Face it -- hip-hop has been commercialized for a very long time.
Hammer yukked it up on Saturday mornings with his own cartoon, 2Pac and Biggie shilled malt liquor, plenty of others have hawked FUBU and Lugz (I think Birdman still sells Lugz), and Ludacris pushed Pepsi (and pissed off Bill O'Reilly). Then of course there's anything regarding Macklemore, Iggy Azalea and more.
We've gone through some dire moments in commercial products being tossed hip-hop ideas and stances for product placement. None, however, may be able to top Busta Rhymes, the "Swagger Wagon" and the 2015 Toyota Sienna.
I can't even begin to manage how many stupid dope rhymes the commercial's family, the "Neuberts," decide to let loose from their lips. I can't even imagine why Busta Rhymes has turned into dreadlocked Florida Evans before our very eyes. All I know is that within the first TEN SECONDS of the clip, "listen up mother fathers" is said.
All it does is remind me of how terrible our "rap" commercials have been over time. Some have been humorous, and others downright horrendous. Hell, even Lil Flip is involved here, so the rabbit hole could eventually make us quite certain that by the end we'll have to hand rap over to our new commercial overlords while trying to keep ourselves from saying, "Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos."
Suspect: Busta Rhymes and Toyota's "Swagger Wagon" Victim: Honda, Mazda and Toyota's Entire 2015 Fleet Verdict: We Lost Busta Rhymes to a Check
There's nothing to say about this besides the one fact: swagger wagons are terrible ideas. They don't have them in Cleveland with Johnny Manziel (but they have a dog named Swagger) and they damn sure don't belong on Toyotas.
Fine, Neubert family, you've now given me something to shake my head at because this is so bad that I now pray for Busta Rhymes' safety. Over the summer, one of hip-hop's greatest men, a master of the double-time flow, has been reduced to being compared to Cheesecake Factory logos and now this.
I completely expected a Nae Nae from all parties involved. I was robbed of said Nae Nae. I cried myself to sleep for hours afterwards.
Suspect: Mary J. Blige For Burger King Victim: Everyone Who Loves Sandwich Wraps Verdict: Guilty (commercial never aired)
Oh, there have been fine moments in the history of Mary J. Blige. But doing this particular commercial, standing on top of a table at a Burger King belting out the spirituals of the Lord and telling us all about the powers of said chicken wraps? Never. Thank goodness social media caught a hold of this and it died a proper death...just to live forever on the Interwebs!
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Suspect: Lil Flip Helps a Garage Sale Victim: Everyone Buying Things From Said Garage Sale Verdict: Allegedly, Only $40 Was Made at the Sale
The voodoo of T.I. and "Sunshine" have not been kind to our own Lil Flip. Four years ago, this clip was uploaded to YouTube, thwi Flip helping four bros do their best to shill a few products. One friend has on a "UGK ALL DAY" T-Shirt, another has a backwards cap with a toy gun. Everyone has sunglasses to make themselves look cool, as if this were 1985 and Flip just so happens to show up near the end, give them a few crew-love rapper poses and hold on to his white cup.
Do we even know what was in the cup? Lucky Nites? Hopes and dreams? A tonic that would make his braids stretch just a bit further? Water, even?
Suspect: Memphis Bleek And Garnier Fructis Victim: Any Woman Who Showers Verdict: Bleek's Still Babysitting Blue Ivy And Not Releasing Music
God? He exists. He does have a sense of humor. He's been cruel to Memphis Bleek's career for having his mentor Jay Z say he's one hit away. Only thing is, Hov has said this for the past 17 years. So Bleek can be content -- supremely content -- with the fact he gets residuals from the Beyoncé/Jay Z billion-dollar elevator-fight empire, and make music videos for shampoo.
I'll never forgive myself for knowing there was an entire four-minute video about shampoo and Memphis Bleek and dancers, but it exists. It's so terribly awkward that I haven't seen Bleek do anything since. Well, aside from being the greatest straight Smithers to a Mr. Burns we can have in hip-hop.
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