring her features, surrounded by girls young enough to be her daughters and her voice computer-distorted. Or did she have plastic surgery on her voice box too? A two-octave implant, maybe. This video is, appropriately enough, set in a dance club where Cher cuts loose and one of the girls whoís young enough to be her daughter gets cheated on. Poor girl. Thereís always the possibility of a lesbian affair with Cher. No woman should rule that out. --AH 
Cher -- Believe

Eninem Ė My Name Is 
     (***) Could Dr. Dre singlehandedly convince the world that some white rappers are cool? Only the next couple months will tell, but this video is a step in the right direction. The bleached-blonde, buzz-cutted Eninem works his way through a video where he parodies a "Cops" episode, impersonates Bill Clinton getting a blow job from Monica, asks "Which Spice Girl should I impregnate?" and explains his problems to a white-coated Dre, who puts a red enema bulb on his nose to make him laugh. Eninem also dresses up like Marilyn Manson, a video trick that hasnít been cool since the days of David Lee Roth. I wonder if this video could bring the practice of impersonating other artists back into MTV vogue. "My Name Is" works, too, with just the right combination of humor and head-bobbing hip-hop realism. Even though Eninem is no Snoop, heís pretty fly for a white guy. ĖAH 
     (***)  What? How dare he cynically deflower the Spice Girls! This guy is the first act to break through on Dr. Dreís new record label, and he reminds us heís Dreís bitch at least three times during the course of the video. Still, I like it, itís... dare I say it? Fresh. It takes me back to when I first heard Beckís "Loser," which was different than any kind of rhyming I had ever heard. It seems to owe its sound to the freestyling days of the early 80ís and the likes of Grandmaster Flash mixed with very early Beastie Boys. It even seems to tip its hat off to that era by being sort of a Ď90s version of David Lee Rothís "California Girls," with our boy (who the hell is Slim Shady anyway?) jumping in and out of parodies of Ď90s icons. Liking this could be a whim on my part, but what the hell. --JW 

Random Channel Flipping Moment 
     On MTVÖ Will Smith talking about all the booty he be getting in Miami. 
     Meanwhile, on Z-MusicÖ Will Smith pledging love and responsibility to his bastard child. 
     Does anybody but us see a problem with this? --JW 

Lauryn Hill -- Ex-Factor 
     (***)  This video forever answers the question, "Does Lauryn Hill include a ĎYo yo yo!í beginning in her ballads, too?" She does, especially when sheís lamenting an ex-lover who done her wrong. You can tell sheís depressed because she sings the entire first verse and chorus from her penthouse sofa before painting her face silver and heading out to a club to scout guys. She finds herself attracted to the cigarette smoking brotha in the white undershirt, commonly referred to as a "Lauryn Hill beater" shirt. I tell you what Ė Iíd never break Lauryn Hillís heart. Wyclef did it and got four or five songs written about him on her last album. If I did it, I know sheíd be looking for rhymes to words like "neglect" and "three-inch, white penis." --AH 
     (**1/2)  Lauryn Hill kickiní it in a mansion in Haiti? What the fuck. Ahh, but sheís rich you say! I donít care, being rich in Haiti means you have a thatched roof, instead of no roof. Besides, what else can I say when she spends the first minute of the video just sitting on her damned couch? My impending assasination by Haitain immigrants aside, Lauryn continues on in the lyrical spirit of her first single, "That Thing." Not my favorite of the Refugee All-Stars by any means, but sheís definitely making it on her own. --JW 

Natalie Imbruglia Ė Smoke (1998) 
     (**)  The guy who directed "Smoke" knew what he needed to focus on -- Natalieís cute face and, occasionally, the top half of her body. He rented out a white soundstage and was out of there in an hour, Iím guessing. With such a camera-friendly subject, he must not have thought anything else was worth including in the video. You have to wonder, is it avant garde or just low budget? The video and the song, both. "Smoke" isnít quite as catchy as "Torn." Itís more in the Fiona Apple cute-girl lounge singer kind of vein, and this time Natalieís wearing a tight black outfit instead of those cargo pants and sweatshirt. What a range. The only budget expenditure on the video, as far as I can tell, are the special effects for when Natalie turns into black smoke and disappears, only to reappear again out of the same black smoke. What a commentary on the fleeting and temporal nature of life. --AH 
     (**)  I wish Natalie Imbruglia would appear in our living room like that. --JW 

Jennifer Love Hewitt Ė How Do I Deal 
     (**)  How many hours would I spend ravaging this body? Many. Days and weeks. My daily routine can wait. But damn, is this a lame flash-in-the-pan video that exists solely to exploit the beauty of a teen star whose song is from the soundtrack of her latest godawful movie. The thing is, even under layers of makeup and screwy camera angles, she still looks like Jennifer Love Hewitt, which means I never turn this video off. The only circumstances under which this video would be cool is if she was my girlfriend and she made me this video as a joke for my birthday or something. Yeah, Iíll keep dreaming. What a rack on her. --AH 
     (*1/2)  Yíknow, she looks a lot better when sheís not trying to dress like a rock and roll whore. Itís her wholesome cuteness that makes us fawn over her. Itís certainly not her I.Q., or her singing voice. Get a clue, Jennifer! Next video, quick, Party of One! --JW 

Jay-Z -- Hard Knock Life (Week 3) 
     (zero) I canít escape from flipping on this video, and I canít turn it off. I know itís bad, but Iím frozen in horror. Itís like watching somebody burn to death on network television. The fight to retain my mind continues... --JW 

Jewel -- Who Will Save Your Soul? 
Jewel -- Who Will Save Your Soul?
     (***)  Who could believe Iíd be watching this video thinking about what it was like in "the good old days" of Jewelís career. That was less than two years ago! Of course, you probably know what Iím talking about. In this song she comes across as a beautiful and honest folksy singer/songwriter, and the video has the same raw feel to it. Of course, the next year would show us that Jewel is in fact a calculating bitch who spent way too much time going to art college, but we didnít know that yet! What a waste. I guess living in your car for two years gives you a God complex. --JW 
Jewel -- Who Will Save Your Soul?

Master P f/Chef Ė Kennyís Dead 
     (**)  This video is a combination of something I absolutely hate and something I love. Nothingís right. Iím torn. "South Park," even though history will probably relegate it to novelty status, is one of the best shows of the Ď90s. Master P, and I hope history relegates him to novelty status, is one of the most shameful rappers of the Ď90s. The video is a mishmash Ė not the funniest of "South Park" and not the worst of Master P, although there are too many "Ugggggh!" cries for my taste. In the video, Kenny explores Vegas, gets some chicks and eventually gets stomped. Chef chauffeurs an animated Master P as they "ride" around town for their dead homie Kenny. Somewhere along the way, I think they pour out a 40 ouncer for him. Riding and beer pouring for the recently deceased are interesting customs among rappers, even more so when theyíre mourning dead cartoon characters. Sure, little Kenny was poor, but in the words of Master P, at least "he wasnít no Crip or no Blood." --AH 
      (**)  Also known as "The Many Deaths of Kenny McCormick." No, not really, but I can see it as a No Limit concept album. Okay, say what you want, call me sophomoric, but I really like "South Park." In its own fart-joke-laced kind of way, itís actually somewhat intelligent. That said, this whole album follows the tradition set forth by The Simpsons Sing the Blues and The Beavis and Butthead Experience. Translation: youíll be able to find it in bargain bins nationwide in a couple years. Itís worth it for the "SP" dialogue, but for a laugh, pay close attention at the end. Master P canít keep it at the fun, goofy level it was intended. Oh no, he had to make the whole thing a social message about Kenny growing up in the hood and the temporal nature of existence. No, Iím completely serious... --JW 

Mousse T. Ė Horny í98 
     (*)  At this point in the narrative, I should mention that we have digital cable at Apartment Y. With digital cable comes a selection of lackluster music video channels like Much Music and two Box channels, so occasionally weíll review some obscure shit. Case in point Ė Mousse T. Donít ask me what the hell this is or where it comes from. All I know is I just saw it on The Box and Iím mystified. This is some weird, obscure stuff. As a woman sings "Iím horny. Iím horny, horny, horny," the Easter bunny stands outside a supermarket, passing out condoms to exiting patrons who end up making delicious love in the backseat. Like I said, donít ask meÖ --AH 
     (*1/2)  Heís got a condom. Heís got a car. She needs a ride. What a video. --JW 

Britney Spears Ė Baby One More Time 
     (**)  It took about a hundred airings of this video, but I have it figured out. Britney Spears is one of those high school girls who thinks sheís a lot cooler than she is, only no one ever sees fit to stop and point it out to her. So she gets away with it, showing off her flat stomach while wearing a yellow spandex halter top and singing to us to hit her baby one more time. She leads the cheerleaders in the gym, dances in the hall and barely avoids getting into a post-class catfight with Mya. This isnít really painful to watch, but itís going to be one those hits no oneís going to own up to liking in about ten years when it turns up on curious late-Ď90s compilation albums. Iíll let this one slide, but Iím going to lose a lot of faith in the music industry if the world allows Britney Spears another hit. --AH 
     (**)  I must confess, I still believe that Brittany is a cute little girl. Iím inclined to notice that I leave this video on every time it comes on just to watch her dance. That said, how long can she coast on that? One more song? Maybe? I mean, after every 16-year-old boy in the country is done masturbating, sheís finished. --JW 

Tyrese Ė Sweet Lady 
     (*) Tyrese takes time off from modeling Calvin Klein underwear on the sides of buildings to sit on a city bus with headphones, singing the lyrics of some slow jam on the radio. Itís an embarrassing novelty hit only someone sexually attracted to the singer could enjoy. I mean, look, heís in a tanktop, singing as water drips on him. You canít take that seriously. If Sealís face had never been set afire, it might have looked this chocolatey beautiful. ĖAH 

Usher Ė Bedtime (live) 
     (*)  Man, how much would it suck to sit through an Usher concert? Iíd head for the snack bar the second he started having sex with his hat and massaging his engorged teen-idol nipples. By the encore, Iíd probably be gay. ĖAH 
     (zero)  No video, hardly audible lyrics and a million screaming teenage girls. What fun. Thanks Much Music, thanks a whole bunch. These arenít the real lyrics, but this is what I heard: "Oh yeah girls, masturbate to me tonight bay-be. Turn that shower nozzle to hot, and rub it up and down... oh yeah. Then go buy my album, and do it some more... oh yes... I wish I was in Boyz II Men, but Iím not, so Iíll steal their look. Mmmm..." He doesnít care about you, girls! Go get yourself a good hometown boy and stop fawning over this crooning little bastard! --JW 
 

Z Music Video of the Week  

DC Talk Ė My Friend (So Long) 
     (***)  I have to wonder with how much irony this song was crafted. Itís a very thinly-disguised jab at Christian artists who have sold out to the secular music industry. Artists like, oh, say, DC Talk. Still, itís a wonderfully crafted pop song and entertaining video, which has the three members of dc Talk going to visit a dead friend. I donít know who it was, but the toe tag said "A. Grant. Died of crossover." The DC boys hang out in the hospital, wandering down the halls with peppy Christian pseudo-angst, and preside over some choreographed dancing nurses. Iím not sure if this album, which came out last October, has had any secular shelf life or not, but Iíd say this stuff is on par with most secular music. And finally thereís a Christian music video that looks good enough to pass for a big-budget secular one. ĖAH 
     (***)  Pay close attention, because youíre probably about to get the only good Z-Music video review that will ever be typed by moi. The boys have jumped a half-star over the course of the day because Iíve been humming the damned song all day. No, Iím serious. Still, how can I not take a few jabs at them? The air is so thick with irony itíd be a crime not to talk about it. Remember when Reel Big Fish made the big ska breakthrough a couple years ago with "Sell Out," which was all about how bands sell out their art for airplay? Of course, it was all over the radio. So much so they had to address it in their second album. This has the same feel to it. Their biggest song ever (This album hit #4 on the Billboard charts.) is all about how Christian bands sell out to secular rock to hit the big time. Hello, secularity! Sorry boys, once you start taking Goo Goo Dolls video production lessons, thereís no way back from VH1-land. Might as well face facts -- leave Carman to entertain the Flanders children, and get back to work on some more stuff like this. --JW 
 

Classic Videos 

John Lennon Ė Imagine (1970) 
     (**) Yes, I know, this song is amazing, but let me justify myself. This video is pre-MTV, so maybe I should cut it some slack. No, Iím sorry, I just canít let this stand. This would rate a 10 on the pretentiousness meter now; itíd just have a lot higher budget. My god, what a video to attach to Johnís masterpiece. For those of you who have been spared this, the concept is simple -- John plays the piano while Yoko runs around opening windows. Windows to that better world you can imagine. Get it? Yeah, I know. Itís too bad some nutcase wasnít hiding behind one of those windows waiting to get rid of the bitch and bring John back to us. Of course, then she would have become a legend and weíd have to listen to her whining voice until God knows when. This is a four-star song, but it gets demoted because the great mood the song puts me in gets destroyed because I just want to punch Yoko in the face. Hard. --JW 

George Michael Ė I Want Your Sex (1987) 
     (***)  I guess Iím secure enough in my sexuality that I can admit to liking this video. It was my eighth grade Bible class that made me like this song. They showed us a Christian anti-rock video called Hellís Bells that flashed the lyrics of this song on the screen as an example of what was wrong with the world. I thought it was kind of catchy. The video itself is one of the first MTV fashion romps, with a series of beautiful and exotic women all with water falling on various portions of their nude anatomies. Itís ridiculous, itís laughable and as far as Iím concerned, itís a music video classic. Nothing this audacious could be released today, either. Certainly not a video where George romps with women, writing on their bodies with lipstick. I can just hear George at the pitch meeting for this video. "Well, the lipstick can stay, but those women gotta go." --AH 
    (*)  Okay, well, I guess Iím just a closet queer, because this is one '80s staple I just donít get. What the hell is wrong with Andrew? How can he like this? I think weíve been had. Heís trying so very hard at this point to convince us all heís not gay, but I bet you if he made this today heíd just focus the camera on his ass the entire time. --JW 
     RANDOM JEREMY COMMENT: "He has to blindfold all the ladies before they have sex with him, 'cause heís just too damned pretty. Itís like when women have sex and blindfold each other so they can pretend theyíre not lesbians." 

Nelson Ė Canít Live Without Your Love and Affection (1990) 
     (zero)  Why werenít all copies of this video recalled and burned in 1991? --AH 
     (zero)  Studies show that 70% of girls in the Ď80s biggest fantasy was having sex with bubble-headed blond twins at the same time. Itís the only answer. --JW 

Tone-Loc Ė Wild Thing (1988) 
     (**1/2)  Whatís different about Ď80s and Ď90s pop rap is that the joke rappers who stole beats and riffs in the Ď80s never became superstars. If Tone Loc came along today with this tripe, heíd be the next Puff Daddy. Instead, heís relegated to novelty status Ė when you want to get people dancing and laughing at your party, you throw this on and it still gets Ďem. Itís a cool song, and a testament to low-budget nobodies. Iím betting you Tone Loc charged the costs of the entire video to his Discover card and never even came close to his credit limit. Itís another case of bare soundstage, uniform-looking white girls rented from Robert Palmer and a guy with a turntable stapped to his chest. It hasnít held up incredibly well, but it still pops up every now and then on late-night cable and you know what? I watch it every time. --AH
     (**1/2)  Okay, Iíll admit it, I like this. Tone Loc had no illusions about what he was doing. He knew he had no place in music history, and that heíd only get two songs. So, he had a lot of fun along the way, and it shows through in this video. Of course, itís a tad obvious he was watching Robert Palmer videos when he filmed this, but the guitar-playing fly girls are cute, so I let it slide. Itís also commendable that he was so vocal in his video about not paying for sex. He knew heíd need the money when his 15 minutes were up. --JW

 
 
 
Copyright 1999 Apartment Y Productions