Time to get serious, PopWatchers. Please immediately tear yourself away from videos of kittens or Honey Boo Boo reciting Christopher Walken lines or your latest ridiculata fix because Hart of Dixie heartthrob Wilson Bethel is bringing the bananas. In this EW exclusive, Bethel is premiering the music video for his new web comedy Stupid Hype. This loving homage to the early ’90s falls right in the center of the Venn diagram of “Ice, Ice Baby,” “Baby Got Back,” and every other awesome thing from the heyday of Hypercolor and high-rise jeans. Behold below!
Bethel will not deny that Hype (Bethel) bears a striking resemblance to a certain infamous white boy rapper. “Obviously the character has very physical touchstones of Vanilla Ice, [but] the story itself… is a much different and much bigger picture — and [it’s] also really pretty weird.” To dig up the past, he and director Dugan O’Neal went down the YouTube rabbit hole. “The deeper you look, the more incredible s— you find,” he says, “we just kept having our mind’s blown.” But it was Ice’s failed attempt at film stardom was the true embarrassment of riches. “Cool As Ice was such an incredible revelation,” he says. “It’s like a psychedelic movie — just weird!”
Though Ice doesn’t appear in the series, Bethel recruited another iconic rap persona for his B-boy’s life-changing “path to self-rediscoveryment.” Flavor Flav, says Bethel, plays “an Obi Wan Kenobi type of character” named Grand Master, to whom Hype turns for wisdom. “We needed [an] elder statesmen of hip-hop, and who better than Flav?” Bethel thinks the role will provide a change of pace for the former Public Enemy rapper because “he’s known as this outspoken hype man, [but] we got a performance out of him that’s kind of amazing in how subdued it is.”
As for Flav’s recent legal troubles, which occurred after filming, Bethel admits, “That broke my heart, especially because I cannot stress enough how sweet that man is. He was the coolest, mellowest… just a darling guy.”
But Flav wasn’t Bethel’s only casting coup. He brought other ’90s favorites out of the vault, including Saved by the Bell‘s Dustin “Screech” Diamond, for a cameo, and former Kenan and Kel star Kel Mitchell, who plays Hype’s rival D-Rock. Castle‘s Jon Huertas also signed up to play Guru, Hype’s mentor-turned-nemesis.
Stupid Hype premieres on CWD, the CW Digital Studio, on Nov. 13.