LOS ANGELES, California — Nelly says "Pimp Juice" is anything that attracts the opposite sex, but his video for the song is taking the words quite literally.
"We're turning it into a pimp's paradise," director Benny Boom said last Tuesday on the set — an old downtown pool hall converted into an underground casino.
"The concept is that Nelly has this car that has been passed down to him, a '74 Coup DeVille Cadillac, candy-apple red," Boom explained, referencing the first verse of the song ("I'm in that '74 Coup DeVille/ With the power seats, leather, wood on my wheel"). "And it just so happens that this is the same car he was born in. So it's sort of like he's got pimpin' in his blood from day one."
Nelly's dad in the video is played by Max Julien, star of the 1973 pimping movie "The Mack." Other notorious "pimps," such as Bishop Don "Magic" Juan and Snoop Dogg, appear in the clip.
"Nelly does his thing, lives in his estate, drives around in this car, and then comes here to hang out," Boom said. "It's a groovy, '70s kind of feel. We got the '80s throwback going on now with Missy [Elliott] doing her thing, with this record, we wanted to take it even a decade further back, blaxploitation and the whole thing."
"Pimp Juice," which features such memorable lines as "I don't like how you actin'/ Treat you like you're from Milwaukee, send you Green Bay Packin'," is a cruising anthem and commentary of sorts on the perils of dating.
Boom, who directed Nelly's "Dilemma" and videos for the St. Lunatics, pitched his concept to Nelly with pictures of the pimp references he had in mind. "Nelly is one of my favorite people to work with," Boom said. "Working with him and the Lunatics is like family."
While Nelly shot a video in January for his Justin Timberlake collaboration "Work It" (see "Nelly, Justin Bring Video Cameras To Playboy Mansion"), it will only air internationally for the time being.
Angry Timberlake fans have radio programmers to blame. A Nelly spokesperson said "Pimp Juice" was selected as the fourth Nellyville single because the song was already garnering airplay, which is similar to what happened with "Dilemma" (see "Nelly Hit Forces Change In Plans For Destiny's Child LPs").
Boom, who is also responsible for recent videos from Lil' Kim, Kelly Rowland and the Clipse, is next looking to cross over into movies.