The Notorious B.I.G. featuring 112 “Sky’s the Limit”
Shot after the untimely death of The Notorious B.I.G., the Spike-Jonez-helmed video featured kids playing the parts of Biggie and 112 as well as other hip-hop notables like Diddy, Busta Rhymes and Lil’ Kim. Decked out in mini-Versace and furs, the tykes were remarkably spot-on in their mimicry. Big Poppa would be proud.
Destiny’s Child “Bootylicious (Remix)”
How do you make a song about “shaking it like the rent’s due” family-friendly? By adding Mini Me versions of Beyonce, Kelly, Michelle and Missy Elliott, of course! The “Bootylicious (Remix)” was filled with pre-pubescent sassiness and proved all kinds of cute.
Jay-Z “Hard Knock Life”
Jay-Z complemented his classic song’s bratty Annie hook with kids lip-syncing in Brooklyn; like a game of tag, anyone touched in the video began to sing the infectious hook. The cutesy interplay between Hov and the kiddos even sparked rumors that one (or two) of the kids was his own. We now know that Blue Ivy has that spot on lock.
Eminem has always incorporated his family, ex-wife Kim and daughter Hailie, into his lyrics. His tart honesty and candidness came together in the video for “Mockingbird” in which Marshall pens an emotional open letter to his daughter interspersed with personal home video footage of her growing up through the years.
Mariah Carey “Fantasy (ODB Remix)”
Mariah Carey’s collaboration with Wu-Tang’s ODB was a strange, lightning in a bottle moment when the worlds of rap and sugary pop collided. Perhaps the most memorable part of this Coney Island-based music video was a brief cameo by a chubby youngster in neon spandex, whose spunky ‘tude even outshined Mariah.
Jennifer Lopez “If You Had My Love”
If it works for Mariah… That seemed to be the case when Jennifer Lopez dropped her debut video for “If You Had My Love,” showcasing a young girl bouncing around in a very similar way to Mariah’s “Fantasy.” Oh no she didn’t, but yes, she did. The striking similarities fueled rumors of a diva beef between the two. Meow!
Lupe Fiasco, Kanye and Pharrell “Us Placers”
Taking a page from “Sky’s the Limit,” the video for “Us Placers” scrapped using the song’s artists and replaced them with little doppelgangers. Not quite as convincing as the Bad Boy version, but seeing baby versions of Kanye, Lupe and Pharrell (as well as very depressed Thom Yorke) was entertaining.
Dr. Dre “Nuthin’ but a G Thang”
Low riders, weed and 40ozs… How a toddler ended up at this West Coast gangsta barbeque escapes us, but his on-queue dancing was so cute that we completely forget the fact that someone dropped the parenting ball on this one.
50 Cent “Wanksta”
50 Cent threw a major dagger at his nemesis Ja Rule when he wouldn’t even let his son, Marquise, play with a fictional Ja doll. To make matters worse, no real Ja Rule doll even existed before this video, so Fif created one just to destroy it. Also, don’t forget to check the cameo by Lil Maxso, who gained fame as a 4-year-old rapping sensation.
Kanye West “Way Too Cold”
An honorable mention has to go to the kid in the viral “Way Too Cold” video that circulated earlier this year. It wasn’t exactly an official joint but the faux baby Kanye and Amber Rose impersonator traipsing around NYC looked pretty damn close to what Ye himself would have put out. That’s one kid who needs no swag school.