Bonfire of the Vanitizzle [rap-filter]
April 1, 2011 8:51 PM   Subscribe

Seeking urban bonfire imagery in rap videos. Usually the fire is just in the background and/or a crowd is gathered around it, while the rapper does his (usually his) thing. I feel I've seen plenty but am blanking on specific examples. Not thinking of scenes where the rapper is walking away in triumph from some scene of vengeful or simply spectacular explosion, however. (Sorry for horrid pun in title.)
posted by taramosalata to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Not exactly a rap video, but during Jay-Z's part in Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" video, there's a big fire in the background. I am embarrassed that this is the first example that sprung to mind...
posted by redfishbluefish at 9:19 PM on April 1, 2011

Would you accept Sandra Bullock in the forest?
posted by slidell at 9:26 PM on April 1, 2011

Wu Tang Clan - Ain't Nuthing Ta F' Wit / Shame on a nigga opens with the scene you describe.
posted by ChrisHartley at 9:31 PM on April 1, 2011

I think Bone Thugs-n-Harmony had a video like this.
posted by sanka at 9:59 PM on April 1, 2011

This is a very weird reference, but when WC does his c-walk in the "Bow Down" video, there is a bonfire on the giant-ass TV in the background. It always just struck me as odd, because it looked like the Christmas yule log on TV.
posted by milkrate at 10:24 PM on April 1, 2011

Field Mobb also has a fire scene in the "Georgia" video
posted by milkrate at 10:33 PM on April 1, 2011

And the Cypress Hill "Superstar" video has a lot of fire.
posted by milkrate at 10:41 PM on April 1, 2011

This Das EFX video is sort of there.
posted by cazoo at 10:47 PM on April 1, 2011
posted by citron at 10:55 PM on April 1, 2011 [9 favorites]

The video for Tupac's California Love features bonfires but not necessarily urban (the setting is more of a Mad Max style wasteland).
posted by amyms at 11:32 PM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Scarface's A Minute to Pray & a Second to Die is a narrative told around just such an object.
posted by squid patrol at 12:56 AM on April 2, 2011

Tim Dog's "Fuck Compton".

Also "Straight outta compton" starts out with the crew walking through fire...even some shoes on fire.

Wu-Tang's "Triumph" also has fire...not sure if thats what you're looking for.
posted by hal_c_on at 4:43 AM on April 2, 2011

sanka: "I think Bone Thugs-n-Harmony had a video like this."

They had a couple: thuggish ruggish bone and east 1999and possibly another or 2 in the pre-BTNHresurrection era that I can't think of.
posted by fizzix at 7:54 AM on April 2, 2011

The opening credits of Beat Street has a fire, but perhaps not quite the kind you're looking for. I have a faint memory that there is one of those "standing around the oil drum" moments somewhere else in the movie.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:25 AM on April 2, 2011

Well, the videos just stole the imagery from the movies, who have been using this scene for ages. For instance, in one of the finest homages to a city ever done on film, Trading Places (1983) features a group of homeless people outside warming their hands around a garbage bin fire 2 minutes and 10 seconds into the movie. Staying with Eddie, there's a small group of men huddled around a bin fire in Coming to America (1988) at the 25 minute, 50 second mark. I don't have the specific time on hand, but I'd bet a million dollars New Jack City (1991) has it at some point. Basically any movie made since the 1970s that shows a city's seedy underbelly in the winter time uses this cliche.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:47 AM on April 2, 2011
posted by citron at 10:55 PM on April 1 [7 favorites]

I came in here to post Mobb Deep; thought this comment was super snarky, but then it turns out it's real!
posted by johnnybeggs at 11:50 AM on April 2, 2011

I only wish the blog owner had kept posting, but there are at least 38 hip hop videos with flaming garbage cans! who knew?
posted by citron at 7:50 PM on April 3, 2011

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