There are distinct moments in Hip-Hop history where you can pinpoint the decline of an artist or a trend. From 50 Cent losing his sales battle with Kanye West a decade ago to Hammer donning a thong for the “Pumps and a Bump” video, we’ve seen our share of fall-offs and “NAH” moments in this game. Time will tell if we arrived at another such instance with today’s release of YG’s bawdy “Pop It, Shake It” video.
The clip features YG leading a hedonistic pool party filled with strippers and (IG Booking) models. This isn’t a new concept. 2 Live Crew and later a solo Luke laid the blueprint for the how to feature (exploit?) curvaceous models twerking and pussy-poppin’ to infectious bass and drums. Not much has changed nearly 30 years later.
Well, except for one key area. While it would be extremely naive to believe the video vixens of yesteryear were “all-natural,” the last decade has been focused on celebrating models with surgical augmentation that has become exceeding absurd. “Pop It, Shake It” lends itself to that trend with a lead model whose backside looks like it came straight off Frankenstein’s table.
Considering that we haven’t seen a mainstream video this blatantly explicit in years, fans have already started the comparisons to Nelly’s infamous 2003 video “Tip Drill.” While Nelly has the famous card credit swipe between the ass cheeks shot, YG equals the smuttiness with salad tossing topped with flowing champagne.
Look kids, far from me to engage in the generational wars we’ve seen on social media been young and old(er) Hip-Hop fans. But damn it, ” Tip Drill” is where I draw the line. “Pop It, Shake It” is not this “generation’s Tip Drill.” There is no “Tip Drill” of this era. That video can only be equaled by vintage Luke. Back in my day, at least our disgusting objectification of women featured strippers with competent surgeons!
But in all seriousness, the fake booty era is on the clock. It reached its apex several years ago with the popularity of the Kardashians and Nicki Minaj. Since then, women have spoken out on this unrealistic body standard as tragic cases hit the media of women dying from botched surgeries. Kendrick Lamar, despite some critical pushback, also declared his disdain for artificial body parts on “Humble.”
Fake booties will never be eradicated, much like Jay Z couldn’t completely destroy autotune with his “Death of Autotune” track. But the proverbial shark has been jumped. The immediate social media reactions show that dump trucks and inflated bubbles on stick legs are just not popping anymore. And while I don’t expect afros and Badu head wraps to start popping up in videos of this ilk, maybe we can return to a simpler time in Hip-Hop when the booty claps accompanying a misogynistic track flowed like waves and not cement.