Music videos are truly the glue that holds together an artists identity, as intriguing lyrics aren’t enough. Accompanying visuals for songs can also help boost its popularity. Therefore, it’s very common for an artist to put a lot of thought, effort, and time into creating a video that stands out from the masses.
These artists found inspiration for their music videos from classic movies that we all know and love, giving us absolute nostalgia. Click through the next pages to check out a number of music videos we love even more because they were inspired by some of our favorite movies.
Destiny’s Child’s “Girl”
Sex and the City was one of those type of shows that had a massive cult following, and the group Destiny’s Child counted themselves as fans. They used the HBO show as the inspiration behind the video “Girl.” Needless to say, Beyonce played the part of Sarah Jessica Parker’s beloved character, Carrie Bradshaw. The video even included a shot of Destiny’s Child walking down a Manhattan street holding hands, a scene viewers of “Sex and the City” are familiar with.
Busta Rhymes’ “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See”
You can always count on Busta Rhymes to put together an entertaining music video. For “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” he tapped the legendary Hype Williams to serve as the director. Busta details that the idea for the video hit him while he was at the studio with engineers mixing the song. Coming to America was playing on TV and he felt the song had an African vibe to it. The video opened up with the rapper waking up and brushing his teeth with the help of several beautiful maids just like the movie.
Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”
Last year, Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” featuring Charli XCX dominated the charts and ruled the airwaves. The video was a cute rendition of the 1995 cult classic film Clueless. The Australian rapper took on the role of Cher, originally made famous by Alicia Silverstone. The video set was the first time Iggy and Charli actually met in person, and it ended up becoming one of the most watched music videos of 2014.
2Pac’s “California Love”
When Death Records CEO Suge Knight bailed 2Pac out of jail, the rapper went into the studio and gave his fans “California Love.” They spared no expense for the video with two versions being created. Director Hype Williams used Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome as inspiration. The first video took place in the desert in the year 2095 and starred Chris Tucker. The second video was created using the remixed version of the song, and included cameo appearances from DJ Quik, Deion Sanders, Jodeci, and E-40.
Jennifer Lopez’ “I’m Glad”
There’s no denying that Jennifer Lopez is just as good as a dancer (if not better) as she is a singer. The former Fly Girl put her dancing skills to use in her “I’m Glad” music video. She called on famed photographer/director David LaChappelle, who decided to recreate Jennifer Beals’ iconic dance performance in Flashdance. Staying true to the story line, Lopez plays an aspiring dancer who welds by day and dances at a bar at night.
Madonna’s “Express Yourself”
Madonna loves to create controversy and she’s managed to do that for much of her career. Her 1989 video “Express Yourself” ruffled a lot of feathers with accusations of Madonna of exploiting female sexuality. Based on the 1927 film Metropolis, the Material Girl played the part of a chained masochist flanked by muscular men who were at her every beck and call. Not to mention, the budget was a whopping $5 million. Directed by David Fincher, “Express Yourself” remains one of the most expensive music videos ever created.
Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home”
There’s no denying that Drake got in touch with his feminine side for his song “Hold On We’re Going Home.” But when it came to shooting the video, the Canadian rapper had a change of heart and went straight up gangster. He paid homage to the classic gangster flick Scarface. The seven-minute music video was set in Miami in circa 1985 and included plenty of white suits, scantily-clad women and a barrage of gunfire.
Tiara Thomas’ “One Night”
We knew Queen Latifah as a trailblazing female emcee, but we were introduced to Queen Latifah the actor after her breakout role in Set It Off. R&B starlet Tiara Thomas used the iconic film as the basis for her “One Night” music video. Thomas rounded up some of her home girls to pull off a bank heist.
Nas’ “Street Dreams”
When it came to playing stone cold mobsters Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci were some of the best actors to ever do it–they were on top of their game in Casino. So it was only right for Nas to find inspiration from that classic gangster movie when it came time to shoot the video for “Street Dreams.” Directed by Hype Williams, the video was shot in Las Vegas around the time of Tupac Shakur’s death and “Casino” actor Frank Vincent made a cameo appearance.
Ashanti certainly made a splash in the music industry with her debut single “Foolish,” and the video helped the song’s buzz grow even bigger. Directed by her label honcho Irv Gotti, the video was the urban version of Goodfellas, starring Terrence Howard, Charli Baltimore, Ja Rule and Gotti himself. Fun fact: “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” star Althea Heart also starred in Ashanti’s video and played Howard’s mistress.
Mila J’s “My Main”
Mila J had a hit on her hands with “My Main” featuring Ty Dolla $ign. For the DJ Mustard-produced song, the R&B songstress paid homage to her ride or die homegirl in the music video. Based loosely on the movie Coyote Ugly, Mila J and her female cohorts were armed with sawed off shotguns and their good looks. “My Main” has steadily climbed the charts while Mila J preps the release of her debut album.
Busta Rhymes’ “I Love My Chick”
Busta Rhymes loves turning movies into music videos and he did it again with “I Love My Chick” featuring will.i.am and Kelis. This time around the eccentric rapper tapped Benny Boom to direct the video, and used Mr. and Mrs. Smith as the source of inspiration. Actress Gabrielle Union starred as the female lead and Dr. Dre made a cameo appearance. Although will.i.am and Kelis were both featured on the song, the “Milkshake” singer was mysteriously absent from the video.
Lil Wayne’s “6 Foot 7 Foot”
Lil Wayne recorded “6 Foot 7 Foot” as soon as he was released from prison in 2009, and the video was based on the sci-fi heist thriller Inception. Directed by Hype Williams, several members of Weezy’s Young Money crew (minus Nicki Minaj and Drake) re-enacted scenes from the film. The explicit version of the video has racked up more than 91 million views on YouTube while the clean version has only been viewed three million times.
Erykah Badu’s “On & On”
For the “On & On” music video, Erykah Badu turned to the movie adaptation of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple for inspiration. Badu was depicted as a maid working in a Black household, performing chores around the house, which included chasing a dog off for messing around with her laundry hanging on a clothesline. The video ended with Badu and a group of people singing and dancing in a barn. “On & On” was nominated for MTV Music Video Awards for Best Female Video and Best R&B Video.
Paula Abdul’s “Rush Rush”
Before “Rush Rush,” Paula Abdul wasn’t known for singing ballads. For the slow paced song, Abdul and Keanu Reeves channeled Natalie Wood and James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause. The video included iconic location shots at Griffith Observatory, the infamous black 1949 Mercury vehicle, and even culminated in a climactic street race.