[FoRK] AP Wire 'outs' BET Uncut
Rohit at ICS.uci.edu
Mon Apr 12 16:48:32 PDT 2004
[Dammit!! I hope this doesn't get them pulled -- because it's the
staple of a fine midnight gym rat routine> It's inspiration for the
treadmill, even if the programming afterwards isn't :-) -- RK]
Really wild videos come out at night
'BET Uncut' just one source of rapidly racier content
Monday, April 12, 2004 Posted: 3:03 PM EDT (1903 GMT)
Nelly's "Tip Drill" video features bottomless women and simulated sex
NEW YORK (AP) -- Given all the barely clad women that are
booty-shaking, grinding and gyrating on BET during the day, it's hard
to believe things could get any wilder after dark.
But as the rap group Whodini once rhymed, "the freaks come out at
night." And on BET -- already criticized for showing hip-hop videos
with a high nudity quotient -- the clips become even more graphic
during the wee morning hours on "BET Uncut."
While outright nudity is blurred out, the videos still contain enough
sexual content to make R. Kelly blush. There's Ludacris' "Booty Poppin'
" video, featuring close-ups of jiggling posteriors as women take it
all off in a strip club. And in Nelly's "Tip Drill" video, women shake
so wildly that bikini bottoms pop off, and a posse of leering men grab
various body parts. Later, the women simulate sex acts with themselves.
"Everybody's doing them. I think it's a helluva promotional tool," said
Luther "Luke" Campbell of 2 Live Crew fame, widely considered the
godfather of scandalous music videos.
Sex has long been part of hip-hop. Campbell's early '90s videos had
bikinied women doing the butt-jiggle back when "dirty dancing" was
still considered shocking. Tupac Shakur's "How Do You Want It" video in
1996 featured real porn stars (although they didn't have sex on
camera). And these days, everyone from Snoop Dogg to Lil' Jon to
G-Unit's Lloyd Banks are promoting videos that are actually X-rated.
Before, artists were mostly making sexually oriented material for the
underground market -- providing them to strip clubs, or selling them as
part of videos or DVDs. Now, they're bringing them directly to
television, through places like "BET Uncut" and the Playboy network.
And more outlets are growing for those who want to see more -- or less
-- than a bikini.
"It's almost like the other videos are like foreplay and the uncut
videos are the act themselves," says video director Nzingha Stewart, a
woman who has directed clips for artists ranging from ODB to Common to
'It's kind of like soft porn'
Snoop Dogg has hosted several videos, and is now part of the Playboy
Channel's "Buckwild" hip-hop show.
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Explicit videos aren't exclusive to rap. There were topless women on
Motley Crue's 1987 video "Girls, Girls, Girls," which was recently
featured on an uncensored rock videos DVD from Interscope. Madonna's
"Erotica" video from 1992 featured the singer completely naked,
obscured only by strategically placed black bars. (MTV played it, but
only in the early morning hours.)
But the videos on "BET's Uncut" make Madonna seem as tame as Clay Aiken.
They typically feature full-figured black women dirty dancing at a
frenetic pace. Close-ups are reserved not for faces, but for voluptuous
posteriors. In Nelly's video, he swipes a credit card between a women's
Even Big Boi of OutKast -- an avid strip-clubber who had a stripper
pole built into his house -- has been taken aback by some of the
"Some of it is getting really distasteful -- it's like giving it a bad
taste, it's really exploiting women," he says. "What they're doing now
it's kind of like soft porn. I saw some (stuff) the other day. ... I
didn't even know they could do that on TV."
The show started in September 2000, and airs Wednesday through Friday
at 3 a.m. Eastern time.
Stephen Hill, a senior vice president for BET, said "Uncut" is for
adult eyes only -- a disclaimer runs before the naughty videos air.
"Any kid up at 3 o'clock in the morning, their biggest problem is not
BET," he said.
That doesn't take TiVo and VCRs into account, but Hill insists that
"nothing that we run on 'Uncut' is not seen in prime-time television."
Indeed, There is plenty of blurred nudity on regular television today,
from CBS' "Survivor" to MTV, which has even shown naked couples licking
whipped cream off each other. Typically, though, such content is not
usually presented in such a raw fashion.
"BET just gets more of a rap for it because critics focus more of their
attention on BET," Hill says.
But Stewart complains that uncensored videos promote negative
"I don't think there should be necessarily be censorship of the images
of women, but it's an extremely one-sided look at women. There's no
other images to counteract it," she says. "I can't tell you the last
video I saw where a black woman had a job, and that's really more our
experience than black women being strippers."
And after sex, prayer
More is on the way -- the Playboy network started their "Buckwild" show
this year and plans to start a block of hip-hop programming called
"H.Y.P.E" later this year, as a precursor for a network of the same
name. (Universal Music Group was reported to be starting its own
uncensored music video network, but a spokeswoman called that
Artists have made videos for sexually explicit songs for years. Why are
the videos finally catching up?
"People want more. The sex is definitely in the music, and sex is in
all aspects in the music," says Campbell.
Whether we'll ever see Britney Spears "Uncut" is doubtful. But BET's
channel already has fans among the mainstream set.
R&B hitmaker Usher, who counts himself as a viewer, says he might even
consider doing one -- but only if its "tastefully done."
Still, he admits it's a guilty pleasure: "You're kind of in the wrong
for even watching it."
"Then what's crazy about it, after it's off, the inspiration of the day
comes on," he says, referring to the BET's block of religious
programming, which starts at 4 a.m.
"I guess you've got to get 'prayed up' after watching it," he laughed.
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