See Bacardi’s era-spanning hip-hop tribute airing on MTV’s VMAs

The spot highlights rappers who have name-checked the rum brand over the years

Published On
Sep 12, 2023
A still from Bacardi's 50 Years of Hip-Hop at the MTV Video Music Awards spot

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From Run-D.M.C. in the 1980s to Don Toliver in the 2020s, rappers have long name-checked Bacardi (and not just because it rhymes with party). Now, the rum brand is returning the favor in a spot that drops samples of the songs that mention Bacardi, as it honors the 50th anniversary of hip-hop at the 2023 MTV Music Video Awards.

A 60-second spot, created with Paramount Brand Studios and 305 Films, pays homage to the ever-evolving sound of hip-hop from the ’80s through today. The brand enlisted DJ Premier, a pioneer in the genre, and the young artist Toliver to connect with fans new and old.


Tracks name-dropping Barcardi in the spot include “You Be Illin’ ” by Run-D.M.C. representing the 1980s; “Flow Joe” by Fat Joe (1990s); “Jump Off” by Lil’ Kim (2000s); “Ferrari Boys” by Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame (2010s); and “After Party” by Don Toliver (2020s)

Each era includes authentic details specific to that decade, including wardrobe, set pieces, choreography and vintage Bacardi bottles, cocktails and glassware. Additionally, each decade’s DJ equipment is an authentic replica of the system DJ Premier used during that time. Era-specific camera lenses were used to film each scene to mimic the popular music video cinematography of the time.

The ad is part of a multifaceted campaign associated with the VMAs that also includes a shoppable vintage store, a commemorative VMA Bacardi bottle and an official drink of the event, the Mojito Mo-Problems.