What do you remember about '90s rap videos? Perhaps it's the iconic Hammer pants that M.C. Hammer wore in videos like “U Can’t Touch This,” or maybe it's Missy Elliott jamming out in 1997's “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)."
Buzzfeed asked some of their female staffers to revisit famous hip-hop music videos from the early 1990s -- when the women watching were only kids. Their mixed reactions shed light on the good, the bad, and the very scantily clad aspects of three rap videos.
First the participants watched Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” from 1992. While watching, one woman says, "I feel like I’m playing Where’s Waldo, only the game is spot the strong female protagonist and nobody’s going to win.” The second video, “Pop That Pussy” by 2 Live Crew from 1991, leaves the women a bit shellshocked. "I wanna give every woman in this video, like, a hug and a sweater,” says one of them.
And then Queen Latifah’s 1993 hit “U.N.I.T.Y.” comes on like a ray of sunshine, warming feminist hearts everywhere. "Everything that she’s saying in this song goes back to where rap’s foundation was," one woman explains, "which was giving people who felt like they didn’t have a voice in society that voice to be able to voice their concerns.”
We've made (at least a little) progress since 1991 when it comes to the way women are represented in music videos, but watching half-naked ladies "pop that pussy" for male enjoyment is enough to make you want to bathe yourself in Gloria Steinem's tears. As one woman says, "It’s moments like these that I think about what it would’ve been like if women had run the world from the beginning of time.”
Holler at your girl(s).