West Coast rapper and producer Warren G brought his manhood into question three years ago when he surfaced as the spokesperson for Affirm XL Male Enhancement Pills. The endorsement initially shocked fans due to the type of product the then-40 year old rapper was endorsing, but as time went on the situation became even more puzzling. Although the companies website included three videos which starred G, he made a statement to media outlet TMZ saying that he had not signed any endorsement deal contract with Affirm XL and had not been aware that the commercials even existed. Warren’s statement seems highly unlikely but we’ll leave that up to you to decide.
Wu Tang Clans Method Man took product endorsement deals in hip hop to another level when he teamed up with Sour Patch Kids. The New York-born rapper did not only appear in an almost-four minute commercial for the popular candy, but he even went as far a writing a rap for the sweets. What starts as a commercial quickly becomes a music video while Method Man performs the song, “World Gone Sour (Lost Kids).” The weird, yet surprisingly entertaining, video includes the candy “kids” wreaking havoc throughout a house while the Method Man describes their “sour and then sweet” antics in his catchy, cheesy rap.
This rapper endorsement just might take the cake as the weirdest, considering that it involves an acne solution brand and a drunken Puff Daddy. Acne treatment brand Proactive Solutions has hired multiple celebrities and public figures to be the face of their brand since their emergence in the early 1990s. In 2005, Diddy teamed up with the thriving acne solution company, appearing in a lengthy commercial for the brand. Many immediately questioned if the rapper even used the products, but that wasn’t the strangest result of the endorsement. Gaining even more attention then the Proactive commercial itself, was a video that surfaced of what appears to be a drunk Diddy sloppily hawking the product on set of the commercial in question.
Rapper Nelly is another face of hip hop who decided to bring in some extra dough with an endorsement deal. The rapper recently inked a deal with everyone’s favorite cereal Honey Nut Cheerios, and appeared in a commercial for the breakfast cereal. Upon first viewing the commercial, the only word that comes to mind is “random,” leaving the viewer wondering, not only where Nelly has been since the release of his album last year, but also what in the world his affiliation with cereal is. Needless to say, as the commercial goes on the confusion escalates while the rapper proceeds to have a conversation with, and bestow a “swag makeover” on the cereal's animated bumble bee mascot Buzz.
Anytime a celebrity endorses a product of a sexual nature, news of the deal is sure to make headlines. Back in 2008, Lil Wayne caused a stir when a photo advertisement was released of the Cash Money/Young Money rapper posing for record company CEO J. Prince’s company, Strapped Condoms. The rapper signed on to the deal with the condom company as the face of their Strapped 4 Life campaign, which was founded to educated youths and stop the spread of HIV as well as other STDs. The first ad released showed a distressed Wayne being cuffed by a police officer standing behind him. The ad immediately caused the company's positive message of awareness to fall short, due to a pose that many thought contained homosexual implications.
Similar to companies such as Proactive Solutions, animal rights organization PETA has rallied several impactful public figures to be the face of their brand, in turn standing up and bringing awareness to their cause. In 2012 the organization tapped none other than Brick Squad rapper Waka Flocka to be a part of their ‘Ink Not Mink’ campaign. The partnership initially came off as arbitrary but the most bizarre part of the endorsement was the ad campaign in which the rapper is seen posing naked with nothing but gaudy chains covering his member. Additionally, a video was released by the organization, in which Waka touches on why animal cruelty is wrong and expresses his love for animals. It’s always great to see a celebrity, including rappers, back positive causes, but Waka for PETA was just plain funny.
One of the most popular hair care brands, Garnier Fructis, tried something new with their branding in 2010 when they decided to bring rapper Memphis Bleek on as an endorser of their shampoo. The music video ad included a pop girl group called Code Green singing a song intended specifically for the commercial, “Fructis Flow”, which featured the rapper. The general reception of the ad was utter confusion, leaving viewers wondering why a former Roc-A-Fella rapper such as Bleek would sign up for such a project. Bleek soon shot back with an explanation for his involvement in the deal, stating in an interview, “They called me like, yo, we got X amount with this many zeros…” I guess we can’t blame him for that but it definitely doesn’t make “Fructis Flow” any less weird.
Romeo x Rap Snacks
Branding themselves “The Official Snack of Hip Hop”, Rap Snacks is by far one of the most peculiar business deals affiliated with the genre. The snack company which features varying flavors of both potato chips and popcorn was founded in 1994 and purchased by Master P’s son, rapper Romeo, in 2007 when he was just seventeen years old. Along with being owned by a rapper, over the past ten years the company has heavily marketed their products towards the hip hop community (and really, given the name 'Rap Snacks' why wouldn't they) by featuring several big-name rappers on their bags including: Meek Mill, Young Joc and Romeo himself. Has anyone been able to get their hands on a bag of these hard-to-find chips?
We can always leave it up to certified stoner Snoop Dogg (also known as Snoop Lion) to trip even us sober folks out. Just last year Snoop, along with rapper Bow Wow and busty model Kate Upton, banded together in one of the strangest and longest celebrity endorsements yet. A play on the Biz Markie hit, “You Got What I Need”, the threesome starred in a music video for Hot Pockets called, “You Got What I Eat.” The almost-four minute music video makes us wonder if the writers and producers caught a contact of whatever Snoop was smoking when they brainstormed this idea.
Tyler the Creator x Mountain Dew
Tyler the Creator along with his Odd Future collective have made a career out of pushing the envelope. In hindsight, we surmise the Pepsi brand realized that their idea to ask the controversial rapper to produce three Mountain Dew commercials wasn’t their brightest. They did, however, do just that, and the commercials caused an abundant amount of negative press, leading one of the three to be pulled off the air. The commercials feature Tyler’s fellow Odd Future member Left Brain and are full of innuendos and circumstances which many saw as racist as well as misogynistic. The weirdest part of this endorsement deal wasn’t the rapper's choice in brand, but rather the brand's choice in rapper. Oh, and did we mention the commercials star a goat named Felicia? Well that falls under weird in our book too.
Some of the strangest product endorsement deals brought to you by rappers
Celebrities, including rappers, have been inking endorsements deals with companies since the dawn of advertising. Hip hop music is more popular and marketable to the mainstream now than ever before, so these kinds of deals are on the rise. For many of these hip hop figures, endorsements deals are not only a way to make large sums of money but also aid in the promotion of their own music and brand. However not every endorsement deal is a success, and through the years we've seen a fair share of deals that have left fans scratching their heads in unison, wondering why, and/or how such a partnership even took place.
Sometimes they’re funny and other times they’re just downright confusing, here is a list of some of the weirdest rapper product endorsement deals.
Let us know what you think the weirdest endorsement is in the comments!