Nelly featuring Paul Wall, Ali and Big Gipp - Grillz (2005)
A gold tooth is no longer sufficient for proving economic status and overall down-ness. Nope, my hometown Lou chum Nelly - we used to eat toasted ravioli at the top of the Arch together and gaze down at the Mississippi River as pre-adolescents - has upped the ante with this ode to jewelry in one's mouth.
A "grill" no longer refers to a person's face, or the heated substance most aspiring hip-hoppers flip burgers on, or an accessory at the front of one's car. Rather, it's an entire row of interconnected diamonds, rubies and sapphires in the shape of teeth, inserted atop molars, bicuspids and incisors.
Nelly, St. Lunatic Ali, Big Gipp, honky rapper Paul Wall, producer Jermaine Dupri and a handful of rented hottie models all sport grillz in this video from director Fat Cats. Who favors very tight closeups of these open mouths.
I have to wonder if the video shoot was catered, because I swear I spotted six to eight cole slaw shreds hanging from Paul Wall's lower grill. Also, if the shots of the video models' fake teeth are any indication, an influx of rapper semen apparently turns a gold grill a grossly tarnished shade of green.
The white-letterboxed video is shot entirely in a huge house, or maybe a remodeled dentists' office. Blue and red tints accompany the endless shots of oral jewelry, and what's not completely generic is unintentionally funny. The lyrics are even all about grillz, which gets old awfully fast.
TOP TEN WORST LINES IN "GRILLZ"
10. PAUL WALL: I got my mouth lookin somethin' like a disco ball
9. NELLY: It look like Now-N-Laters, gum drops, jelly beans
8. PAUL WALL: My teeth gleaming like I'm chewin' on aluminum foil
7. BIG GIPP: Mouth got colors like a Fruit Loop box
6. PAUL WALL: I put my money where my mouth is and bought a grill
5. ALI: And da otha set is same, got my name in da mold
4. PAUL WALL: Call me George Foreman, 'cause I'm sellin' everybody grillz.
3. NELLY: If I could call it a drink, call it a smile on da rocks
2. PAUL WALL: Open up my mouth and you see mo' karots than a salad
1. ALI: Gotta bill in my mouth like I'm Hillary Rodham