Bleacher Report Serves Up a Riotous Remake of Blackalicious’ ‘Alphabet Aerobics’

Talk about devastating the defense

"A" is for advertising. "V" is for … viral video?

Blackalicious' frenetic 1999 tongue-twister "Alphabet Aerobics" gets a sporty update in this animated music video from Bleacher Report.

The two-minute clip, "Sports Alphabet," was created by ad agency barrettSF and production house Gentleman Scholar. Debuting today online, and during tonight's NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat on TNT, the work marks the Turner Sports site's first major push into brand advertising. 

As in the iconic original, Gift of Gab's rapping gains intensity and speed as he burns through lyrics tied to letters of the alphabet. The original's dizzying cascade of cultural references and nonsense rhymes, however, have been replaced by sports-themed lyrics, with fabulously fun, vivacious visuals driving the message home. 

For example, the first verse, "Alley-alley-alley-alley-oop on amateurs/Air above all and any actors that's average," features alley cats playing basketball. The second, "Big barbarian basically beasting/Biters get blown up being brave, beatings," shows a helmeted behemoth mercilessly trampling his gridiron opponents, even tossing one into orbit. (We can safely assume the NFL approved neither the sentiment nor the imagery.)

"The Bleacher Report brand is getting bigger and louder, so we needed a spot that was big and loud," Bennett Spector, the site's creative marketing adviser, tells AdFreak. "Hopefully the spot feels authentic to the new wave of sports consumption." 

Indeed, the pop-culture tie-in and nod to '90s/'00s nostalgia feels like a winning play.

"As the social voice of sports, our focus is on content that triggers social action," Spector says. "We knew from Daniel Radcliffe's viral performance of 'Alphabet Aerobics' on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon that this spot would have the potential to explode."

Fallon's clip from a year ago garnered more than 50 million views on YouTube alone. Can Bleacher Report's brand-slam remix hope to scale such heights? 

"We want the viewer to be genuinely entertained," Spector says. "People should want to watch this commercial over and over, not fast-forward. If the viewer walks away wanting more, then we've done our job." 

Credits—and lyrics!—below. 

LYRICS: "Sports Alphabet"


Now it's time for our wrap up.

Let's give it everything we've got.

Ready? Begin.


Alley-alley-alley-alley-oop on amateurs

Air above all and any actors that's average

Big barbarian basically beasting

Biters get blown up being brave, beatings

Casually, I chef cash cheddar, fools get

casualties and caught off guard with chin music

Dirty when I drop dimes damaging the dang earth

Devastate the defense detonate danger

Entertainer entertaining everyone and every mass

Enemies is envious ain't even peep the elbow pass

Fire en fuego flick of the wrist foes in

Fear of the fury left flattened and frozen

Gloves off for the glass jaw by the goons

G.O.A.T of all G.O.A.T.S gone giddy gettin' through

Human joystick, heating up, heat check BLAM

Hit 'em hard, hella hyped, hero going H.A.M.

I'm isolated on islands it's over, it's over

Ice in your veins getting colder

Juke jock jerk to those who aren't worthy

Jamming through my journey in a jet black jersey

King Kong of K.O.s kid kiss the ring

Knuckle up now with the knuckle buck king

Lemme live a long life leading with my laces out

Right now losers look up cause it's lights out

My moves marvelous, money shot, massive

Main event, moon-shot, MVP, master

Nails in the coffin knots in their knees, triumph

Nutmeg through their knees nothing but nylon

Opposition oft on the ropes in the octagon

Recommended articles