ABC hasn’t had much luck with its hip-hop-themed programming, though not for lack of quality (RIP The Mayor, gone too soon. You were cut down in your prime). That hasn’t stopped the network from trying, though. Its latest effort is Queens, an hour-long drama series about a 1990s rap girl band reuniting in their 40s to try to mount a comeback and recapture the magic. Fortunately, the cast has the chops to pull it off: Brandy (check out her BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher verse), Eve (veteran of both rap and television), Nadine Velazquez (the only non-musician), and Naturi Naughton (who played Lil Kim in Notorious) star and rap in the show, giving fans a preview in the video for “Nasty Girl.”
Presented as a Hype Williams-esque mega-production from 1999 (and directed by Tim Story, of all people), the “Nasty Girl” video pays homage to the elaborate, big-budget clips favored by the likes of Diddy and Bad Boy Records, with yachts, helicopters, champagne, and pyrotechnics providing all the nostalgic eye candy you could want.
Oddly, though, the song itself is decidedly much more modern sounding, with a chopped-and-screwed loop on the beat evoking memories of Bangladesh’s heyday, which was like a decade later. However, all four women acquit themselves well on the mic, especially Brandy, who for some reason the show has rapping like Kobe on “3x Dope,” and the song’s kind of an anachronistic banger. It’s enough to spark real curiosity for Queens, which premieres Tuesday, October 19 at 10 ET on ABC, as well as streaming on Hulu.
Watch the “Nasty Girl” video/show promo above.