Whether intentional or not, sci-fi & fantasy has played a major role in music—especially when it comes to music videos. Maybe it was because the 90’s was the end of an era and the gateway to the unknown (the 2000’s), but the 90’s was specifically notorious for an array of sci-fi influenced videos—most often depicting the imagined future in the year 2k and beyond. In honor of Black Music Month, Black Sci-Fi.com brings you 18 Hip Hop and R&B music videos from black artists in the 90’s and beyond that are inspired by Sci-Fi and other genres within Speculative Fiction.
Without further ado, here are the first six examples of the melding of these two creative spheres.
Note: These entries are in no particular order.
Ready or Not- The Fugees
This classic from the iconic hip hop trio The Fugees mixed a sample of “Boadicea” from Enya with a chorus based on “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide from Love)” by The Delfonics and fused it into their dystopian/apocalyptic themed video for Ready or Not. Debuting in 1996, the single is from the group’s highly acclaimed sophomore album The Score. A visually dark and intense video backed by a hard thumping beat, thought provoking lyrics and a haunting yet soulful chorus sung by Lauryn Hill, the video depicts a time where the world seems to be in a state of unrest—where there’s a perceived theme of every man for him(her/them) self.
Ready or Not, refugees taking over
The Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock Rasta
On the twelfth hour, fly by in my bomber
Crews run for cover, now they’re under pushing up flowers”
The songs tells a tale of a group of refugees seeking safe haven from some sort of government threat, as we are presented with a common theme found frequently within dystopian based Sci-Fi stories. Though it was a minor hit in the Unites States the single did very well in the UK, where it topped charts for a consecutive two weeks. Costing a groundbreaking $1.6 million dollars to produce, the video serves as a pre-cursor to the many movie styled hip hop music videos to follow. The song is fittingly featured on the soundtrack of Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation. Cool Fact: President Barack Obama lists Ready or Not as one of his all-time favorite songs!