Mtn Dew Kickstart Presents: The Most Iconic Pool Parties in Rap
The Mtn Dew Kickstart “It All Starts with a Kick” campaign was born from the belief that every epic adventure should have an equally epic beginning.
To celebrate Mtn Dew’s summer series of pre-game parties at the POOL at The LINQ, in Vegas (see here for dates), we’ve compiled a list of the most notable pool-party appearances in rap videos.
To paraphrase Chris Tucker in Friday: It’s summer, Green Label readers, and you ain’t got nothing to do. So why not shirk your waistcoats, responsibilities, and party?
Lounging poolside isn’t the sole province of George Hamilton and Rihanna–you, too, can grab a cold Mtn Dew Kickstart and survey the scene from behind your oversized shades. Rappers aren’t immune from this temptation, either; 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., and Jay Z have all eschewed mean-mugging in favor of splashing in chlorinated, crystalline waters. Here are ten videos of rappers who’ve (almost) perfected the pool party.
2Pac ft. Digital Underground, “I Get Around”
Digital Underground gave 2Pac his start, and the dancer/hype-man-turned-rapper repaid the favor by featuring Shock G and Money-B on “I Get Around.” Though guests are ushered in gated manses in both “Pumps and a Bump” and “I Get Around,” it’s really the latter that seems more like a party and less an excuse for the star to show off his cool new thong. (2Pac, it appears, preferred boxers.) In attendance at 2Pac’s party are the average array of neon bikinis, but it’s Shock G, shorn of his coonskin cap and Groucho Marx mustache ‘n’ glasses, who wins the day by jumping into the pool fully clothed.
Notorious BIG, “Juicy”
“Lunches, brunches, interviews by the pool…” “Juicy,” an exaggerated retelling of The Notorious BIG’s life, contains an array of aspirations for what should’ve been a lifetime of riches, and perhaps none are more specific than the possibility of conducting interviews and eating brunch by a pool. For the video, Biggie, Puffy, and the crew filmed at a house in the Hamptons with a rooftop pool and hot tub, backed by a double-decked pyramid that looks as ridiculous as it sounds.
French Montana, “Pop That”
“Pop That” is the true successor to the rap pool parties of the ’90s. There’s poolside gambling, women resembling R. Crumb’s comics, and not a single man in the pool–Uncle Luke of 2 Live Crew, whose vocals are sampled for the “Don’t stop, pop that” refrain, would surely approve. While French Montana is dressed like he never left The Bronx, an unknown, shaggy skateboarder tries kickflipping into the pristine pool–unfortunately for him, it’s filled to the brim with water. What a waste.
YG feat. TeeFlii, “Do It To Ya”
The fuzzy and granular video for YG and TeeFLii’s “Do It To Ya” is an intentional callback to the 1990s, the heydey of the rap video pool party. In fact, the song itself is an updated version of Tha Dogg Pound’s sultry “Let’s Play House.” YG and TeeFLii commit to the oeuvre: there’s the petulant, overweight friend, the curvy love interest, squirt guns, and people getting thrown in the pool fully-clothed.
Jay Z ft. UGK, “Big Pimpin”
The Hype Williams-produced “Big Pimpin’” is one of the standard-bearers for grandiose, late-’90s rap videos. Jay Z, UGK, and a perpetually shirtless Dame Dash arrived at Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago armed only with Champagne, stacks of currency suitable for throwing, and Pimp C’s fur coat. After a surely tiring day of dancing on a yacht, the group retires to a palatial estate, where Dash proceeds to spill Champagne on everything (and everyone) in sight, including a massive swimming pool and the camera itself. Which feels a lot like a predecessor to…
Kendrick Lamar, “Swimming Pools”
“Swimming Pools,” despite its upbeat melody and catchy lyrics, isn’t really about having fun or swimming in pools. Kendrick Lamar’s first massive hit actually proselytizes the dangers of over-consuming alcohol, and its continued misunderstanding as a party song is largely due to its uncharacteristically uncritical (and catchy) chorus.
MC Hammer, “Pumps and a Bump”
The original version of “Pumps and a Bump” was too lewd for MTV; an alternate video had to be commissioned, mostly free of crotch-thrusting and pool-partying.
It was a strange sartorial choice–Hammer’s skimpy attire was entirely dissonant with his recent turn toward G-Funk.
G-Slimm, “Fours Deuces And Trays”
G-Slimm’s only single (he met a tragically premature demise) “Fours Deuces & Trays” is largely a paean to lowriders. But, after an interstitial “Later That Day” slide, G-Slimm and his posse attend what appears to be a stock footage pool party. It’s an odd moment–aside from a couple of initial, quick flashes that theoretical establish its existence, there’s no sight of a pool, and the New Orleans rapper never interacts with a body of water.
Menajahtwa, “La, La, La”
Menajahtwa’s Spice and Royal T were part of Ruthless Records’ decision to hedge their bets by signing artists of all types–in their case, zesty, female rappers. In “La, La, La,” the women are less skimpily dressed than the men, with muscular, swimsuited butlers serving lemonade poolside. Label figurehead Eazy-E makes an appearance, reposed in a lounge chair, as do beanstalk producer Rhythm D and a blue-clad DJ Yella.
The Roots, “What They Do”
The Roots’ “What They Do” took aim at rap clichés, lyrically and visually. The song itself is Black Thought opining about rappers’ materialism and “fakeness,” and the video is a series of annotated jabs at an era of baroque, champagne-by-the-pool celebrations. As The Roots sit boredly on a patio, scantily-clad women dance next to an unfilled hot tub, the trees autumnal and shorn. The Notorious B.I.G. took offense, as did Pimp C of UGK, who rapped a brisk retort in on the mixtape Trill Azz Mixez.
Luniz, “I Got 5 On It”
Unfortunately, almost every cliché the aforementioned Roots decried is present in The Luniz’ video “I Got 5 On It.” There’s a sparsely-used pool, shimmy models, and flutes of the fancy stuff. Numskull and Yukmouth never actually go swimming, instead opting to play pool and rap barefooted while perched on a tiled, terraced water feature. The Club Nouveau-sampling “I Got 5 On It” remains the duo’s biggest hit, and catapulted their album Operation Stackola to Platinum status.