From Dropping It Like It’s Hot To Oscars: 10 Celebrities Who Got Their Video Vixen On Before Making It Big (Fellas Too!)
It’s not easy getting to the top. Or heck, near the top for that matter. And before some of these celebs could do very big things, they had to pay their dues and do what they needed to for experience, and of course, money. When you’re trying to hustle in Hollywood, nobody’s too good to do a little somethin’ somethin’ in a music video to pay the rent. Especially when you’re a so-called “model.” Check out these 10 celebrities who got face time in music videos before they could move to the big screen.
Boris Kodjoe – “Red Light Special”
Before he met and married Nicole Ari Parker and had two kids, had a defunct TV show, and was named one of People‘s “Most Beautiful People In The World,” Kodjoe was a prostitute.
In a music video. Ha! I had you fooled didn’t I? But seriously, the former model-turned-actor showed up in the TLC video, “Red Light Special” to lick T-Boz’s foot and make the boa look on a man fierce! I also wasn’t mad at the ab action and striptease he tried to pull near the end of the video. I can’t see Kodjoe doing this now, but it wouldn’t hurt for him to get back out there and drop it like it’s hot in a video. What else does he really have going on?
Halle Berry – “Honey Love”
As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Halle didn’t win an Oscar in a day either. That ish took some good time, and a few forgetful roles. One I’m sure she doesn’t feel it’s necessary to bring up is her time being ogled and rubbed on by R.Kelly in his video, “Honey Love” from ’92. Halle was rocking her short mushroom cut and a load of makeup, and was looking very young. This was of course during her early modeling career, and she didn’t stay in the video vixen game for very long. But how can you forget this random video? There was Public Announcement popping and honey being poured on folks. Great song, questionable visuals.
Tyrese – “My Way”
Before he dropped his debut album, yet after he caught some people’s attention by singing on the back of a bus for some Coca-Cola, Tyrese was beefing with Usher on camera in his video for “My Way.” Earring underneath his bottom lip, head sparkling and showcasing a mean denim jumpsuit, Ty Ty showed off some interesting dance moves and battled over a sequin-clad sista with Usher. At the time, Usher was the beez-neez so most of the attention was put on him, but Tyrese was looking pretty good himself. To this day, he still shows up in music videos for other artists, including “Love” with Keyshia Cole and “Telephone” with Lady Gaga and Beyoncé.
Lisa Raye – “Toss It Up” You know you’ve come a long way when you’re lucky enough to be Pac’s leading lady in a video. Way before Lisa Raye was knocking folks out in Player’s Club and breaking fashion rules by wearing all-white everything after Labor Day, she was shaking that “thang” in front of a Rolls Royce for Pac and the camera and giving video vixens a run for their money. Oh, and doing so in premiere ’90s fashions, including sparkly dresses that you would probably balk at now.
Kim Porter – “Feenin'”
Kimmy Kim was showcasing her good looks in music videos years before she was walking around arm-in-arm with Diddy and pushing out his babies. She was cheesing it up in Al B Sure videos one minute (Al is the father of her son, Quincy, of course) and then swapping spit with fine a** DeVante Swing from Jodeci in the “Feenin'” video. Well, he was fine around that time at least. You can catch her around the 4-minute mark waltzing into DeVante’s cell at a mental asylum. Yeah, you read right. The video was all over the place.
Jesse Williams – “Russian Roulette”
Before Jesse Williams was a major face and force on “Greys Anatomy,” he was one of Rihanna’s elite leading men. Post her domestic abuse incident with Chris Brown, Rihanna tried to return to the game with a more serious look and sound, dropping the track “Russian Roulette” as her debut single from the Rated R album. In the video they of course play a dangerous game of Russian roulette and a sweaty, dirt-covered Williams sadly gets a bullet in the head by the end of it all. Kind of sad…but I was more focused on how fine Williams looked even when he was looking mad grimy…
Leon – “Like a Prayer”
Before Leon Robinson became something of a sex symbol and a must-see for black women in the ’90s thanks to movies like Cool Runnings, The Five Heartbeats and Waiting To Exhale (even if he was a deadbeat in the movie), he had a HUGE role playing in the music video, “Like A Prayer” by Madonna, shot and released in 1989. He played the role of a do-good saint who is wrongly accused of murder. Since the video was voted as the second biggest video of the ’80s (behind “Thriller”), his first video role was definitely a great look that put his foot waaaaay in the door.
Lauren London – “Frontin” A very young looking Lauren London appeared in the “Frontin” video with the same sass she’s had in every role she’s ever taken on. However, with her big smile and deep dimples, there was something innocent and cute about her. This wouldn’t be her last Pharrell video (she also had a cameo in “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and “That Girl” later), and despite her small screen time, she made a big impression on the fellas. I’m sure Lil Wayne was somewhere watching and plotting…
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje – “Love No Limit”
Before he was the much talked about Simon Adebisi on HBO’s “Oz,” London-born Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was a model. Tall, muscular, dark chocolate and handsome, you could catch him in En Vogue’s “Giving Him Something He Can Feel,” as well as Dawn Penn’s “No No No,” but of course, he was the main attraction in Mary J. Blige’s “Love No Limit” video. Though they never talked or even touched one another in this video, the chemistry was there and I’m sure they would have been hot together. Oh well, we’ll have to just take what we can get and enjoy the song and video.
Jennifer Lopez -“That’s The Way Love Goes”
A few years after she left her post as a fast moving, high-kicking “Fly Girl” on “In Living Color,” Lopez showed up in “That’s The Way Love Goes” as Janet Jackson’s homegirl checking out her new track. Around that time, Lopez ended up being a background dancer for Janet. Of course, Lopez was dancing around in the video with an unknown fella, and even had some lines in the video while rocking a high bun with those creepy ’90s side bangs: “Janet, listen to us when we’re talking to you!” Unfortunately, J.Lo tried to deliver this line in a fake, thick Puerto Rican accent. Stick to dancing, girl, stick to dancing.
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