21 Memorable Commercials Starring Rappers You Need to See
One thing that can't be denied is the fact that rappers can sell almost anything. Although they may have trouble pushing their albums at times, brands have long become privy to the reality that if something is attached to urban culture, the sales will reap the benefits. One brand that has a winning formula by consistently including rappers in their campaigns is Sprite. Ever since the mid '80s, when the culture just began to bubble, Sprite has adopted a rapper as their spokesperson. The beverage company's cosign dates all the way back to the era ruled by hip-hop's forefathers like Kurtis Blow. Fast forward to the present and rappers are still being called upon, with Drake recently starring in an ad for the brand.
The Toronto star has actually become the poster child for advertisers as he continues to be cosigned by brand after brand. If it wasn't obvious after the attack many companies unleashed upon Meek Mill via Twitter after beefing with Drizzy, it's really obvious after the more recent release of "Hotline Bling." T-Mobile adopted the rapper to star in its latest commercial featuring an actual replica of the original video's set. In the commercial, which debuted during the 2016 Super Bowl, Drake and the cellular company's executives rearrange the "Hotline Bling" lyrics to go along with company polices. It's actually pretty hilarious.
Over the years, many other rappers have also shared their career high points with advertisers. From Kurtis Blow to Drake, and the many in-between, check out 21 of the most memorable commercials starring rappers.
The Toronto rapper appeared in T-Mobile's Super Bowl spot this year. Based off of the undying popularity of his “Hotline Bling” video, the clip features Drake alongside the brand's executives, who are attempting to put their own touches on the song. The commercial aired during the 50th annual NFL championship game on Feb. 7, 2016.
This 30-second ad also appeared during the Super Bowl but back in 2011. During the spot, Eminem joins the iced tea brand in poking fun at his stern demeanor, as he hypocritically explains why he doesn't normally do commericials.
Although many youth may solely be familiar with Sprite's present-day hip-hop-based campaigns, the brand has been incorporating rappers into their ads for decades. A look back to 25 years ago finds the famed soda brand debuting an ad featuring Kid N Play and Heavy D. During that time frame Sprite was pushing their "I Like the Sprite in You" campaign.
Although this hip-hop mogul is just as relevant today as he was 11 years ago, in 2005, Diddy was the trendsetter of all trendsetters. He at one point even had everyone driving Pepsi trucks -- or at least in the commercial below he did. The spot not only stars the Bad Boy Records founder but also Carson Daly and Xzibit, among others.
As mentioned earlier, Sprite has long been down with the movement. In 1986, the brand called upon one of hip-hop's forefathers, Kurtis Blow. It's because of ventures like the ad below that the rap legend is often deemed as the first commercially successful rapper.
In 2007, 50 Cent taught the hip-hop game a lesson on what the right investments will do. Coca Cola purchased Glacéau, a beverage company that Fif had previously invested in and the deal ended up bringing in over $100 million for the rapper. The venture made 50 one of the richest rappers in show business and also a spokesperson for the brand. Check out the 2007 commercial below.
Back before Drake became the superstar he is today, the rapper appeared in what has now become one of the most famous Sprite commercials out there. The ad featured the song "Forever" and had the whole world unconsciously repeating the lyrics, "First name ever, last name greatest."
In 2001, Allen Iverson was at the top of his game and his sneakers were the most popular, not only among athletes but in the hip-hop world as well. With the shoe at its peak, A.I. called upon Jadakiss to star alongside him in his very own Reebok commercial.
It's undeniable that Diddy started the trend of rappers acquiring their own liquor brands. So, he had to go big when it came to the commercial, right? The mogul called upon Eva Pigford, Jesse Williams, Aaron Paul, Diana Ramirez and Michael K. Williams for the spot titled "Art of Celebration." It features the clan living it up in Vegas as they gamble and party.
This may be the funniest entry on the list featuring Mike Jones and his lawyer. In the advertisement, the two make use of the Mike's signature calling, "Who? Mike Jones," instead using the attorney's name, Mark Jones. Although the ad is quite bizarre, it's undeniably hilarious. Press play!
Back in the day, Missy Elliott and Kobe Bryant linked up for one epic Sprite commercial. Set at a basketball court, Kobe is challenged to a game of one-on-one basketball. Missy basically acts as the Lakers star's cheerleader, crafting together a song about Kobe's skills.
Ice Cube's 1992 hit "It Was a Good Day" will never grow old. It is indeed a timeless classic. Seventeen years after its release, Nike chose to use the song in its ad upon the release of the Nike P Rod SB Dunks. Set in Los Angeles, the commercial follows a young skater cruising through his neighborhood.
When you think of the Adidas' brand, thinking Run-D.M.C is almost second nature and that's what you called a great spokesman. Back in the late '80s, the hip-hop trio starred in a commercial literally rocking the gear from head-to-toe as they regularly did at that time. Many often nod to the group for the success of the brand and its present day relationship in hip-hop. We'd have to agree.
In 2013, Jay Z changed the game when he announced his 12th studio album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, was coming with a week's notice and Samsung Galaxy holders would be getting the project early for free. Not only did the rapper make the cellular company's customers privy to the project but he also provided Samsung with to-die-for footage of its creation. The footage has been turned into a commercial featuring Jay, Pharrell, Timbaland, Rick Rubin and Swizz Beatz. Check it out.
Some things you know will only happen once and this is one of them. Eleven years ago when Boost Mobile was at its peak, Kanye West, Ludacris and The Game starred in a commercial highlighting walkie-talkie phones. The trio even made a song about it which was later dubbed "The Boost Mobile Anthem."
The boss took the starring role in Nike's 2010 brand commercial. While he's not wearing visible Nike sneakers or clothing in the ad, Rick Ross makes his way to a jewelry store and buys a chain of himself wearing a chain. Just watch for yourself.
Another memorable Sprite-rapper collaboration is the 1997 commercial with Nas and AZ. Sitting on a stoop, the two MCs piece together rhymes revolving around the current sprite tagline, "Obey Your Thirst."
With 11 nominations at the 2016 Grammy Awards, it only makes sense that Kendrick Lamar stars in a promo for the annual awards show. The clip takes a tour through Compton as its residents recite the rapper's Grammy-nominated track "Alright." The To Pimp a Butterfly creator then shows up among a sea of fans to join them in a celebration of his music. Witness the greatness below.
Both Sprite commercial veterans linked up for the brand's latest rapper collaboration, released in the summer of 2015. "0-100" plays in the background during the 30-second spot as both artists take the stage to do what they do best.
Future is featured in the latest Beats by Dre commercial starring Cam Newton. The DS2 creator narrates as the Carolina Panthers player works out. His song “Fly Shit Only (FSO)” also plays in the background during this clip that played before Super Bowl 50 kicked off.
Chance The Rapper gets in the Halloween spirit by rocking a bear costume to shop for candy. What kind? Kit Kats of course.