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Earlier today A$AP Rocky unveiled a very gold-plated visual for "Goldie," off his upcoming Sony/RCA debut LongLiveA$AP. The music video was indulged with brand names, high-end sneakers, champagne bottles, and the very lit-up city of Paris. While it was nowhere near the flamboyance of rap's more economically stable days—with million dollar budgets, and video girls who were actually pretty—this footage from the Harlem rising star had XXL reminisce about the past. Walk down the memory lane, and peep 10 of hip-hop's most gaudy rap music videos. —XXL Staff (@XXLStaff)
Ma$e "Feel So Good," Harlem World (1997)
Before his stint as a smiling pastor, Ma$e was once at the forefront of extreme flashiness. Case in point the above video, which showcases Murda Ma$e throwing money out of a Mercedes Benz with fireworks exploding in the backdrop. It's certainly better than getting fired out of cannons, no?
Nas ft. Puff daddy "Hate Me Now," I Am... (1996)
Talk about being disrespectfully gaudy. In this memorable visual, Nas and Diddy push the level of controversy and flashiness to the maximum. Shutting down an entire boulevard with goons, spilling champagne on models, rapping aside an endangered white tiger, and having explosions in the background while walking...No wonder they were getting hated.
Jermaine Dupri ft. Jay-Z "Money Ain't A Thang," Life In 1472 (1998)
J.D. and Hov holler "Money Ain't A Thang" and the music video—with Benjamins thrown around like napkins—does the chorus and title proper justice.
Cam'ron ft. Juelz Santana "Oh Boy," Come Home With Me (2002)
From Burberry-coated Timberland boots and a matching cloth to cover up the Lamborghini, to bottles of Moët, Armadale and Cristal—plus platinum-diamond encrusted chains; this Dipset video brought street flamboyance back to 125 in Harlem, and fans around the world ate up the whole style like hot cakes.
Jay-Z ft. UGK "Big Pimpin'," Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter (1999)
One of the most expensive rap videos ever produced, this infectious single off Jay-Z's Life & Times of S. Carter not only introduced a gang of top-notch video models, but it also taught the act of champagne juggling later coined as "Dame Dashing." Jiggaman that's what's up...
B.G. ft. Big Tymers & Hot Boyz "Bling Bling," Chopper City in the Ghetto (1999)
The word is now on Webster. That's more "flashy" than the actual video if you think about it.
Big Tymers ft. Lac, Lil Wayne & Juvenile "#1 Stunna," I Got That Work (2000)
The epitome of gaudy flamboyance, Cash Money and Big Tymers were crucial figures in affecting an entire generation of youth to actually believe the flashy fantasy flossed in their rap videos. Shame on them, but it was great while it lasted.
The Notorious B.I.G. "Hypnotize," Life After Death (1997)
Yachts, helicopters, mermaids, car chases, champagne, Versace and plenty more. What more can Puffy say except for "take that"?
The Notorious B.I.G. ft. Ma$e & Puff Daddy "Mo Money, Mo Problems," Life After Death (1997)
Shiny suits. Check. Shutting down Flushing Meadow Park. Check. NASA training stimulator. Double check. Bad Boy surely knew how to up the budget for their music videos, especially for B.I.G.'s sparkling Life After Death single. R.I.P. B.I.G.
Big Tymers "Still Fly," Hood Rich (2002)
Birdman and Mannie Fresh keep it extra shiny in this flashy video for their Hood Rich single. "New shoes on the whip and I wake up the bubbly/430 Lex with convertible top/The rims keep spinning every time I stop/Got a Superman Benz that I scored from Shaq/With a old school Caddy with a diamond in the back." What is this a car commercial? Too bad they weren't getting paid by those auto giants. #Promotingforpeoplethatdontlikeyou