Mef rubbing Right Guard on some dude's head is a beautiful, beautiful image.
Part of my job for one of the publications I am employed by involves perusing old magazine issues, or more generally, staring at what used to pass for print ads in the past few decades. Some, of course, will never change—Levi's is always going to thrust a bunch of air-brushed, glamorous people into improbable jean-wearing situations—whereas ads offering short shorts and "old goat graphic v-neck jersey t-shirts" with an actual drawing of an old goat on it (?) from 1979 seem completely insane thirty years later. It's like those old double-or-triple-album CD cases that no one could figure out how to open without breaking them into three pieces just to get to whatever the fuck was on Disc Two then have to put it back together it's like a goddamn jigsaw puzzle and then end up smashing the thing on the ground to get to the inevitable dogshit that was on Disc Three. Which is to say, they seemed like a good idea at the time, but looking back all you can really do is shake your head.
Seriously, how did we live back then?
Anyway, flipping through I came across a gem from the early 2000s that I had forgotten: Method Man and Redman's line of Right Guard Xtreme advertisements.
Which came complete with THIS commercial.
Okay let's break this down. Method and Red were coming off their Oscar-nominated (it was, right?) film How High and were, frankly, the buddy-cop duo of hip-hop by that point. They also smoked more marijuana than Wiz Khalifa has ever seen in his life, which means that deodorant must have been the premier anti-weed smell on the planet or something. I mean look at that print ad! That thing is bathed in a celestial light like it was birthed from the very essence of gold itself. I also love the look on Redman's face in every second of this commercial: it's like he's the world's little brother, always sneaking around giggling to himself behind his hand as Meth does all the ad-speak. Method starts talking about the power stripe, all Red cares about is fucking with some cyclists during the Tour de France, then getting the hell back to Jersey once they all ganged up on him. Fair enough, since they were probably all on insane amounts of steroids. I wish we could re-create this once for every Tour de France win Lance Armstrong stole from Planet Earth. Equal badass points for Meth rubbing deodorant on that dude's bald head. I wonder if that would work? That power stripe seems poisonous.
Needless to say, this rediscovery sent me to Method Man's IMDB page (which includes such gems as Meth being really into Eric Bana and how he was considered for the role of Jango Fett in Star Wars Episode II) and then remember that Sour Patch Kids track he put out in late 2011, which actually doubled as the best solo track he'd put out in half a decade (and includes the phrase "poop-eatin' grin"). The premise on this one is straight out of a horror film for a couple of reasons, really boiling down to how awful it is when you get Sour Patch Kids all over the damn place. If you don't clean them up immediately they get sticky and gummy, and they WILL fuck your whole living situation up. I mean, just look at how much havoc they're wreaking; that is unreasonable. This track also confirms that Method Man is, and maybe always will be, the king of rapping about absolutely nothing. He's a national treasure.
Of course, this isn't Meth's first go-around with both branding and writing songs for companies that make things he devours constantly, because no one could forget the Wu-Tang St. Ides commercial, which perfectly encapsulates not only what it was like to be alive and chugging 40s in 1995, but also the highest level of cinematic tricks available. Sure, 1993 gave us Jurassic Park, but just watch Ghostface exploding out of a box in front of himself rapping on a green screen! Highest quality advertising for the highest quality of malt liquor. Three final thoughts:
1. Check out the look on O.D.B.'s face at the nine-second mark.
2. St. Ides is actually the worst of all the 40s, but I'm willing to let it slide.
3. I wish Wu-Massacre was a better album than it is.
Then again, it could be worse. RZA kills bees, you guys. Bees. Wu-Tang is definitely for the children.
Dan Rys has hands like scissors. He's on Twitter - @danrys