A Review of Complex Media’s “50 Best Rap Commercials” of All Time

After three weeks of brainstorming on ways to showcase the growth of Rap music through commercials, the Editors of Complex Media incorporated these thoughts into the formation of the “50 Best Rap Commercials” of all time. After debating and ranking the top Rap music commercials, Complex Media featured several notable ads including “Rhapsody” with Jay Z, “St. Ides” with Biggie, and “My Adidas” with legendary Rap group Run D.M.C.

Rated #6 on Complex Media’s “50 Best Rap Commercials“, the Anthony Mandler-directed Rhapsody Music commercial promotes rapper Jay Z’s music through a minute-long montage representing the entire catalogue of his music. The commercial features a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the production process as Jay Z recreates every one of his signature album covers, from the very beginning to the present. The commercials begins with Jay Z’s signature look on his debut album Reasonable Doubt. Released in 1996, the debut featured the Foxy Brown collaboration on the track “Ain’t No Nigga“. The song featured infectious rhymes and a rhythmic appeal, while transforming Jay Z from an underground artist into a Worldwide phenomenon. The iconic commercial features signature poses for various Jay Z albums including Vol 3…Life And Times of S.Carter, The Blue Print, and Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem). These albums spawned very successful singles for Jay Z including “Renegade“, “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)“, “Girls, Girls, Girls“, and many other top 40 singles.

Ranked at #2, Biggie’s (Notorious B.I.G.) popular St. Ides Commercial sparked interest from many viewers for his iconic rhymes referencing the popular Malt Liquor brand. In 1995, a year after releasing his debut album Ready to Die, Biggie launched this popular advertisement. Decked out in Black-and-White, the 32-second commercial features Biggie riding down the street while rapping the anti Miller Lite lyrics, “Forget the great taste that’s less filling/I’d rather have some Ides and some dimes in the crib chilling.” Through St. Ides’ iconic commercials, rappers were able to introduce their individual personas with this extensive music and liquor collaboration. Afterwards, St. Ides introduced several newcomers to their advertisements including Rappers Allen Iverson (former NBA-Allstar) and Jadakiss. Complex Media Editor Toshi K. recently stated, “St. Ides’ commercials let rappers rap and be in their element.”

Ranked at #1 on Complex Media’s “50 Best Rap Commercials” is the very popular and memorable 1986 “My Adidas” commercial featuring Rap legends Run D.M.C. Written by Run D.M.C.’s own Joseph “DJ Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, “My Adidas” was an instant phenomenon for the trio. Shortly after the song’s release, the song ranked #5 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. After Run D.M.C. represented the popular shoe brand with lyrics such as, “…Now the Adidas I possess for one man is rare/Myself homeboy got 50 pair/Got Blue and Black cause I like to chill/And Yellow and Green when it’s time to get ill…/”, many large companies were eager to incorporate rappers and their music into distinct advertisement campaigns. By endorsing Adidas through their popular song, Run D.M.C. helped make the company earn money while opening doors for other rappers to advertise throughout major corporations.

Through Complex Media’s “50 Best Rap Commercials“, both old and new viewers/fans are able to witness musical history as these memorable commercials were being made through each individual television advertisement. To view and obtain more information about the top 50 list, please visit http://www.complex.com/music/2011/02/the-50-greatest-rap-commercials/