Copywriter Serves Up Mountain Dew Ice-Flavored Rap Response to W+K Sprite Cover Letter

By Patrick Coffee 

“Copyrappers” are all the rage these days.

Of course this isn’t a new thing. Remember “brand rapper” slash Deutsch LA copywriter Jason Pickar? What about Traction’s “IT Rap” for Lenovo? Who could forget Lil Dickey? And then there was last year’s incognito hip-hop classic that Droptree Productions of Portland made over two years of commercial shoots.

We see a well-established pattern here, but there’s #innovation to be found in the agency bro hip-hop genre. A few weeks ago, copywriter Chase Zreet of Dallas-based Firehouse went ad-industry viral with a “Cover Letter” rap tribute to Sprite that scored him a gig at Wieden+Kennedy New York.

You’ve all seen the video … and at least one copywriter was inspired to take up the mic with his own tribute to a certain artificially flavored soft drink.

Here, via Aaron Gough of BBDO San Francisco, is “Ice Ice Baby.” As in Mountain Dew Ice, yo. Don’t call it a diss track.

We asked Gough to share a bit of his creative process with us. He remained in character.

AgencySpy: So, what inspired you to do this (aside from, obviously, the Chase Zreet story)?
Aaron Gough: What inspired me was the crisp, refreshing taste of Mountain Dew Ice. That, and the fact that east coast copywriter rappers and Coke products have been getting all the love for far too long. It was time to represent for Pepsi and the west coast.

What did you think of his work?
I thought it was alright. I respect his hustle. And his flow. Bar structure was on point. Wordplay was colorful. The only thing missing was Mountain Dew Ice.

Did you intend this one to be more of an in-joke, or are you going to put it in your portfolio?
This isn’t about me. It’s bigger than hip-hop. Or even soda. This is for all the dreamers out there. Or anyone who’s thirsty. It’s a message that the only way to catch your dreams isn’t by obeying your thirst. It’s by obeying your heart. And yeah, I’ll probably put it on my site.

Who helped you make it and how did you guys go about that?
We have an in-house recording studio and edit team at BBDO so I hopped in the booth and laid the track down (in one take). Then we shot the video and edited it in a few hours. Big shout out to Josh Soyombo for his camera skills and Big Girl, the pit bull, for being such a good dog actor. Also a big shout out to the friendly strangers of San Francisco’s Chinatown.

What led you to pick that classic Biggie beat?
There have been a lot of famous rap beefs over the years: Drake and Meek Mill; Canibus and LL Cool J; but of course Biggie and Tupac’s was the most famous. I wanted this track to be on that level, maybe even bigger.

What’s your favorite lyric in the song?
If I had to pick one, it would be “put your face in it, drink it straight from the fountain” because I did that one time at Taco Bell. So, I’m just speaking my truth on that line.

Are you a legitimate hip-hop fan and, if so, who’s the greatest of all time and who is the greatest right now?
Definitely a hip-hop fan. I would say either Big L or Dylan is the greatest rapper of all time. Right now, it would have to be A$AP Ferg. He’s got a lot of good new stuff but a lot of classics, too. Just like the classically refreshing taste of Mountain Dew Ice.

We also asked Zreet what he thought about the Ice track.

He hadn’t seen it, but after we sent it his way he wrote, “It’s great to see this new generation of copyrappers out there doing their thing. It’s not the same as when I was coming up, but I respect the hustle.”

Welcome to New York, Chase.