That's right. While violence, drugs and the LAPD were instrumental to terrorizing the African-American community of the 90's, those things have nothing, and I mean nothing, on the fact that plenty of rappers were making a quick buck on shilling St. Ides' brand of premium malt liquor to the public. There's something more disturbing about that in my mind than any of the other things. Yet, I just can't put my finger on why it's so wrong. Perhaps, Dr. Dre, you could help me out.
Ahh, yes, that's it again. They were cheesy and featured some awesome rappers and producers selling their souls. How could I forget that? This not to say that all of the ads were bad? Surely, Cypress Hill would have something to say about this.
Et tu Cypress Hill? "Crush a can?" How could you? At least, Ice Cube would never sell his soul for St. Ides. No way, not the man who wrote "Be True To The Game." Never that. Neither would Geto Boys. Like that would ever happen.
All my beliefs are dead and there isn't a reason to care anymore.
Anyway, in early 90's, almost every famous rapper (mainly from the West Coast) did an ad, or in Ice Cube's case, three or four, for St. Ides (scary, if you switch the d and i in ides, you'll get dies). Respectable rappers such as EPMD and Eric B. and Rakim even did ads. Times are bad when the people responsible for "Paid In Full" are talking about cold 40's. Yet, Ice Cube is the most insulting one for doing so many of them.
Now, I love late 80's-mid 90's Ice Cube but you can't rip on MC Hammer for dancing when your talking about "another funky St. Ides commercial." In the past, I've found myself bashing Ice Cube for making the friendly family films that he gets paid handsomely for these days. Now, I just look at it as community service to pay back every dollar he made off selling 40's to the youth of America.
In honor of this post, I've compiled a small mixtape feat some of the best (or worst) moments in shilling for St. Ides. I call it "St. Ides: Now, That's What I Call Boozing." It features all the hits like "Just Hit The Corner Store" by Snoop Doggy Dogg featuring Nate Dogg and unreleased gems like "Sippin' On Fruity Tasting Malt Liquor" by 2Pac and Snoop Doggy Dogg. Download it here.
At the end of this post, I can rest easily knowing that Biggie Smalls passed away before he could ever do an ad for St. Ides.
Damn it all to hell.