Watch know about Skee-Lo? Nothing. Pssssht. And you call yourself a fan of rap and hip-hop culture? I bet your parents know Skee-lo, especially if they were in their teens or twenties in the mid-90’s (and even more so, if your dad was 5’8” or shorter, and your mom’s name was Leoshee, but I’m getting ahead of myself…)
Let’s talk about the Chevy Impala, for a second.
There. See? That wasn’t even hyperbole; it’s genuinely hard to talk about the Chevy Impala for more than a second without getting bored. While my opinion is exactly that, an opinion (albeit of one magnificently-coiffed man) I can’t imagine anything less baller than choose to drive around in a 2018 Chevy Impala.
But it wasn’t always that way. You don’t have to be in the music industry to remember 1990’s rap anthems which romanticized the epic prowess of the classic Impala of yesteryear. Etched into our minds are music videos that might feature say a 1964 Impala outfitted with a hydraulic lift bouncing its way through the streets of Compton. Dre. Snoop. Cube. Spend an afternoon on YouTube, and you’ll find out what I mean.
But aside from its iconic status and nostalgic association with West Coast culture, the Chevy Impala feels dated and out of touch in its commercial form. Arguably, it seems to exist solely as a means of convincing families to consider buying a crossover instead of settling.
Enter Antoine Roundtree, alias Skee-Lo, whose 1995 song “I Wish” was a self-deprecating diss track, long before there ever was such a thing. In a time of gangsta rap prevalence, the diminutive rapper waxed poetic about his relative absence of height or many other characteristics that women found appealing.
“I wish I was taller. I wish I was a baller. I wish I had a girl, who looked good. I would call her. I wish I had a rabbit in a hat, with a bat and…”
That’s right, a six four Impala.
Now, whether his decision to rhyme ‘Impala’ with such words as ‘taller’ and ‘baller’ is deserving of praise or criticism is beside the point. It was catchy as fuck. And now that nearly twenty years have passed, nostalgia has set in, and Skee-Lo is set to collaborate with Chevy on a new marketing campaign to invigorate the Chevy Impala and restore it to iconic status.
General Motors Chairman and GM Mary Barra said it best, “ As an empowered young female professional in the male-dominated automotive industry of the mid-90’s, I had to work twice as hard as everyone around me, and I did. Sometimes, after 80-hour work weeks, I just wanted to get out and shake my ass a little. Not only did Skee-Lo provide the anthem for the aforementioned ass-shakery, but he made me feel better about considering the advances of short guys.”
Says Skee-Lo. “Hey, if it worked…”
In a formal statement, Ms. Barra elaborates, “Fond memories of Skee-Lo’s music and its positive influence on hip-hop culture are exactly what the Impala needs right now. If we can restore the Impala to a fun, youthful offering, we can redefine its target demographic which will be a win for everyone. Including Mr. Roundtree who, by all accounts, was unfairly exploited by his former record label, hindering further success. If what Chevy needs now is higher sales on the Impala, what the world needs now is the triumphant return of Skee-Lo!”
We agree and look forward to see what comes of this unexpected union. Will it be another self-deprecating masterpiece, or will Skee-Lo take aim at such competitors as the Ford Taurus? Only time will tell…