Artist: Puff Daddy featuring Mase
Video: “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down”
Album: No Way Out
Label: Bad Boy Records
Director: Paul Hunter
In Puff Daddy’s break out single and music video, he samples “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and borrows an interpolation from Matthew Wilder’s “Break My Stride” to create this memorable Hip Hop gem. This video was released in the prime of the Shiny Suit Era of Hip Hop and it was the very beginning of Bad Boy Records’ year-long chart domination.
Puff Daddy has a nightmare that he’s drowning as Verdi Requiem plays in the background. Then he awakens in a bed next a beautiful woman as the phone rings. It’s Eddie Griffith and Notorious B.I.G. who are on their way to Puff’s party but are in the middle of getting pulled over by the cops. As the song begins, we see Puff Daddy and Mase donning dark beige jumpsuits as they cruise through the desert in a Mercedes Benz.
After abandoning the car, it explodes behind them as they walk away. The next sequence begins with an awesome glass-shattering effect as Puffy and Mase rap inside of a shiny all-white room as they wear matching white suits. The final sequence has the dynamic rap duo performing inside of a futuristic auditorium, decked out in dark shiny jerseys, as the audience dances and cheers them on.
There is a certain vibe and entertainment value about this music video and song that is untouchable by today’s standards, from the irresistible beat to the memorable video set pieces. Paul Hunter has a magnificent eye for expensive yet tasteful set designs, one of the few talented music video directors left in today’s market.
Despite all the negative things people have to say about this man, “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” was one of his few gems. This is not the same Puffy (or should I say ‘Diddy’?) that we all know now. Much like his very own record label, he’s changed too much and not for the better. You can’t find this type of track anymore nowadays, it’s all Soulja Boy nonsense, auto-tone, Lady Gaga, and annoying Beyonce. Long live the 90’s.