When it comes to artists doing commercials, I’m firmly in Bill Hicks his corner. It’s nigh impossible to do it without turning into a cornball sell-out in the process and it renders every other word you’ll ever utter suspect. We call a woman who sells her body a whore but a man who sells his word is somehow admirable? F*ck that. Your word and your bulls is all that you have, right? That being said, I can’t help but get all nostalgic over the St. Ides beer commercials from the 90s. Rap was coming up in the mainstream and for the forst time companies were recognizing it’s commercial potential. It also helped to appeal to a younger audience and make you look cool, at least that’s what corporate America thought, hence rapping breakfast cereal frogs. Instead of mimicking the sounds St. Ides smartly decided to get the actual rappers for their commercials, resulting in rare exclusive verses by some of the biggest hip-hop icons in their prime. It’s hard to hate on that, even if they’re shilling brew.
Eric B & Rakim
Yes, even Rakim used to lend his authorative voice to tell people what brand of brew to get. That’s quite a stretch from rappin’ about pyramids.
Cypress Hill may not be the first choice to supply advise when you ask the average parent, but when B-Real tells you not to drink and drive it’s hard to disagree with.
Cube chases all over town with helicopters in pursuit to find his favorite beverage. Don’t drink and fly helicopters, kids.
Snoop & Nate Dogg
Even the then highly impressive but now equally highly outdated morphing effects, as seen in Snoop’s ‘What’s My Name’ video, were employed for the commercial while Snoop and Nate drop some vintage G-Funk.
Mc Eiht & DJ Pooh
Mc Eiht and DJ Pooh barely get away with their lives when they vibe out as a St. Ides truck suddenly turns up. Don’t drink and hoo ride, kids.
Pac & Snoop
2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted hit the town to get some gangsta party supplies. Pac’s sentiments on ‘Crooked Nigga Too’ (“Come feel the wrath of a black man that doesn’t smoke crack and I don’t drink St. Ides”) apparently dissipeared when they waved a check at him. Still, it does feel like your catching a lost gem from the Death Row era.
Cube & EPMD
The east and west coast unite over a beer to knock out 30 sweet seconds of funk in the studio. Eric & Parrish Making Ducats indeed.
Cube & Geto Boys
Yeah, hawking beers to the hood isn’t the greatest way to use your musical talents, but *cot damn* don’t these guys wreck this hard knocking beat straight into oblivion?
Biggie keeps it grimey in a grainy black and white video, hangin’ out on the stoop and writing classic verses with a cold beer within reach. That’s the life.
Wu hittin’ them Shaolin bricks with some brew close at hand. Is there anything these guys can’t make sound bad ass? Cheers!