All The 'Bad Boys For Life' References In Jesy Nelson's 'Boyz' Music Video

Jesy Nelson's departure from Little Mix came as a huge shock to fans, and it was not clear when - or if - she would return to the music world. She has now launched her solo single, "Boyz," featuring an iconic sample from P Diddy, Black Rob and Mark Curry's track "Bad Boys For Life" (or BBFL here on out.)

She also made sure to mention her former band, Little Mix, in a moment many will remember from the original video.

Her former bandmates have continued as a three, though soon two of those members, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, will likely be taking some maternity leave after they became pregnant at similar times.

But Nelson is making a clear break from her roots, moving into hip hop-inflected beats with some notable appearances from megastars.

The original video was nominated for Best Rap Video at the MTV Video Music Awards back in 2002, and featured cameos from big names like Ice Cube, Shaquille O'Neal and Mike Tyson.

It is clear Nelson is in good company as she begins her career as a solo artist. Newsweek breaks down the references to the original video - and her mention of Little Mix.

'Boyz' In Perfectville

The first sound we hear is incredibly recognizable - as we arrive in Perfectville. BBFL begins with the exact same sound, only to take us to Perfectown, USA, instead.

In a shot-for-shot reimagining here, the sprinkler is on as an elderly gentleman heads out to fetch his paper. The houses, look like they came from WandaVision.

Suddenly, the peace and tranquillity are ruined by the arrival of cars and a huge tour bus, from which comes men, women, and the star, Jesy Nelson.

In the original, it is Diddy who jumps off the tour bus, along with a wheelbarrow filled with fried chicken.

Even the 'For Sale' sign is the same, with the same phone number emblazoned across it.

Golfing Through Diddy's Window

One of the more memorable moments in the BBFL music video sees Diddy hitting some black golf balls off his flat roof, and accidentally going straight through a neighbor's window.

Nelson, on the other hand, is less bothered when she breaks through into her fellow resident's house, winking and laughing with her friend as they continue to hit balls with the word 'Boyz' across them.

Eventually, the irritated neighbor comes to talk about how this cannot continue, and a familiar face is seen, though not the same person as in the original.

In the original, Ben Stiller awkwardly asked Diddy (though he stumbled over which name to use) to stop hitting golf balls, before inviting himself to any upcoming parties.

This time, Diddy went from golfer to the angry neighbor, knocking on Nelson's door and demanding answers.

Shout Out To My Ex

At this moment came a conversation where Diddy went on to try and work out who this neighbor was.

While Nelson doesn't have the plethora of options that Diddy has (Puff Daddy, Sean Combs, Love, P Diddy etc.) he went for the jugular with one of them.

Diddy said: "Hey Jeezy, Jesy, Little Mix, whatever you're calling yourselves these days."

Fans were likely wondering whether Nelson's band would get a name drop at some point, and while the song itself does not point to her origins, this moment made sure they were not forgotten.

Nicki Minaj in the Garage

In the original BBFL video, Diddy and the other rappers spend a lot of time in the garage performing, which has been made up with speakers and white walls.

In here, Travis Barker was playing drums as Diddy spit on the mic, and in Nelson's video, Minaj is the one dropping some verses.

This is where the video makes some changes, as while the garage was a staple spot in the original music video, Minaj cannot be kept in a box and instead she and Nelson are seen sitting on a car as her verse continues.

This is not similar to the music video, but it shows Nelson making even the most iconic video her own.

The Ending

The ending is not at all the same, as BBFL shows a huge party in the neighborhood before Diddy is forced to reconcile himself with all new people moving in across the road.

In his case, it was the rap-rock band Crazy Town, to which he said: "There goes the neighborhood."

Nelson, however, ends with Minaj on the car, before showing outtakes of shooting her video, with Diddy making some errors during his moment in Stiller's shoes.

Nelson's new song, "Boyz", is out now.

Jesy Nelson
Jesy Nelson, formerly of Little Mix, in London in 2019. She has recently released her debut solo single, "Boyz" Ricky Vigil M/Getty Images