Go Back To Skool. Old Skool

by Lady Glock

It always saddens me when I see great hip hop tracks being rehashed in TV commercials. Especially when they're commercials geared to kids who weren't even born when the track came out.

Case in point: Black Sheep's “The Choice is Yours” which was recently Shanghai-ed by JCPenney. Not only is the family department store ruining the song, they are also selling their clothes through breakdancing. Their All Access Back To School Ad Campaign is essentially a step by step (literally) instruction guide for kids, ages 4-13, to learn how to “bust a move”. They also have a bobblehead doll whose name is creatively “Bobblehead” as a mascot.

For the actual commercials, JCPenney hired music video director X and choreographer Fatima to “make the ads more identifiable with young people”.

You may actually recognize one of the dancers from the commercials. It's the same little pigtailed pre-teen who we last saw showing her stuff off in Missy Elliot's videos “Work It” and “Gossip Folks.” Turns out her name is actually Alyson Stoner. No jokes people. She even has her own website. And yes. She's too young to remember Black Sheep.

I wish I could say that this is just an isolated incident where a company is using great music and dance moves as a way of marketing. But y'all know that's not true. This is just one of many incidents where this occurs. And it certainly will not be the last.

  • Stone

    Although I shed a tear every time hip hop culture is coopted by the likes of JC Penny (of all places?!?), the website is actually, pretty, dare I say cool.

    But the use of Black Sheep is very odd. Doesn't B2K resonate with the kids these days?

  • andre wright

    i went to krush groove jr. high school.

  • sixy

    I love how those JC Penney commercials went out of their way NOT to have any black kids in them–very interesting. And I know ya'll have seen the Target commercials jacking “Baby Got Back.” It sounds like they even got Sir Mix-A-Lot to do them?

  • Stone

    Oh gawd. what's next? Wal-Mart coppin' “Fight the Power?”

  • Miss Hipstah

    Here's a shortened list of songs that have been used in TV commercials in the past 3 or 4 years. If you want to see more, check out

    Warning: If you are depressed by corporate usage of good music, please do not read.

    JC Penney = Black Sheep “The Choice is Yours” and MVP (Stagge Lee) “Roc Your Body” (not that that is actually that good of a song)
    Target= Sir Mix-A-Lot “Baby Got Back”
    Sunkist = Blackalicious “Reanimation”
    Purell Hand Sanitizer = MC Hammer “Don't Touch This” (The only one I think is hilarious)
    Diet Coke = Lyrics Born “Callin Out”
    Mitsubishi and Sears = Nikka Costa “Everybody Got Their Something”
    Mitsubishi = Deltron 3030 “Positive Contact”
    Chevrolet = Ice Cube “Roll All Day”
    Moutain Dew = Punjabi MC “Beware of the Boys (Mundian to Bach Ke)”
    Pepsi = Biz Markie “Just A Friend”
    T-Mobile = Outkast “Happy Valentine's Day”
    Volvo = Dialated Peoples “This Way”
    Target = Digable Planets “Rebirth of Slick”
    Hershey's = Gorillaz “19-2000″
    Nabisco (Oreo Double Delights) = Marvin Gaye “Can I Get A Witness”
    Red Lobster = Stevie Wonder “Master Blaster”
    Gatorade = Doug E. Fresh “Keep It Going”