VIDEO: A Tribe Called Quest x Sprite Commercial
The Sprite commercials that incorporated respected Hip-Hop acts like a Tribe Called Quest and the under-appreciated Grand Puba starting back in ’94 were so official. Instead of shucking and jiving—sorry Hammer—the artists selected to obey their thirst and hawk Sprite kept to their core musical aesthetics. Catching a corporate check without having to (totally) sell out…can’t be mad at that. However, it’s a safe bet the participating MCs got paid peanuts when compared to how much Sprite, and in turn Coca-Cola, made off of Hip-Hop’s influence and cultural cachet.
I was looking specifically for ATCQ’s commercial about a year or so back and had no luck, until today. Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s clip, and a few others (Puba’s freestyle >), below. Never was too keen on the “battle” (i.e. MC Shan vs. KRS-One) commercial, though. I was reminded about these ads again while reading the incredible book The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop by Dan Charnas. It will be required reading in all Hip-Hop classes one day.
Also, Nas, stop playing and make an album with AZ already.
Pete Rock & CL Smooth
Large Professor & Grand Puba
MC Shan vs. KRS-One… RIP Mr. Magic