There’s something you may not know about me. In fact, Gotty™ and I share this same trait in a sense. I like ignorant music and make no qualms about it. It’s the reason why Webbie, Waka Flocka and the 2007-2009 Gucci Mane are held in high regards to the type of music they make. And you know what else? Nelly’s “Tip Drill” video ranks as one of my greatest, most ignorant moments of my near 26 years on this planet.
Before the moral police come and shut this place down, let me say this these two facts. One, the video was misogynistic, offensive and any other word used to describe its unflattering qualities. And two, I was raised by two black women my entire life – my mother and grandmother – so miss me with the “you hate Black women” speech. I love Black women far beyond any sexual innuendo.
That being said, the video was groundbreaking. From a first listen, the song “Tip Drill” was racy by itself, yet easy to learn. There wasn’t much rapping involved; instead there were more chants than anything. Actually, it was a style that Mike Jones would go on to present to the masses a year later (the whole “let-me-say-the-line-twice-just-in-case-they-didn’t-hear-me-the-first-time” rhyme scheme). A young Tins, still only about 17, possibly 18 at the time, was a veteran of BET Uncut like most other teens my age at the time were.
We lived through the program’s airing of the 504 Boyz’s “Wobble Wobble,”, Ludacris’ “P*ssy Poppin’,” 50 Cent’s classic motion picture for “Many Men” and even Black Jesus’ “What That Thing Smell Like” which featured a now prophetic guest appearance by one Herman Cain at the beginning of the video.
“Tip Drill,” however, trumped them all. And maybe because it teetered the line of porn and music video ever so carefully, but in all of its controversial glory, Nelly, the St. Lunatics and their stripper friends would go on to drive three universal truths into the fabric of American pop culture (ok, maybe just my mind) to this very day.
1. BET Uncut was never watched the same again. Everything else was a precursor to this, the main event. The show’s programmers knew to make it the last video because it was like hanging fresh meat over a sea of sharks. They made you wait 55 minutes for five minutes of TV-MA glory. And when they actually rewarded viewers for their patience, all was right in the world. Even an adolescent AJ was locked in a Cleveland bedroom amazed how strippers could make one cheek move while the other remained stationary. But when they didn’t though? The only thing more disappointing from a TV standpoint was when Torres died in the car explosion on New York Undercover.
2. Nelly solidified his place in Hip-Hop history. Country Grammar was enough to keep him in the record books, but this right here always made sure he never fell too far off the map. Even when I think his music has plunged off the deep end (which it has), there’s always the thought of this x-rated masterpiece he afforded the world. Hell, this video was what I thought college was going to be 24/7. You know how excited I was to be heading to school thinking stuff like this would happen on a daily basis? The crazy thing is though, it basically did.
3. My mother never looked at Nelly the same again, which is sad because “Hot In Herre” remains one of her favorite rap songs of all time. She asked me to show her the video and I did mainly because I wanted get a kick out of her reaction. And yes, it was well worth sacrificing Nelly a fan for doing so. The funny thing about it was her co-worker was the one who told her about it. This one’s not really a “truth,” I just wanted to put this out there.
4. “Tip Drill” set the precedence for what every man hopes his bachelor party mimics. If your Best Man throws you a party like this, pat that man on the back and say thank you. He’s sending you out on top. My bachelor party’ll be just like this. Football jerseys, the card swipe, the whole f*ckin’ nine. We’re partying like the 2011 Dallas Mavericks on my last night of being single. You know, whenever that is.