When Biggie first rapped the words, “Lyrically, I’m supposed to represent,” he might not necessarily have had soda on the brain, but who can know for sure? Regardless of what, precisely, the rapper had in mind on the final verse of the “One More Chance” remix, though, one soft drink company is using his words as part of a new campaign. Sprite is tapping in to hip hop culture with the “Obey Your Verse” campaign created in partnership with agency Wieden + Kennedy, New York, and quoting the Notorious B.I.G., Rakim, Nas, and Drake on cans, bottles, and packages all summer long.
It’s kind of a curious quartet–Biggie, Rakim, and Nas are all East Coast rappers with ties to the scene of the late ’80s and early ’90s, while Drake was a wee little baby in Toronto when Rakim rapped that he was a fiend before he became a teen. But Sprite is keen to shine its hip hop bonafides in the campaign’s press release, which notes that the brand first put rapper Kurtis Blow in a TV spot way back in 1986. The cans feature five lines each from Rakim, Nas, and Drake, spanning the gamut of their work. Nas’s Sprite lines date back to Illmatic and go up to his duet album with Damien Marley and his most recent Life Is Good; Drake’s include early single “Over” to “0 To 100” from his forthcoming Views From The 6; Rakim’s come from both his early days with Eric B. to his less-heralded solo career. According to press materials, Nas–cited as “a longtime Sprite partner”–says that “when I wrote these lyrics, I never imagined my fans would someday have the opportunity to enjoy a can of Sprite and experience my art in a totally original way,” which is something we believe he is 100% telling the truth about.