Hip-Hop In Super Bowl Ads: Jay-Z, Kanye West, Eminem

By Nadeska Alexis

Even viewers who are emotionally tied to the on-field battle during the Super Bowl—congratulations Giants fans and, Gisele, sorry that prayer didn’t work—Super Bowl commercials are always something to look forward to. Last year Eminem blew it out of the water with his Chrysler promo, and this year hip-hop was still very much present. In addition to an official NFL ad, which featured Maino and Swizz Beatz’s “Million Bucks,” there were a handful of additional commercials soundtracked by rap songs, including Kanye West’s “Runaway” and even Jay-Z and R. Kelly’s '04 single “Don’t Let Me Die.”

M.I.A. Flips The Middle Finger During Super Bowl Halftime Show

Check out the Super Bowl ads that featured hip-hop songs:

Bud Light Platinum “Factory” – Kanye West “Runaway”: Budweiser chose one of Kanye’s most epic tracks from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy for a first-quarter ad in promotion of their new Bud Light Platinum campaign. Even without Ye’s vocals over the visuals, it was a success.

Pepsi, “Pepsi for All” – Nelly “Hot in Herre”: Though it might’ve been brief and comical, in the first few seconds of Pepsi’s clip, starring Elton John, the court jester tries to entertain his king with a (pretty bad) rendition of Nelly’s hit single “Hot in Herre.” And, just for good measure, Public Enemy rapper-turned-reality star Flava Flav also makes a last minute appearance.

Bud Light Platinum “Work”/Budweiser “Optimism”: After kicking off their Super Bowl series with Kanye’s “Runaway” Bud Light opted to use Flo-Rida’s single “Good Feeling” for their “Work” ad and the song was later mashed up with the Cult’s “She Sells Sanctuary” for Budweiser’s “Optimism” ad.

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” – Jay-Z and R. Kelly – “Don’t Let Me Die": We’ll be honest, this one caught us a little bit off guard. During the commercial for the upcoming summer blockbuster “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” not only is Jay-Z and R. Kelly’s Unfinished Business single “Don’t Let Me Die” playing in the background, but The Rock even drops a Hov quotable! “In the immortal words of Jay-Z, ‘Whatever deity may guide my life, dear Lord, don’t let me die tonight.”

“Act of Valor” – Eminem – “I’m Not Afraid”: Heroism is the basis of this Navy SEALs drama, which will premiere late in February, and so it was only fitting that Eminem’s breakout Recovery single “I’m Not Afraid” was used as its soundtrack.