In America, everything revolves around money and rappers especially understand this basic rule of thumb. There was a time when Hip-Hop was too dangerous and fringe, but now it has become more mainstream than ever before. In this present era, major consumer brands don’t have a problem using rappers to endorse their products. We compiled a list of some of the most unusual rapper endorsements to date. Enjoy …
Cassidy – Condom Nation
When the “Gangnam Style” song exploded a few years ago, lots of artists jumped on the bandwagon trying to get a little of that “Psy” shine for themselves. One of the more embarrassing attempts at remixing the global hit song came from Philadelphia battle rapper and former Swizz Beatz affiliate, Cassidy. He made his own version of the song titled “Condom Style” and it was sponsored by CondomNation.com. On the song, he cautions listeners about the importance of using protection at all times – so one can say that his intentions were certainly honorable, but the execution didn’t quite make the passing grade.
Busta Rhymes – Toyota Sienna
Late this summer, something happened on the internet that really rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. It was an extremely cheesy attempt at a viral video by Toyota, and it featured none other than legendary NYC rapper, Busta Rhymes. Everything about this video clip was cringe-worthy and corny; from the faux DJ Mustard production, to the depiction of a Caucasian suburban family trying to act “street.” Even the “swagger wagon” moniker used for a Toyota Sienna rubbed viewers the wrong way. We understand that someone probably cut Busta Rhymes a decent check for this, but honestly, this is one earning opportunity he should have let pass him by.
Puff Daddy – Proactiv
The skincare company Proactiv is one of the leading names in acne treatment (for both teens and adults), and they spend tons of advertising money finding celebrity endorsements for their popular product. A few of these celebs include: Lindsay Lohan, Avril Lavigne, Adam Levine, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry etc. One surprising endorser for Proactiv was the multi-millionaire Hip-Hop mogul P. Diddy. Puffy just always portrays this larger than life, ultra-confident aura, and he doesn’t seem like a person who would admit to any physical flaws. But in the end, we’re all human (even the almighty Diddy), and Proactiv probably gave him a very nice check for his trouble.
Memphis Bleek – Garnier Fructis
At this point, we have pretty much surrendered ourselves to the fact that rappers will do almost anything for a check. However, there are a few occasions when we truly wish that this wasn’t the case. For example in 2011, Brooklyn rapper Memphis Bleek was somehow enlisted by cosmetics brand Garnier Fructis to lend a verse to an ad for their new shampoo. There is no synergy to this pairing at all, and it’s even sadder when you consider that Bleek started his career off as Jay-Z’s shining protégé. His beginning years in the rap game were highly successful and then things sort of fizzled out. Still, this has to go down as one of the weirdest rapper endorsements of all time.
Method Man – Sour Patch Kids:
When the Wu-Tang Clan was first starting off in the rap industry in the nineties, they did a commercial for St. Ides malt liquor. When it came out, nobody said a thing because honestly, the product placement fit into the rap group’s hardcore image. However about 3 years ago, Method Man, the most charismatic Wu member put out a sponsored advertisement video for Sour Patch kids. It was actually executed quite well – the accompanying music and Meth’s raps were on point, but it still hurts to see one of the most heralded rappers of all time being reduced to doing an ad for kid’s candy.
Nelly – Honey Nut Cheerios
Okay, so this pairing is also a little weird, but the actual execution of it is quite cute and heartwarming. The last pairing one would ever think of for a consumer goods commercial is the rapper Nelly and Honey Nut Cheerios. The treatment for the ad involves St. Louis rapper giving the Cheerios mascot (Buzz) some tips on swagger and being cool. This transformation involves a new outfit for the cereal-shilling, cartoon bee and a new auto-tune voice as well. Google this one on YouTube; it’s called “Bee Got Swag” – we think you might just enjoy it.
Warren G – Affirm XL Pills
Things always get a little tougher when the checks stop coming in. Especially for people who were once famous, the pause in cash flow forces them to take the most embarrassing gigs. West Coast rapper and producer Warren G. had a good stretch in the 90’s alongside Snoop Dogg, The Dogg Pound and Dr. Dre. But he hasn’t had a hit in over a decade and perhaps that explains why he chose to do a very cheesy video ad for Affirm XL Male Enhancement Pills. To add insult to injury, the ad even makes mention of his hit song “Regulate” in the context of taking care of “bizness” in the bedroom. It’s a corny advert any way you look at it. Let’s just hope the check he got for his trouble made it all worth it.
Snoop Dogg Hot Pockets
Snoop Dogg is one of the most lovable characters in Hip-Hop. He has evolved his career from his West Coast gangsta rap days to one of the most ubiquitous faces on the American culture scene. We might as well just call him Uncle Snoop – he’s like that cool relative you’re always happy to see at every family reunion. In 2013, Snoop teamed up with Kate Upton and the rapper Bow Wow for a very trippy and unusual Hot Pockets viral video. The video takes the viewer on a tour through a magical Hot Pockets bakery and the venerable Larry King even makes a cameo. Snoop Dogg and Bow Wow provide the raps, and the accompanying music is a remake of a classic Biz Markie song, “Just A Friend.” This is one you definitely need to check out!