Twista scrolls down memory lane with five throwback rap videos
1. Wu-Tang Clan “C.R.E.A.M.” (1993)
Twista Says: “This video is the sh-t. It helped birth Twista. When this album came out, I was hanging out in Kankakee, Illinois, a lot with my DJ. This ushered a new feel and a new vibe for what it was like to be in a crew. So when I saw this, I was like, ‘Damn, some real a– n—as from New York, got together and got a crew.’ And they dropping that real shit—that’s what I thought about “C.R.E.A.M,” it was the real. When this came out, I was like, ‘This is real New York right here. These guys are representing New York from a real perspective.’
When this album came out, I was bumping the shit out of it, and writing songs after I was done listening to it. The crazy sample was my shit in the video. A lot of artist took the format of how they shot videos from this video, with a lot of guys standing around chilling doing their thing. So this was like a blueprint for this vibe. I remember standing in alleys with big puffy coats and everything.
This video was gritty before all the flashy stuff. They started to make money, and they started to show what they have. I enjoyed that era in hip-hop, too. People like P. Diddy helped usher in a whole new look that we haven’t been accustomed to seeing. I think of Mase and Diddy doing certain videos together—the whole Bad Boy era was the shit. It showed you that hip-hop is bigger than just the urban community, that anybody from any facet of life can be a baller.
2. Tupac “Ambitionz Az A Ridah” (1996)
Twista Says: “This had a big influence in Chicago right here. In our era, this would be considered our favorite artist like someone today would consider Lil Wayne his or hers. Tupac probably played one of the biggest influences on me. Especially as far as quantity, he showed artists how to really record and maximize the game for what it’s really worth. As an artist as a whole, he paved the way. “Ambitionz Az A Ridah” helped pave the way for songs like “Adrenaline Rush.”
[Meeting Tupac] was cool. We met on the West Coast at a show with Digital Underground. I was opening up for him. I got a chance to chop it up with him a little bit. Even from the beginning when I met him, if he was playing in your town, he always wanted to represent the right way and link up with the people that really mattered in the area. It was definitely a cool experience.”
3. Missy Elliott “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” (1997)
Twista Says: One of the most creative artists in the game. To this day, this is one of my favorite videos. It’s arguably one of the top ten best videos I’ve ever seen. Very innovative, I have never seen anything like this. This reminds me of the creativity of Busta Rhymes. Missy is real laidback and cool. When you see her vibe, you’re like, ‘Wow. she is so humble to be so talented.’ I respect the hell out of her and Nicki Minaj. I like Missy and Nicki Minaj because they broke the mold of you thinking about them as women. They made themselves arguable amongst other artists, which happen to be men.”
4. R. Kelly “Trapped In The Closet Chapter 1” (2005)
Twista Says: “The main thing that comes to my mind when I see this video is how creative R.Kelly is. He can literally take his music to another level and make a movie out of it. This was pretty much a movie, chapter by chapter. His acting ability and everything. I don’t know about a lot of other people but those first few just showed a whole new idea of music so I give R.Kelly a lot of props for being able to do so many songs on the same subject manner.
It made me think about movies like The Wizard of Oz that had musical dialogue along with it.”
5. Twista “Celebrity Overnight” (2004)
Twista Says: “This just makes me think about downtown Chicago. I remember Erik White shot the video. It put a lot of models in the game too. A lot of the females that started to do their thing got put on with this video. My favorite thing about this video is being able to shoot it in downtown Chicago. This is my favorite video that I shot out of all of them.”