The year was 2001 and a certain Britney Spears had freshly shocked the industry with an altogether raunchier image and attiude courtesy of her ‘Slave for You’ video.
However, as the age old saying goes, never count out the underdog. A statement which rung true and then some when longtime chart-rival Christina Aguilera roared back with ‘Dirrty’ a year later.
The first single to be lifted from her highly-praised and mega-selling sophomore set, ‘Stripped’, 2002’s ‘Dirrty’ served as an introduction to Ms. Aguilera’s explicit and controversial alter-ego Xtina.
Leaving behind the safeness which defined her earlier effort, the one-time girl-next-door, was now leaving her doors open – both lyrically and visually – in a way we’d never seen before. Ditched were the Pop-by-the-numbers tracks, in favor of a filthy urban sound and sexed-up demeanour, ‘Dirrty’ (and the ‘Stripped’ era) marked a turning point in Christina’s career.
Joining forces again with Rockwilder, the very man responsible for her then-latest hit ‘Lady Marmalade’, Aguilera wanted something radically different from than anything she’d done before to usher in her newest project. The result was this bodacious, unapologetic party anthem based on featured rapper Redman‘s hit ‘Let’s Get Dirty’.
And while the 30 year old might be a judge on rival show, The Voice, she definitely served up the X-Factor. Helmed by the great David Lachapelle, the accompanying video depicted an underground party headlined by biker chick Xtina, where dancing suggestively was a requirement and wearing as few clothes as possible a staunch obligation.
From the classic choreography to the now-iconic leather chaps, it’s safe to say that Dirrty sits effortlessly within the upper echelon of the Top 5 female videos of the 00’s.
And with the mother of one now in the studio working on a comeback (after a series of commercial disappointments), we can’t but get excited that she’s already christened the sound as echoing that of ‘Stripped’. Of course, we don’t particularly endorse her re-treading ‘Dirrty’ water (see: ‘Not Myself Tonight’); however we seriously hope Baby Jane can recapture that imperfectly-perfect combination of strengh, hope and vulnerability that made the album it called home so captivating and relatable.
When you hit rock bottom, the only way is up. As such, let’s hope ‘Moves Like Jagger’ global chart success is but a small indication of what’s to come for Christina Aguilera, one of the most gifted artists of this generation.