These Are the Strangest Hip-Hop Soda Commercials

From Tyler's Mountain Dew commercial
From Tyler's Mountain Dew commercial

Earlier this month Mountain Dew pulled its Tyler, the Creator directed commercial wherein a trash-talking goat in a police lineup (full of black men) taunts an assaulted women attempting to identify the perpetrator. Accused of both racism and trivializing violence toward women, it was another Tyler troll, and makes one wonder how it got past PepsiCo execs.

See also: Our Tyler, the Creator Cover Story

But while it may be the most controversial soda commercial starring a rap artist, it's by no means the most bizarre. Here's our picks for the top five weirdest soda commercials in hip-hop history.

5) Drake for Sprite

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2009

From Kris Kross to KRS-ONE, Sprite has long utilized hip-hop's biggest stars to sell its soda. In late 2009, during his meteoric rise, Drake was asked not only to appear in Sprite commercials, but to reveal that he is in fact a lemon-lime-soda-powered cyborg. The concept in itself isn't bizarre, except for the creepy visuals of Drake's robot parts unhinging. Sprite used this campaign with pop stars all over the world, but this version is certainly among the weirdest.

 

4) Kurtis Blow for Sprite

1986

While Run-DMC had MTV's first rap video, the first actual rapping on the network was Prince Markie Dee of the Fat Boys shilling Swatches. Around the same time, Sprite began its decades-long love affair with hip-hop shilling by having Kurtis Blow mimic a news broadcast. In a single camera shot, he raps for 30 seconds, with...a version of himself in a bucket hat rapping on a TV behind him. Also, we must add: The 7-Up diss is unbecoming of a supposedly unbiased broadcast journalist.

 

3) Goodie Mob, Fat Joe, Common, Mack 10, and Afrika Bambaataa for Sprite

1999

It's fair to say that Sprite's 1999 rap-"Voltron" spots came completely out of left field. While there's something cool about a (perhaps unintentional?) effort to unite rap regions (Midwest, South, East and West) at the time when coastal unrest was at its most potent, rappers piloting giant robots from an '80s kids cartoon while rhyming about obeying their thirst? That's bonkers.

 

2) Sisqo for Pepsi

2000

Yes kids, there was once a time when Sisqo ruled the world. Following the demise of Dru Hill, Sisqo unleashed "The Thong Song" and a nation in mourning soon became a nation united over a shared love of visible underwear lines. And so, the silver-headed one was shot into space so he could catch droplets of Pepsi on his tongue. If this short clip isn't enough for you, there's a documentary 24 Hours With Sisqo, due for a Criterion release any day now.

 

1) Busta Rhymes for Mountain Dew

1999

Busta Rhymes so fun in the late-'90s partly because of his unrelenting charisma, and partly because of his colorful wardrobe. YouTube doesn't really do justice to how awesomely out-of-place "Woo-Hah!" and "Dangerous" looked in the shiny suit era. Mountain Dew tried to capture that same Hype Williams energy in a commercial where Busta, caked in whiteface make-up, plays three parts while quoting his biggest hits and chugging Mountain Dew. It's amazing how much action and character development was crammed into one 30 second spot here, but anything less would surely be a waste of Busta's talents.

See also: Our Tyler, the Creator Cover Story

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