Words by Mr. Mecc
Believe it or not, there was a time in Hip-Hop when video vixens ACTUALLY had to have some level of talent to be in a video! You couldn’t just look pretty and pose on all fours to get some shine in the business. And if you look back at the original video vixens, you’ll see the proof is in the pudding (or at least the cakes).
Take a look at some of the GVOATs then and now.
1. THEN: Leslie “Big Lez” SegarSource:Getty
First seen in Mary J. Blige’s video for her debut single “You Remind Me,” Big Lez was known for the Venus Williams body and the handstand full split aka “P. popping on a handstand” before the phrase became popular.
After hosting for B.E.T. Lez has stepped behind the camera and stayed with choreographing and has gotten into production for radio and television including stints for Steve Harvey in L.A.
3. “You Remind Me” video
4. THEN: Paula AbdulSource:Getty
Although the former Laker cheerleader got her start doing choreography for the Jacksons, her original on camera debut came after she got to play one of Janet’s homegirls in the video for “Nasty Boys.”
5. NOW: Paula AbdulSource:Getty
Setting the original mold for Jennifer Lopez, released super-successful solo albums leading up to her becoming a groundbreaking judge on the original American Idol.
6. THEN: Jennifer LopezSource:Getty
If you were watching television in 1990, you might remember a fresh-faced Latina lovely named Jennifer being introduced by DJ SW-1 on Fox’s “In Living Color.” Now even though he wasn’t really a DJ, turns out, she was really a dancer. Something she proved later by popping up in Janet Jackson’s “That’s The Way Love Goes” video.
7. NOW: Jennifer LopezSource:Getty
Jennifer turned into J-Lo, then told everybody that Jenny from the block’s love didn’t cost a thing. After that she dated Diddy, ran with Affleck, and married Marc Anthony in between doing movies, selling make-up, clothing lines, perfume and whatever the hell else she wanted. Bravo Bronx girl… bravo.
8. THEN: Gloria VelezSource:Getty
The bad ass baby mama of Aaron Hall, the former front man for Guy, hit the scene as one of Uncle Luke’s professional booty bouncers before making her way to the freaking for the camera in Jay Z’s “Big Pimpin” video before she added Ja Rule, Jagged Edge Sisquo, Ghostface, Khaled and The Game to the resume.
9. NOW: Gloria VelezSource:Getty
After a failed attempt at a rap career, Glo has all but faded from the public eye. But as easy on the eyes as she’s been, a comeback can happen in the clap of a cheek.
10. Jay-Z “Big Pimpin”
11. THEN: Lauren LondonSource:Getty
Lauren started out as the pretty face in Pharrell’s “Frontin” video before racking up a resume that included Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, The Young Gunz, Common, T.I. and others.
12. NOW: Lauren LondonSource:Getty
Instead of running to the music business, Lauren jumped straight to the movie game, landing leading roles in flicks like ATL, This Christmas, Madea’s Big Happy Family and television shows like Everybody Hates Chris, Single Ladies and The Game.
13. Pharrell “Frontin”
14. THEN: Vida GuerraSource:Getty
The Cuban export by way of New Jersey first made her mark in FHM magazine as model of the year. But if you don’t read, you probably know her from Nelly, Diddy and Murphy Lee’s “Shake a Tailfeather” and Kanye’s “Workout Plan.”
15. NOW: Vida GuerraSource:Getty
When she’s not shooting calenderers she’s shooting mini movies on her way to the big time. The latest one being “Going Down There,” a story about a guy who performs oral on his lady (Vida) for the first time. The term “roast beef” comes up. You’ve been warned.
16. THEN: Esther BaxterSource:Getty
Esther jumped out the box by putting her extra-special frame on front-street for Petey Pablo’s video for “Freek-A-Leek,” quickly followed up by a slew of vids with heavy hitters like Ludacris, Will Smith, Nelly and Kanye West.
17. NOW: Esther BaxterSource:Getty
After retiring from modeling, dabbling in acting and a high profile relationship and breakup with rapper Joe Budden, Esther is now looking to become a full time chef.
18. THEN: Karrine SteffansSource:Getty
After appearing in “Hey Papi” for Jay-Z, Superhead jumped on the scene by jumping out of her shirt as the only topless chick in Mystikal’s “Danger” video. After that came a blur of bootie for bucks, the original sex tape, snitch sessions disguised as books and a marriage to Eddie Winslow.
19. NOW: Karrine SteffansSource:Getty
Still cranking out relationship books between fueling Lil Wayne pregnancy rumors, Superhead still has us watching her words.
20. Mystikal “Danger”
21. Buffie The BodySource:Getty
Since her distinguished derrieres debut in Tony Yayo’s video for “So Seductive,” Buffie’s bootie became the stuff that legends are made of.
22. Buffie The BodySource:Getty
After just 3 videos, Buffie made a brief appearance in the film ATL before turning in her pin-up swag for the fitness game, promoting her Bodynomics workout plans off of her own website.
23. Tony Yayo, “So Seductive” [NSFW]
24. THEN: Melyssa FordSource:Getty
After being discovered by Director Little X tending bar in T. Dot, and being featured in Glenn Lewis’s “Things To Do” video, Melyssa Ford set the mold for the modern day video vixen. That is, the kind that didn’t have to dance or act. Just look good.
25. NOW: Melyssa FordSource:Getty
Melyssa is still on the screen, swapping out the video screen for the silver one, Meylssa took her talents to Hollywood, appearing most recently in the movie “Think Like A Man” and the web series, “Lenox Avenue.”