Things didn’t have to be this way. Since leaving Spice Girls, Victoria Beckham has rebranded herself so effectively that it’s bewildering to imagine that she was ever known as Posh Spice, or doing anything but being a fashion mogul and muse, walking around with severe haircuts and strappy stilettos and compression pencil skirts.
But with a few different turns in life, we could have known Victoria Beckham as a true blue British hip-hop honey, a sort of cross-the-pond Jennifer Lopez for a parallel universe. As the Mirror notes, it was bound to happen, since she spent part of 2003 in a recording studio with her friend and Roc-A-Fella cofounder Damon Dash, cutting the radio-geared, hip-hop-infused pop album Come Together, which featured rap verses from Ol’ Dirty Bastard (RIP) and—in the least likely pairing—Brownsville bruisers M.O.P.
Now you can hear this glorious curio, leaked online by a person who procured the demo tapes from someone who auctioned them off on eBay (Dame, that you?). It was deeply on brand—nothing’s made me more nostalgic for the early ‘00s lately more than that cropped satin Roc-a-Wear varsity jacket Vic’s wearing in the cover photo, though to my mind, 2003 can verily KEEP the hyper-mini miniskirt. Also, “That Dude,” above, uses MFSB’s “Something for Nothing,” a sample that would show up again that year in Jay Z’s “What More Can I Say.” CONSPIRACY?
Here’s the song “Dat Simple,” released as a promo single as “It’s That Simple,” which sounds like Beckham’s Betty Davis impression, with an acute case of anemia. M.O.P.’s Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame come in at about 2:06 and essentially trample her with their gritty charisma; they’re talking about gunplay and she’s talking about too many boys on her dance card, and when she comes in for the chorus after their verses she sounds deeply disoriented, like someone pushed her onstage before she was ready.
Thank you to the internet for offering up this beautiful gem, and also to Becks for making the smart decision to take her career in a different direction.