Notorious B.I.G. rapped about his love for Pepsi 23 years ago—now the brand is using it in an ad
Back in 1997, Notorious B.I.G. performed what can only be described as every brand’s dream—he rapped, unprompted, about his love for Pepsi.
"Big slam, quick slam, tin can, whatever. Whether too cold or too hot, you got to keep Pepsi in the freezer. I keep a three-liter for my crew. My girl like them diet joints too. Other sodas taste the worst … nothing can beat the p-e-p-s-i, yes I drink it constantly ...” he freestyled during a studio session at Manhattan’s D&D studies with radio personality DJ Enuff.
If it had been written by an ad copywriter, it likely would have been rejected as an over-the-top product plug. And Pepsi never did anything with it—until now.
In honor of the late rap legend’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Nov. 7, the brand today debuted an animated ad that features a remastered version of the rapper’s ode to the soda, which had not previously been released.
The video was produced by Antnamation (Ant Blue) with creative direction from artist Cey Adams. He was a childhood neighbor of B.I.G. who designed the album artwork for 1992’s “Ready to Die.” DJ Enuff produced the remastered track—called “The Notorious B.I.G. Pepsi Freestyle”—with hip hop producer Jiv Pos.
“It was an honor to work alongside the likes of Cey Adams, DJ Enuff, and Antamation on this project to pay homage to the fact that his legacy still lives on today—in Brooklyn and beyond,” Todd Kaplan, VP for cola marketing at PepsiCo, said in a statement.
The soda brand is trying to spark more buzz about the new track by sponsoring a rap battle called the “Big Pepsi Freestyle Challenge” in partnership with New York’s HOT97 radio. The brand is asking contestants to “include at least one lyrical reference to Pepsi in their submission” and use a 60-second track that can be downloaded on HOT97’s web site.