This Saturday, while The Fourth of July marks our nation's proud birthday, it sadly also commemorates nine years since the treasured block of programming BET UnCut went off the air. From 2001-2006, the 3:00 AM ET broadcasting timeslot on BET was dedicated to the clips they couldn't play at any other time of the day. While the allure for many was the loosening up about what could be shown in a video and the promise of provocative sex and violence, the hour would also lend itself to allowing independent regional stars (including Murs, Labtekwon, Madlib and Dilla) without the major label budgets to get their clips screened to a nationwide audience.
It is with the sweetest of memories that we reminisce over these five BET UnCut classics. If you've ever wanted to know what the best of 3:00 AM television was all about, look no further.
Mighty Casey – "White Girls"
The first quintessential UnCut clip, Casey's "White Girls" actually predated the show's airing as just a funny video the rapper had made himself that he was showing to friends. Once the word got out that BET was looking for submissions, Casey passed it on and "White Girls" became one of those videos you HAD to see. Pre-YouTube, the only way to see it would be to stay up late, but luckily you would be rewarded as "White Girls" remained in rotation up through the show's final airing.
Joker the Bailbondsman featuring Bizzy Bone – "Uh Huh (Ziploc Bag)"
Bizzy Bone broke ground for the show as the first certified established artist to appear in one of the program's videos. Alongside Alaskan rapper Joker the Bailbondsman, Bizzy got busy with the perfect hook anybody would want to hear in the night's final hours before dawn. Soon more controversial edits of videos major label artists like D12, Ludacris and Lil Jon would find their way into rotation.
Black Jesus – "What That Thing Smell Like?"
One of the biggest cult successes of the 2000s, Black Jesus' "What That Thing Smell Like" is the stuff of legends. With one of the biggest name-of-artist title-of-song contrasts in music history, "What That Thing Smell Like?" became most known for its infectious hook, which has been channeled on different occasions by stars as bright as Beyonce and Patti LaBelle. Singing the title question in public was a quite signal to show if you were part of the UnCut "club."
Nelly – "Tip Drill"
Yes, this absolutely aired on BET and allegedly got the whole show cancelled because of one particular scene. If you haven't seen it, we won't spoil it for you, but you will know it when you see it. Nelly made the David Banner-produced "Tip Drill" at the absolute height of his powers, and gave us all this bountiful buffet of booty. It's remarkable such a clip exists. At this point perhaps we at the Weekly realize we should have thrown an NSFW tag somewhere on this article, but if your boss disapproves you need to drop that job and instead get a Tip Drill.
Crazy Al Cayne – "T N A"
A few years into the show's run, eventually the videos became self-aware. New York parody favorite Crazy Al Cayne made "T N A," a loving sendup of all the cliches that the UnCut videos gave us, delivered with some well-timed sheer glee. Of course, the clip was so perfect it actually wound up in rotation alongside the same videos it pokes fun at. For further viewing, we suggest going down any list of UnCut classics you can find and spending some time with them after the fireworks.