Corsets, gilded vanities, and plush chaise lounges are all reminiscent of New Orleans’s Moulin Rouge. Lady Marmalade, a classic Patti LaBelle tune, was reimagined using a style from the year 2000. This song’s video begins with Missy Elliott standing in front of a red velvet curtain revealing the night’s entertainment: Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil’ Kim, and Mya.
They captivated us until we learned every verse, wearing rhinestone-studded lingerie, sparkling costume jewelry, top hats, and colorful wigs. The now-iconic video features a who’s who of pop and R&B royalty from the early ’00s. Fishnets may be good for catching fish but in this case, the ladies in their fishnets were fishers of men. The bait? A sexy french refrain: Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir? Rockwilder and Missy Elliott took the disco classic and made it hip-hop-infused with the help of a thunderous bassline. Using what qualifies as hypnosis to hypnotize people into saying ” Do you want to sleep with me?”?
With Mya in her finger waves and eye makeup smoked out to the gawds, Lil’ Kim bedazzled in her blonde Marilyn Monroe Hollywood bob; Pink with her hair cropped, in a top hat fit for the magical music they created, and Christina Aguilera with a mane fit for a lion who is the king of his pride, how else could they be described if not as, “…four badass chicks from the Moulin Rouge” as Lil’ Kim said in her verse.
This video is similar to Pattie LaBelle’s 2002 performance along with the foursome. It evokes themes about sexuality and empowerment. “Lady Marmalade” was as forthright in sex and fashion as it was inclusive. Burlesque themes are truly timeless. The fantastic foursome did not disappoint. From side swooped bangs and mohawks, to chunky heels, and stilettos, each lady earned her keep at the top of Billboards Hot 100 in 2001.