Busta & the Toyota “Swagger Wagon” Commercial - Not as Bad As Vanilla Ice
Oh my god, did you see it? The "Swagger Wagon" video? Busta Rhymes in the "Swagger Wagon" video? You haven't?!?! It's only the biggest thing to hit the internet since this, or this, or maybe this. The point is, Toyota turned trap music into a commercial because dorky white people rapping dorkily has been a thing since 'nigh the dawn of advertising. If this was tomorrow maybe I'd have some eloquent, socio-political commentary, but right now it's late at night and I just ate enough carrot cake to regret it in the morning, so you're only getting six random thoughts on the new worst video ever.
Why six? Because this isn't a Buzzfeed listicle where I come up with a number and then try to figure out how to fill up that many points. It just so happens my brain is currently only capable of generating six even semi-coherent thoughts about the Swagger Wagon, so six it is. Deal with it.
Oh, and you should probably watch the video first:
1. It's kind of funny to watch the original "Swagger Wagon" video now (oh, you didn't know there was an original?). Four years ago it was auto-tuned hooks, now it's trap beats. I gotta hand it to them, those folks at Toyota sure know how to keep up with the times.
2. This seems like an apt time to mention the Funk Volume "Swagger Wagon" freestyle.
3. Come on rappers, don't front. You know 99.9% of you would have jumped all over that instrumental if you heard it before the commercial dropped. That beat could have easily been on a Rick Ross mixtape and club DJs would have been playing it nightly.
4. I've never wanted to know who the ghostwriter of a song was so bad.
5. We'll get to Busta Rhymes in a moment, but first can we take a moment to acknowledge that it's really Soulja Boy's fingerprints that are all over this video? Whose turn up is Toyota (knowingly or unknowingly) cleaning up for mainstream consumption? Whose dance moves are being used? Soulja Boy's been tellin 'em, looks like corporate America finaly started listening.
6. I really don't know what to make of that Busta verse. Sure, it's wack, but it's actually not that much worse than most of the actual music he's been making lately. Did he "sell out," or is he just this bad now? I mean, if you're gonna do a Toyota commercial for the money, you might as well kill it. Shit, at least rap even kinda-sorta-fast. Either way, I would literally listen to "Swagger Wagon" before I listen to "Arab Money" again.
And because I'll never pass up on an opportunity to point it out; look at this man now, and he used to look like this. Not even Barry Bonds had that kind of cranium growth. You draw your own conclusions. Speaking of which...
I know, I know, this seems like the worst thing ever and hip-hop is now officially dead and etc. etc. Sorry to disappoint all the doomsayers, but in the context of hip-hop's history, this isn't even close to a low point. How quickly the world forgets that Vanilla Ice (aka the Human Swagger Wagon 24 Years Before There Was An Actual Toyota Swagger Wagon) sold 15 MILLION COPIES of his TO THE EXTREME album. That's almost four times as many copies as Biggie's "Ready to Die" has sold to date. So save your alarmist thinkpieces my fellow rap writers. This is a commercial we'll talk about on the internet for a week and then forget about. Hip-hop already went through an era when this guy was the most popular rapper on the planet...
...and it came out just fine. Relax, it's not like they've got some hamsters dancing to Black Sheep or something.
[Nathan S. is the managing editor of The DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. He also occasionally talks in podcast form and appears on RevoltTV. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.]