In the latter half of the 20th century, society witnessed some major technological changes. As the TV grew in its popularity, so did the concept of music videos. Artists were able to take their songs and their meanings to a whole new level. A visual level.
There were a lot of “hot topics” in the 90’s. Sadly, one of them was the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Doctors first really became aware of the virus in 1981 and as more research, more cases, and more media coverage came out, AIDS became a pinnacle for discussion. The song and music video touch upon an AIDS diagnosis as a result from adultery. Additionally, the song highlights illegal drug activity and the brutal crimes that came from them, another prevalent occurrence in the 90’s. There are many sensitive issues as themes for the song and that’s what made this song No. 1 on the charts. It was one of the very first to give a reference to AIDS. As a result, the music video had a million dollar budget ($$$). If you think this music video is cheesy, you’re not wrong. But take a step back. The CGI waterfall animation of TLC’s bodies was probably causing jaws to drop in 1995 because it looked so cool. So let’s not hate on this video for being kind of silly about some pretty serious topics. This was the 90’s after all.