Rocks Off did certainly not expect to find this on the Internet today. Or ever, really. But what could possibly be the first single from ZZ Top's long-awaited new album is now appearing in a new ad for a budget line of liquor-flavored malt beverages, the kind you might find in a tub of ice near the cash register at your local quickie-mart.
Even stranger, the song is more or less a cover of "25 Lighters," one of the most beloved songs in the entire Screwed Up Click's repertoire. Performed by DJ DMD, Fat Pat and Lil Keke, "25 Lighters" was released as "Lighters" on DMD's 1998 album Twenty-Two: P.A. Worldwide and then as "25 Lighters" on Paid In Full Records' 1999 compilation Houston Hard Hitters Vol. 1. More recently, it was used last year by Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. with 2 Chainz, Eightball & MJG in the song "Money on the Floor."
That is definitely ZZ Top -- recent ZZ Top, not old footage -- playing in the beer cooler and handing out cans of Jeremiah Weed to delighted shoppers while a couple of girls dance around. There's a funky old car, making it an official ZZ Top video. The song sounds great, and ZZ Top does love to get paid.
This may be the only new music we get from ZZ for a while, too. There's still no sign of that album that was sent into limbo when the group's producer and label boss, Rick Rubin, lost his distribution deal when he was let go by Columbia/Sony last October.
"25 Lighters" is a little bit harder to figure, except that ZZ Top are pretty hip cats, and usually talk up Houston at every opportunity. Still, this is a little odd, and a little sad, at least in that it screams "paycheck." Whether Jeremiah Weed will sponsor the group's upcoming "Gang of Outlaws" tour that visits The Woodlands June 23 with Gretchen Wilson and 3 Doors Down remains to be seen.
Jeremiah Weed is one of three malt liquors bottled by the Connecticut-based Jeremiah Weed Distilling Company: Jeremiah Weed Bourbon Liqueur, Jeremiah Weed Blended Bourbon and Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Flavored Vodka. The company also makes three "premium malt beverages": Lightning Lemonade, Spiked Cola and Roadhouse Tea
Rocks Off cannot say we have had the pleasure of sipping Jeremiah Weed, but the company's Facebook page assures us it is a "very significant element of American fighter pilot culture, so much so that it has gained a cult following... [it] also enjoys popularity among horseback, hunting and fishing enthusiasts."
Others have called it "Redneck in a Can." It has been critiqued in this YouTube video called "Hoggie's Swill Juice Review," where Hog40305 likens its citrusy overtones to "a really cold, flat Sprite... there's no fizz, there's no carbonation... what the fuck is this?"
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After a couple more sips, he distills his opinion a little more: "It's dirty lemon water... this is a waste of 2 dollars and 70 fucking cents."
One last note of bizarre trivia about this story: DJ DMD appears to have found the Lord and is using the hashtag #25BiblesOnMyDresser in his Twitter profile.